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English; ag an initial, its sound may be obtained by dropping the two first letters in pronouncing the word hanging. Its proper sound is often changed into y, or becomes altogether silent like the nasals in Sanskrit. It is then called an anhelation, and resem

bles the Greek spiritus lenis and the Arabic Eain. ny is like liquid n in Spanish, or like gn in the French word maligne. p has a soft sound approaching to that of b, as well as a somewhat

barder sound, which is the same as p in English. p'h is a strong aspirated sound of p; it must not be assimilated with

the English ph, which is the same as f. s and ss are nearly the same as in the English sit, hissing, &c.; they

cannot be clearly distinguished. sh is the same as in English, or as ch in French. sz is a difficult sound to represent; it does not differ much from the

sound of ss, by which the French have represented it; it is combined only with a peculiar vowel sound, which can be learned ouly

from the living voice. t has a soft sound, sometimes approaching to that of d. t'h is an aspirated modification of the preceding sound. ts and t's, the one soft and the other aspirated, are analogous to the

Hebrew up tsādhē. tsz is formed by prefixing the sound of t to that of sz described above. w should perhaps be considered a vowel sound; it is analogous to w

in English, being pronounced sometimes as in who, at other times

as in war, won, &c. y is a sound usually analogous to that of y in yard, yoke; but it some

times becomes quiescent, resembling the silent or anhelative nasal

ng °r, url, 'll, or eul, is a very peculiar sound, at once initial and final; it

appears to be formed from an attempted enunciation of r, prevented by the imperfection of the vocal organs. The Chinese dictionaries find it impossible to represent the sounds, giving it the names je, ye, nye, and 'e; and so it is pronounced in different provincial dialects. In the national language, the sound seems to resemble that of the almost unenunciable Sanskrit letter lri, which the learned of Bengal soften into a peculiar l.

Chinese writers, in endeavoring to follow out as far as possible the Sanskrit distinctions of sounds, have reckoned several other minute modifications, which are, however, hardly perceptible. Instead of increasing the number of the above initials, we may rather diminish them, by regarding the soft and aspirated letters, ch, chh, p, ph, &c., as essentially the same sounds, modified by the intervention of the spiritus asper. We do so accordingly in the table of the significant sounds of the Chinese language, which will be found below.

Distinctions are made in the finals, as they have been given above, by the use of four tones, which if they could be applied equally to every original sound would multiply the tonic modifications of the Janguage fourfold.

But this is not the case. Sone sounds admit but three, and some not more than one or two different intonations.

The four tones are these :-1, p’ing shing, an even or monotone ; 2, shang shing, or rising tone, uttered with force of voice; 3, k'eu shing, or departing tone, a prolonged falling tone; 4, jūh shing, or entering tone, which is short and abrupt as if suddenly recalled while yet but half uttered. These four tones are marked by the Chinese on a hand, accompanied by the following explanation in rhyme, for the purpose of assisting the memory, thus :

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上聲高呼 :! 烈強

P'ing shing, p'ing tàou mỏ të ngāng;
Sháng shũng, lãou loo má ng leề keäng ;
K'eu shing, fun ming ngāe yuên tàou;

Jủh shing, twán tsúh keih show ts'āng.
The even tone-its even path is neither high nor low;
The rising tone-it loudly calls, 'tis vehement, ardent, strong;
The declining tone-is clear, distinct, its dull, low path is long;
The entering tone-short, snatched, abrupt, is quickly treasured up.

The first European sinologues, the Romish missionaries, in adopting marks to represent the Chinese tones, employed the grave acceut to denote the shang shing, and the acute to point out the k‘eu shing. Some modern writers have reversed this order, adopting the system which is common in European books. The following are the marks Weshallemploy whenever it is necessary to represent the four tones :

1. for the p’ing shing, as in pān;
2. / for the shang shing, as in pán;
3 for the k'eù shing, as in pàn;

4. for the jūh shing, as in . Many opinions exist among the Chinese as to the precise number of tones belonging to their language. In their written language, however, only these four exist, or at least are employed to any considerable extent; we shall therefore defer any further consideration of this point until we come to speak of the oral language. Though a knowJedge of these tones is requisite in speaking, yet in writing, the Chinese do not mark them, except where a variation of tone occasions a difference of meaning too slight to be ascertained by the connexion ; and it is, therefore, thought unnecessary to introduce them, generally, into our orthography of the Chinese words,

In explaining the initial and final sounds of which Chinese words are compounded, it was necessary, in order to be perspicuous, to make considerable use of accents. But an examination of the orthography will show, that the powers of the vowels employed are pointed out by their location, except in a few instances. It is therefore needless to continue the use of accents, except over the final sounds å, ăn, ång, ě, o, where they are required as marks of distinction from a, an, ang, e, and o.

Here a difference must be observed between the use of ă alone, and that of the ă in ån and ång. The first marks the juh shing, and is considered by the Chinese as only a tonic inodification of an or ang.

The other points out a particular sound, and has no effect on the length of the syllable, which is capable of receiving any of the tones; thus-"n, hå'n, hủ'n, hih, more uniformly represented in French orthography by hen, bén, hèn, . The sound of the ă, ih, and e, is here nearly the same as that of o in money, or of the French e in de, que, &c.

The following table is mainly the same as that given in Morrison's Dictionary. In cases where an alteration of the orthography has appeared necessary, that of the Dictionary has been added in italic letters. Where alterations have appeared merely recommendable but not necessary, the orthography of the Dictionary has been retained in the first place, and the alteration added in Roman letters. All the abrupt sounds belonging to the jūh shing are considered by the Chinese merely as tonic modifications of their sounds; but in English they require a different orthography; though inserted, therefore, they are distinguished by an * The spiritus lenis prefixed to the vowel sounds, is intended to mark them as anhelative-having an inherent nasal or liquid sound, which is generally required by the present usage to remain silent. Thus, 'e is a sound formed sometimes from nge or nye, and sometimes from ye, sounds which it still occasionally retains, though good usage requires it to be pronounced simply as an English e. Wei or 'ouci, and 'oo, are syllables which still more frequently retain the nasal sound of ng. The number of syllables in Morrison's Dictionary is 411: in the following table six more have been added, but they are not almbered.


* Juh

* Cha



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* Chě


* No


* Chuě

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* Chuh

TABLE of the Chinese significant sounds, exclusive of the variation's

formed by the modulation of tones and aspirates. 'A 1 Gõ, Ngõ 48 Jow 102 Laou 158


212 'Ae, Gae Gow, Juen 103 Le 159


213 'An


Leäng 160


214 An, Gia

50 Jun 105 Leaou 161 Naou

215 'Aou 3 Han 51

Jung 106

Leě 162 Ne 216 Cha 4 Hån 52 Juy

107 * Leën 163 Neäng 217 Hang

Leih 164

Neaou 218 Chae 6

54 Kan 109


105 * Neě 219 Chan 7 Haou

110 Leu 366 Neën

220 Chang 8 He 56

Kang 111 * Leuě 167 * Neih 221 Chaon 9 Heä 57

Kång 112

Leuen 168 * Neð
Chay 10 * Heă 58 Kaou 113 Leul 169 Neu 223

Heae 59 Ke 114 Lew 170 New 224
Heäng 60 Reä 115 * Lih 171


225 Chen

61 Keă 116 Lin 72

Ning 226 * Cheih,

* Heě


Keae 117 Ling 173 No 227 14 Chih Heën 63 Keäng 118 Lo 174

228 Chin 15 Heih 64 Keaou 119 L> 175

Noo 229 Ching


120 Loo 176

Now 230 Cho


Heu 66 * Keě 121 Low 177 * Nuh 231 Choo

Heuě 67 Keën 122 Luh 178

Nun 232 Chow 19 Heuen 68* Keih 123 Lun 179 Nung

233 20 Heah 69 * Keň 124 Lung

180 Nuy 234 Chuen 21

70 Keu 125


Nwan 235 22 Heung 71* Keuě 126 Lwan


'O 236 Chun 23 Hew 72 Keuen 127 Ma 183* '

237 Chung 24 Hih 73 * Keuh 128 * Mă 184

Pa 238 Chu, Choo Hin 74 Kenn 129 Mae


Pă 239 Chay


Keung 130
Man 186


240 Chwa 26 Ho 76 Kew 131 Mang 187 Pan 241 Chwae 27 * Hỗ 7 * Kih 132 Mång 188

242 Chwang 28 Hoo 78 Kin 133 Maou 189


243 How 79

134 May,

Paou 244 'E 29 Hung 80 Ko 135

Pe 245 81 * Ko 136 Me 191 Peaou 246 Fă 30 1 Hwă

82 Koo 137 Meaou 192 Peě 247 Fan 31


83 Kow 138 * Meě 193 Peën 248 Fang 32

84 * Kuh 139 Meën 194 Pei 249 Fe or Fei 33 Hwăn

Kung 140

Mei 195 * Peih 250 Foo


Meih 196


251 * F 35 Hwằng

87 * Kwă
142 Mew 197 Pih

252 Fow 36


1431* Mih 198 Pin 253 37 Hwuh 89 Kwan 144 Mini 199


254 Fun, Fån 38

90 Kwăn 145

Ming 200


255 39 'Ih, Ġih Kwang 146 Mo 201 Po

256 Gae, Ngae 40 Jang 91 Keăng 147 ма 202 Poo

257 Gan, Ngan41

Jaou 92 Kwei 148 Moo 203 Pow 258 Găn, Ngăn42 Jay 93

149 Mow 204 Puh 259 Gang,

94 * Kwo 350 * Muh 205 Pun,pån 260 43 95 * Kwuh 151 Mun,



206 Gång,

La * Jeih, Jih 96

152 44

262 Ngång Jen 97 * Lă 153


263 Gaou, Jin 98 Lae 154


Sae 264
99 Lan 155

Na 209 San 265 Gih, Ngi 46 Jở 1010) Lang 156 * Nă 210 Săn 266 171 Joo, Jun 101 Ling

Vac 2, Sang








141 *


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* Shuh


* Seě

* Seih

Shwang 305


* Seuě

* Seuh




326 Tseuen 3:57

Saou 269 Show 299 Taou 327 Tseun 358 Wăn 385
Se 270 Shu
Te 328 Tsew 359



3110 Teaou 329 * Tsih 360


272 Shun 301



Tsin 361 Wei 389
273 Shwa 302 * Teě 331 Tsing 362


274 * Shwă 303 Teen 332 Tso 363 * W

Seěn 275 Shwae 304 * Teih 333 * Tsõ

364 Woo

Tew 334 T300 365

Seð 277 * Shwo 306 * Tih

335 Tsow 366 Wuh

Seu 278
Shwuy 307

336 Tsuh


279* Sih 308 To

337 Tsun 368 * Ya 394
Seuen 281 Sin 309 * To 338 Tsung 369

Yae 395
310 Too 339


370 Yang 396
Seun 232 So 311 Tow 340 Tswan

Yaou 397

Sew 283 * So 312 * Tså 341 Tsoan

Yay 398
Soo 313 Tsae
342 Tsze

Yě 399
Shă 285 Suw


Yen 400
Shae 286 Suh 315 Tsang 344

Tuh 373 Yew,

Shan 287 Sun


Tsăng 345 Tun 374 Yoo
Shang 288

317 Tsaou 346

Tung 375 * Yeih,
Shaou 289 Suy

318 Tse 347 Tuy 376 Yih
Shay 290 Swan,

Tseäng 348


She 291 Soạn 3 Tseaou 349



292 Sze,



Shen 293
351 Wuh,

Yui, 'U 406
Ta 321 Tseěn 352 'Ung

379 /* Yuế 407
* Tă

322 * Tseih 353 Urh 380 Yuen 408
Shin 295 Tae 323 * Tseo 354

381 Yuh 409
Shing 296 Tan 324 Tseu 355 Wă

382 Yun 410
Sho 297 Tang
325 Tseuě 356

383 Yung 411


Toz'n }372



* Shě

350 *

* Y

* Tseě



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The want of an alphabetic system (which wherever it is possessed
has been found so convenient for arrangement) renders the classifi-
cation of the Chinese characters difficult. The first method of ar-
rangement adopted was suitable only for the use of those who already
knew the names of characters, and wished to discover their significa-
tions. The characters were all arranged according to the final
sounds, in the manner of a rhyming dictionary; but it was not
enough to form many classes according to the different essential
sounds ;-a further subdivision of the same sounds according to the
tones was thought necessary,—thereby enhancing the difficulty of
finding a character without a previous knowledge of its sound. This
imperfect plan appears still to be preferred by those for whom it
would seem most inconvenient-the illiterate. The next plan,
though a little superior, was equally unfitted for those who were not
previously acquainted with the sounds of characters. It was adopt-
ed after the introduction into China of the Sanskrit arrangement of
sounds; and differed from the former system of finals in the addition
of a system of initials. Thus, instead of having to search through
the whole class of s-eën, in order to find keën, leën, or any other
word having the same final, as was before the case, dictionaries on
the new plan had a system and order of initials, so that a person
acquainted with their use could in a short time refer to the initial
columu k-, lui, representing k, l, &c., and there find the word

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