The Sounds of the Tang Poetry (6) : From Zhiyin to Yunxue : The rise of Chinese rhyme studies

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In the last few episodes, we have learned about the tonal patterns of regulated verse and some of their cosmological underpinnings. In the next two episodes Professor Jonathan Stalling will delve further into the cultural systems that both gave rise to and later sustained these regulated verse practices for over 1500 years. In the first of these two episodes he will explore the emergence of the 知音 “zhiyin,” a community drawn together by their devotion to create and refine what came to be called 韵学 “yunxue” or “the study of rhymes” leading to the creation of rhyme books and later rhyme tables that allowed poets from across distinct dialects and regional accents the ability to compose regulated according to shared standards. Stalling will take us deep into the phonological rules of Classical Chinese rhyme studies through a unique approach because he has reorganized 8000 monosyllabic English words into "rhyme tables" by following all of the essential phonological rules present in Classical Chinese “yunxue.” This episode will be followed next week by another that build upon our knowledge of the rhyme table tradition so that we can compose and properly recite regulated verse in modern Chinese and English.


Episode 6



Recommended Citation

Stalling, J., & Cai, Z. (2022, Nov 15). The Sounds of the Tang Poetry (6): From Zhiyin to Yunxue: The rise of Chinese rhyme studies. In How to Read Chinese Poetry Videos. Hong Kong: Lingnan University. Retrieved from