Jul 17, 2010 © Ulrich Theobald
Tangyun 唐韻 "Rhyme [dictionary] from the Tang dynasty 唐 (618-907)" is a revision and extension of the Sui-period 隋 (581-618) dictionary Qieyun 切韻. The characters are arranged according to pronunciation, in rhyme groups. It was compiled during the Tang period during the 730s by Sun Mian 孫愐 (c. 750), and submitted to the court and adopted as official dictionary.
The book is lost but it is known that it had a length of 5 juanand that characters were arranged according to 195 rhyme groups.
Compared to the Qieyun, the Tangyun was a lot more concrete in the field of explaining the characters' meaning and shape, and had thus a better quality as a real "dictionary" in the modern sense. In 1908, a Tang-period manuscript fragment of the Tangyun was discovered in Beijing by Jiang Fu 蔣斧. Scholars do not have a common sense about this fragment, some say it is a part of a preface of the Guangyun 廣韻, quoting from the Tangyun, other interpret it as an enlarged version of the Tangyun because it contains more rhyme groups than the original, perhaps as many as 204, which is the number of rhyme groups adopted as standard after the compilation of the Guangyun.
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