‘Indo-European Vocabulary in Old Chinese’

Sino-Platonic Papers has rereleased for free Indo-European Vocabulary in Old Chinese. A New Thesis on the Emergence of Chinese Language and Civilization in the Late Neolithic Age (2.9 MB PDF), by Tsung-tung Chang of Goethe-Universität.

Here’s the table of contents:

  1. Recent developments in the field of historical linguistics
  2. Monosyllabic structure of Chinese words and Indo-European stems
  3. Tonal accents of Middle Chinese
  4. Preliminaries on the comparison of consonants and vowels
  5. Some IE stems corresponding to Chinese words of entering tone
  6. Middle Chinese tones and final consonants of IE stems
  7. Some IE stems corresponding to Chinese words of rising tone
  8. Some IE stems corresponding to Chinese words of vanishing tone
  9. Some IE stems corresponding to Chinese words of level tone
  10. Reconstruction of Middle Chinese vocalism according to Yün-ching
  11. Old Chinese vocalism
  12. Vocalic correspondences between Chinese and IE
  13. Initials of Old Chinese
  14. Initial consonant clusters in Old Chinese as seen from IE-stems
  15. Proximity of Chinese to Germanic
  16. Relation of Old Chinese to neighboring languages
  17. Emergence of Chinese Empire and language in the middle of the third millennium B.C.


  • Abbrevations
  • Bibliography
  • Rhyme Tables of Early Middle Chinese (600)
  • Rhyme Tables of Early Mandarin (1300)
  • Word Index
    • English
    • Pinyin

This was first published in January 1988 as issue no. 7 of the journal.

2 thoughts on “‘Indo-European Vocabulary in Old Chinese’

  1. Fascinating hypothesis and excellent analysis. This theory is not more popular or widely accepted in part because the Chinese Communist Party line is that ancient Chinese civilization, unlike any other civilization in the world, arose independently with no outside influence or connections, because they fear that admitting such would somehow make Chinese culture less superior and unique. Among Western academics, there is a tendency to downplay or ignore ancient connections between the West and elsewhere for politically correct reasons, using the same reasoning as the CCP but from the opposite perspective. Both viewpoints are irrational, because connection and influence in no way undermine a culture’s uniqueness and special character. Such links actually illustrate these qualities.

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