Friday, January 13, is Zhou Youguang’s 101st birthday. Zhou is one of the main people behind the creation of Hanyu Pinyin. Remarkably, he did not become involved with language work until he was in his late forties — something I’ve always found a source of inspiration.
Pinyin Info has several readings by Zhou Youguang (周有光) from his book The Historical Evolution of Chinese Languages and Scripts. (The English translations are by Zhang Liqing, who has also translated an important imaginary dialogue on romanization; this will soon be featured here.)
- The Function of Phonophores (sound-bearing elements of characters)
- The Three “NOTs” of Hanyu Pinyin
- Breakup of Homophones
For more (in Mandarin), see the entry for Zhou Youguang’s 100th birthday.
Here are some of Zhou Youguang’s books: