Page:Essays on the Chinese Language (1889).djvu/76

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The Cultivation of their Language by the Chinese.

sounds and meanings of which were essential for one competing at the state examinations to know. In a comparatively short time, however, it supplanted all the previous pronouncing dictionaries, being much preferred to the "Kuang-yun" and "Chi-yun." About 1090 a new edition of the "Li Pu Yun-liao" was brought out by Sun O (孫諤) and the poet Su Shi. In this, as in other editions, not a few additions and corrections were made, but it had not any great success. A much more important edition is that which bears the name of the two Mao, father and son. This work, which is commonly quoted by the short title "Tsêng-yun" (增韻), was finished before 1160 but not published until about thirty years later. It was begun by Mao Huang (毛晃) and finished by his son Chü-chêng (居正), natives of Chü-chow (衢州) in Chekiang. In the "Tsêng-yun" above 2,650 characters were added to those given by Ting Tu, but the original number of finals, 206, was retained. This edition of the "Li Pu Yun-liao" had for a time great popularity, especially among the literary men who were candidates for state appointments. Yet it has been severely censured by Liu Yuan and later critics. These have found fault with it for substituting vulgar and incorrect ways of writing characters for those taught by the "Shuo-wên" and other standards. Instances of this reprehensible proceeding are given in the use of 谥 (properly i) for the old and correct 諡, and of 袞 for 衮 kun. In these two cases it will be seen that by the changes in the way of writing, sense and sound are alike liable to be confounded. The misuse here indicated still continues, though educated men prefer to use the forms of the characters taught by the old authorities.[1]

Turning back to the eleventh century we have to note an interesting work, the "Yun-tsung" (韻總), by Chien-yü (鑑聿), a Buddhist monk of Lo-yang. The aim of this treatise, which was in five chuan, with a preface by Ou-yang-hsiu, was to guide to the proper use of the Sanskrit initials, and to give the true and

correct sounds of characters. The compiler was well read in the

  1. "Wylie's Notes," p. 9; Phon. S. W. Ting-shêng; "Ku-chin-t'ung-yun," chap. i; "Ku-shi, etc., Yin-lun," 上; "Tsŭ-chien" (字鑑), Pref.; "Ma T. L.," chap. cxc.