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What did Old Chinese prose sound like? Supported by digital texts, modern technologies and historical linguistics, Chinese Euphonics is a deep dive into the types of sound patterns that occur throughout the earliest corpora of narrative texts in the Chinese canon: the Western Zhou bronze inscriptions, the Classic of Documents《尚書》, the Zuo Commentary to the Spring and Autumn Annals《春秋左傳》and the Discourses of the States《國語》.
Tharsen demonstrates how sound patterns in the speeches preserved in these foundational texts functioned in concert with form and meaning to create a "phonorhetoric," a tactic employed by some of the most eminent figures from Chinese antiquity to beautify and strengthen their arguments and ideas by making use of extensive phonological patterning and the power of sound.
Containing both a broad history of the study of prose rhyming and a wealth of new evidence, Chinese Euphonics lays the groundwork for a new and more comprehensive approach to the study of early Chinese texts.
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