Encyclopedia of Chinese Language and Linguistics

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Dimidiation means literally ‘through the middle’ (Lat. di-midius), i.e., ‘split in half’ and linguistically refers to a kind of lexical development whereby a monosyllabic word becomes bisyllabic as a consequence of sound change. In a Chinese language history context it is sometimes called "word-splitting" (Packard 1997:10–11) and could also be called bisyllabification. The term was first used in connection with Chinese language history by P.A. Boodberg, at first only to refer to the fǎnqiè 反切 method of indicating the pronunciation of a single character by means of the…

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William G. BOLTZ, “Dimidiation”, in: Encyclopedia of Chinese Language and Linguistics, General Editor Rint Sybesma. Consulted online on 20 March 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2210-7363_ecll_COM_00000130>
First published online: 2015

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