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Journal Article

Towards a standardized annotation of rhyme judgments in Chinese historical phonology (and beyond)


List,  Johann-Mattis
CALC, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, Max Planck Society;

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List, J.-M., Hill, N. W., & Foster, C. J. (2019). Towards a standardized annotation of rhyme judgments in Chinese historical phonology (and beyond). Journal of Language Relationship, 17(1), 26-43. doi:10.17617/2.3149513.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0004-5C09-C
Although rhyme analysis plays a crucial role in the reconstruction of Old Chinese phonology,
the field has not yet developed a standardized annotation framework for rhyme judgments
applied to Ancient Chinese texts. Building on initial attempts to standardize crosslinguistic
data for the purpose of historical and typological language comparison (as part of
the Cross-Linguistic Data Formats initiative), we present a proposal for consistent and transparent
rhyme annotation. This proposal allows scholars to annotate the rhymes they identify
in historical texts in such a way that the judgments can be analyzed with computational tools
as well as conveniently inspected by scholars. Our framework is accompanied by software
tools and exemplary datasets, which were annotated by various scholars, and reflect not only
Chinese, but also contemporary poetry in different languages. In the paper, we present the
framework and also point to caveats and current insufficiencies in annotation. In doing so,
we hope to inspire more scholars working on Old Chinese reconstruction to share their
judgments, allowing others working in the field to improve, revise, and analyze them.