Encyclopedia of Chinese Language and Linguistics

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Rime Change
(3,272 words)

Rime change (biànyùn 變韻) is a kind of rule-governed alternation of rimes, accompanied in some cases with change of tone or onset, that derives new words or changes the meaning of a word (there is a superordinate term, biànyīn 變音, which also covers change of tone or onset not involving a rime change). For example, in Pǔtōnghuà 普通話, gài 蓋 ‘to lid’ becomes gàir ‘lid’ through the rhotacization of its rime. There are three types of rime changes in Chinese dialects: ér rime change (ér biànyùn 兒變韻), rime change (zǐ bià…

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Tong ZHAO, “Rime Change”, in: Encyclopedia of Chinese Language and Linguistics, General Editor Rint Sybesma. Consulted online on 31 March 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2210-7363_ecll_COM_00000365>
First published online: 2015

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