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The Character 維•惟•唯 ywij and the Reconstruction of the 月旨 Zhi 微 and Wei Rhymes

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image of Cahiers de Linguistique Asie Orientale

This article proposes a new reconstruction of two rhyme categories of Archaic Chinese. A series of dissimilatory changes caused mergers of the *-uj / *-ij and *-uj / *-ij distinctions in some environments by the time of the Shijing. This made opaque the relationship between 維, 非 and 雖 three important function words in Archaic Chinese. Using our new reconstruction, we will be able to explain their exact relationship and to disprove other etymologies on the basis of which 糸隹 is to be compared with 惠,爲 and copula in Tibeto-burman languages. Finally, the article offers a preliminary study of the phonological al rules in the fusion of words.


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