Middle Chinese or the Qieyun system is the historical variety of Chinese recorded in the Qieyun, a rime dictionary first published in 601 and followed by several revised and expanded editions. The Swedish linguist Bernard Karlgren believed that the dictionary recorded a speech standard of the capital Chang'an of the Sui and Tang dynasties. However, based on the more recently recovered preface of the Qieyun, most scholars now believe that it records a compromise between northern and southern read
The term "Middle Chinese", in contrast to Old Chinese and Modern Chinese, is usually used for historical Chinese phonology, which wants to reconstruct the pronunciation of Chinese used during these times. Middle Chinese can be divided further. There was an early period and a later period.
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It is largely accurate when describing Classical Chinese and Middle Chinese; in Classical Chinese, for example, perhaps 90% of words correspond to a single syllable and a single character. In the modern varieties, it is usually the case that a morpheme (unit of meaning) is a single syllable; In contrast, English has many multi-syllable ...
In modern Chinese varieties, tones that derive from the four Middle Chinese tone classes may be split into two registers, dark ( 陰 yīn) and light ( 陽 yáng) depending on whether the Middle Chinese onset was voiceless or voiced, respectively. When all four tone-classes split, eight tones result: dark level ( 陰平 ), light level ( 陽平 ...
Middle Chinese, broadly from about the 5th century AD (Northern and Southern Dynasties, Sui, Tang, Song) through to 12th century AD. More narrowly, reconstructed "Middle Chinese" is usually based on the detailed phonetic evidence of the Qieyun rime dictionary (601 AD), later expanded into "Guangyun". Qieyun describes a compromise between the northern and southern varieties and such rhyming dictionaries were essential to write and read aloud poetry with a rhyming pattern.
Chinese music dates back before the pre-imperial times. Traditional Chinese musical instruments were traditionally grouped into eight categories known as bayin (八音). Traditional Chinese opera is a form of musical theatre in China originating thousands of years and has regional style forms such as Beijing opera and Cantonese opera.