An Analysis of Japanese Kanji Pronunciation Based on the Chang-Cheng Edition of Meng-Qiu
Chang-Cheng, a version of Meng-Qiu, is an ancient hand-written copy circulated in Japan, and the original text of Meng-Qiu was copied out with Xnu-dian. Due to “Chang-Cheng” was annotated at the end of the book to signify the year of completing Xnu-dian, it is called The version of Chang-Cheng Meng-Qiu. In the book, pronunciations of Japanese Kanji are regarded as the typical inheritance of Chinese characters’ pronunciation in Japan, which is closely associated with Tang Dynasty Chang-An Dialect. As a result, this paper adopted this book as the research material. By dividing it into seven chapters, it probed into the property of the text and the tone phenomenon reflected by pronunciations of Japanese Kanji.
The first chapter is introduction, which illustrates Meng-Qiu’s origin, circulation condition, and the previous research results. Chapter 2 discusses the copy issues and perceives that theXnu-dian examiner had weak tone consciousness. Nevertheless, after carefully comparing the correspondence of Chinese characters and katakana signifiers, it is found that such weak consciousness does not have great influence on the accurate pronunciations of Japanese Kanji. Then, Chapter 3 introduces the phonetic system and syllable structure of modern Japanese, and explains changes of the tones in the last generation and Heian Era in Japan, particularly focusing on comparison of Japanese and Chinese character syllables, and analysis of the syllable structure of katakana signifiers. As for Chapter 4 and Chapter 5, it organizes the corresponding relationship of vowels and consonants of pronunciations of Japanese Kanji and middle Chinese, from which it observes the Chinese tone phenomenon for further analysis. Chapter 6 continues to organize the corresponding relationship of tone (voice) points and middle Chinese tones, holding that the version of Chang-Cheng belongs to six-tone system and analyzing the tone phenomenon that the system reflects. Lastly, Chapter 7 is the conclusion, summarizing the research results of this paper, the comments on the previous research outcomes, and reviews the insufficiency of this paper for considerations on the related research directions in the future.
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