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Tangyun 唐韻

Jul 17, 2010 © Ulrich Theobald

Tangyun 唐韻 "Rhyme [dictionary] from the Tang dynasty 唐 (618-907)" is a revision and extension of the Sui-period 隋 (581-618) dictionary Qieyun 切韻. The characters are arranged according to pronunciation, in rhyme groups. It was compiled during the Tang period during the 730s by Sun Mian 孫愐 (c. 750), and submitted to the court and adopted as official dictionary.

The book is lost but it is known that it had a length of 5 juanand that characters were arranged according to 195 rhyme groups.

Compared to the Qieyun, the Tangyun was a lot more concrete in the field of explaining the characters' meaning and shape, and had thus a better quality as a real "dictionary" in the modern sense. In 1908, a Tang-period manuscript fragment of the Tangyun was discovered in Beijing by Jiang Fu 蔣斧. Scholars do not have a common sense about this fragment, some say it is a part of a preface of the Guangyun 廣韻, quoting from the Tangyun, other interpret it as an enlarged version of the Tangyun because it contains more rhyme groups than the original, perhaps as many as 204, which is the number of rhyme groups adopted as standard after the compilation of the Guangyun.

Sources:
Cao Shujing 曹述敬 (1988). "Yunshu 韻書", in Zhongguo da baike quanshu 中國大百科全書, Yuyan wenzi 語言•文字 (Beijing/Shanghai: Zhongguo da baike quanshu chubanshe), 505-508.
Cao Shujing 曹述敬, ed. (1991). Yinyunxue cidian 音韻學辭典 (Changcha: Hunan chubanshe), 215.
Ding Zhimin 丁治民 (2010). "Yongle dadian suo yin Sun Mian Tangyun jikao: Jian lun Da-Song chongxiu Guangyun suo ju Sun Mian Tangyun de xieben 《永樂大典》所引孫愐《唐韻》輯考——兼論《大宋重修廣韻》所据孫愐《唐韵》的寫本", Yuyan yanjiu 語言研究, 2010 (4).
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Li Xueqin 李學勤, Lü Wenyu 呂文郁, ed. (1996). Siku da cidian 四庫大辭典 (Changchun: Jilin daxue chubanshe), Vol. 1, 761.
Xu Chaodong 徐朝東 (2004). "Jiang cangben Tangyun yichang yinqie kaocha 蔣藏本《唐韻》異常音切考察", Zhongguo yuwen 中國語文, 2004 (3).
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