What were the four Divisions of Middle Chinese ?

Abstract : Determining the nature of the four Divisions of the Qièyùn is a fundamental problem in the study of the phonetic history of Chinese. Analyses by Baxter and Pulleyblank make it possible to bring out two major changes from Old Chinese to Middle Chinese: a two-way split of the vowel system, and later the lenition of medial -r-. The use of models drawn from Mon-Khmer voice type register languages made it possible to reconstruct the phonetic bases of the four divisions. Div. I consists of tense rimes, Div. II consists of tense, velarized rimes resulting from medial -r-, Div. III consists of lax/breathy rimes. As for Div. IV, it consists of (non velarized) rimes with the diphthong ie.
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Michel Ferlus. What were the four Divisions of Middle Chinese ? . Diachronica, Netherlands: John Benjamins, 2009, 26 (2), pp.184-213. ⟨10.1075/dia.26.2.02fer⟩. ⟨halshs-01581138v2⟩

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