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Characters and Words in Middle Chinese: Lexical Data of the Middle Chinese Rime Dictionaries

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In addition to their use as sources for Middle Chinese phonological data, theQie yun [Chieh yunn] and its Song [Sonq] recension, the Guang yun [Goang yunn], open an irnportant window on the lexical nature of the Middle Chinese language. Examination of the individual entries in the dong 冬 rirne, chosen more or less arbitrarily for the present experiment, shows that the salient question is how we map the data of the rime in question (or ofany rirne) to the lexicon of the actual language or languages represented. Or, phrased slightly differently, how many "real words" are represented in the sixty-six single-character entries of the dong 冬 rime?


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