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The linguistic ideas of Edward Harper Parker.


Edward Harper Parker (1849-1926) was a remarkable scholar whose work is now quite forgotten. He is best known as a British historian of China from the era of Herbert Giles (1845-1935), that is to say, from the last third of Queen Victoria's reign to the period between the World Wars. Parker and Giles were easily the most influential writers of their time in introducing Chinese culture to the English-speaking world. If they were not properly historians according to today's fashion, they were at any rate history writers of great influence in their day. And even if that day was the zenith of meddling by the European world in the political affairs of East and South Asia, it would be foolish to condemn the leading men of that time automatically and without open-minded examination. Philip Marshall, evaluating the contributions to Chinese history of both Parker and Giles, writes of an "unmistakably positive thrust in the works of Giles and Parker that played such an important role in the West's appreciation of China and the Chinese" (1984: 538).

In his day, Parker was known to the foreign community in China as an indefatigable worker and one of the most knowledgeable of non-Chinese about the Chinese language. A British consular official, he left a great many books and articles on Chinese history, economics, and foreign relations. He read Chinese constantly, and seems to have had an insatiable appetite for miscellaneous facts. He took a number of long trips in southern and western China and published travelogues about his experiences, which (since he apparently spoke excellent Chinese and was unquenchably curious about the details of the world around him) are still informative today. In the backs of certain journals one finds page after page crammed with his random jottings on every conceivable Chinese subject - and many of the early columns were evidently unsigned. In 1899 he remarked that he had been at this for "a full quarter century" (1899d: 92). He published notes on the Hmong and Loi languages (1892b and c), articles on the regional names of various plants, a long review of Maa Jiannjong's (1845-1900) Chinese grammar, lists of Hakka sayings and popular songs (shan'ge), and even a whole series of (not very good) rhymed English translations of classical poetry. He translated extensively from ancient and modern Chinese histories. But the most distinctive and least appreciated element of Parker's frabjous intellectual life and personality was his research on Chinese dialectology, which is the subject of this paper.


I have been able to find only very sketchy information about Parker's life. The two best sources are Werner (1926) and Who Was Who (1929). Parker was from Liverpool. His mother died when he was eleven. His father was a "surgeon" - in the parlance of the day, a kind of manual tradesman, of considerably lower standing than a "physician." Parker studied just a year of Chinese in London under the eminent James Summers (1828-91) and then went, at the age of twenty, to work in Peking as Student Interpreter for the British Consular Service in 1869. He lived in China from then until his retirement in 1895, apart from stays in England and Canada in 1875-77 when he studied law, and in 1882 when he was called to the Bar. Over his several decades in the consular service in China he served in more than a dozen Chinese cities as well as in Korea, and was involved as an advisor to his Government in Burma on what were apparently intelligence matters involving China. Parker must have enjoyed a fairly strenuous life: in addition to his travels, he lived in Szechwan for a year, and in Hainan for two. According to one of his obituaries he had a Chinese wife - a very rare thing among Chinahands in his day. I have been able to find no information about her, though since he has so much Hakka material - popular sayings, shan'ge (1881 a, 1882e, 1883b), family histories - perhaps she was Hakka, without bound feet? Like "squaw men" in every society he had a reputation for special familiarity with his wife's culture, and his linguistic expertise was no doubt a part of that; I suppose he must have spoken Chinese at home with his wife. After his return to Liverpool he was appointed Reader in Chinese at University College there, and in 1901 he additionally became Professor of Chinese at Victoria University in Manchester. Parker had a daughter, Mary, who seems to have been living alone with or near him in Liverpool at the time of his death.

Edward Werner remembered Parker as being "of medium stature, fairly stout, broad-chested, and with rather large blue eyes" (1926: ii). Parker's recreations were listed in Who Was Who as travelling and walking, which I find fitting and in keeping with the image of the man as something of an explorer, a man with great curiosity. Philip Marshall describes him, based on a photograph taken at the age of 70, as "a much milder looking individual" than the "naturally combative" Giles (1984: 525). He presented a famously cantankerous public face, but in that he was no different from many other ferocious scholars of his time - one thinks of the "bare knuckles and rolled-up sleeves" of Julien, Schlegel, Pelliot, Karlgren (Coblin 1989: 314). Imperialism bred imperious men. From his writing style one can guess that Parker must have been sarcastic and energetic, and evidently it was out of this ebullience that he chose Juangtzyy's surname for himself at the very beginning of his career (1886b: 51).

Parker expent much gleeful energy on his feud with Giles. In the years after the publication of Giles' dictionary, the pages of the China Review were filled with notes on errata for it. Many of these were submitted by Parker, but there are also lengthy notes by Erwin von Zach (1872-1942) and by some of Giles' original assistants. Parker's criticisms, however, went far beyond those of the others, and were the cause of the falling out between the two men. It was Parker who insisted on pointing out ad nauseam the endless material that Giles had lifted wholesale from Williams' 1874 dictionary, not even correcting many of Williams' errors and omissions. And Parker's errata, in particular, which appeared in his regular column at the end of the bi-monthly China Review, were hardly offered in the spirit of gentle correction. Marshall has not quite got the right word when he talks about Parker's "vitriolic attacks on the works of his fellow Sinologists" (1984: 525); it was not so much a matter of vitriol as of ostentatious haughtiness and playful scorn, in the heady tradition of the day. Here is a small sample of his winning style:

It is easy, in surveying Giles' Dictionary, to indicate many of the books the authors have not read; and indeed it would not be difficult to indicate those (not very many beyond the classics) they have read. (1894: 54)

I observe that Mr. Giles has come to terrible grief over the character . . . The reason evidently is that he has confused it with . . . But he has gone further. He has suppressed all the dialect sounds which I gave for the character and referred his readers to the totally different sound . . . . This is another instance of how lexicographers go on copying each other's mistakes. . . . Mr. Giles has no excuse as Kang-hi is perfectly plain. (1896: 558)

Since Mr. Giles has drawn attention to his own many virtues, I have been giving him a fair chance, but I find there is no use my going to Giles [' dictionary] for anything new. (1897: 740)

. . . A thorough knowledge of Chinese etymology (which Giles does not possess) is in any case necessary before K'ang-hi can be cited. (1898b: 173)

Giles' Dictionary is the last place to look for any intelligent explanation of. . . . (1898b: 176)

I have a few remarks to make on some of the Sir-Oracle utterances of the soi-disant Pope of Sinology. . . . (1899b: 280)

[Giles] places me on a level with himself, as an "obfuscator of origins," and a "suppressor of evidences." (1899c: 83)

Mr. Giles, who catches at any straw in order to support his absurd theory about the forgery of Lao-tsz's classic and personal history, argues that. . . . (1908: 174)

For his part, Giles wrote contemptuously of Parker's linguistic ability in such essays as "Critical Notes on some Translations from the Chinese by Mr. Parker" (1886) and "Mr. Parker as a Translator" (1896). But nothing in Giles' derisive public writings can match Parker's droll badgering - his acerbity was often eclipsed by his insolent sarcasm. Those were truly the great days of sinology, were they not? It is a pity that no one reads entertaining passages like these any more:

Giles' Dictionary affords endless sport to the merry, and we may look forward to many a long year of sparring yet. I find it quite a mental relief, after the serious studies of the day, to indulge in a little Giles-baiting. It is all the more agreeable, in that I know it can never do any harm; in pachydermatousness Mr. Giles would give points to a hippopotamus, if not indeed to a rhinoceros; and there is not more danger of my fine shafts wounding his grizzly hide than there is of a dum-dum bullet piercing the latter pachyderm's skin. I am glad to see "the boys" are waking up to the discussion. Mr. E. H. Fraser is not exactly a foeman worthy of my vainglorious steel, and in any case I can't be bothered hunting up his references and arguing with him; but I welcome him into the arena, if only for the purpose of airing views, and putting some life into sinology: moreover, I will answer anything, the issues of which are clearly defined, without referring me back to previous issues. Just as old China is being badgered by shrimp-like nibbles at Kiao Chow, Kwang-chou Wan, Port Arthur, &c., so is the rudis indigestaque moles of Giles' Dictionary being mercilessly gnawed at by the pigmies of sinology such as myself. If the basis is Williams[' dictionary]; if the dialects and introduction are mine; if the tables are [George] Playfair[']s [(1850-1917)]; and if the "authorities" are Mr. E. H. Fraser, the question will arise during the next generation "did Mr. Giles really do anything except purchase the paper and select the printing ink?" (1898a: 48)

. . . I should be grateful to Mr. Giles . . . if he would constitute himself my annotator and commentator in general . . . giving me, after my 17 years of study, a respectably prominent place in his Chamber of Horrors, along with such excellent company as those murderers of the Chinese language [Samuel] Beal [(1825-89)], [John] Chalmers [(1825-99)], [James] Legge [(181597)], [Thomas] Watters [(1840-1901)], &c. (1886b: 51)

Stanislaus Julien [(1797-1873)] and [Guilliaume] Pauthier [(1801-73)] made equal fools of themselves by their bloodthirsty and spiteful onslaughts upon each other, though every one can now see that Julien was the better sinological man of the two. In the same way Giles has always cut a bad figure by the execrable taste of his attacks on Beal, [Frederic] Bal[f]our, myself, [James] Lockhart [(1858-1937)], &c., and that is why I occasionally amuse myself by teasing him a little. As a matter of fact, I am well aware that Giles, with all his faults, has a sneaking respect for me, in fact, he once wrote to me to propose a truce, adding that he and I together could stand against the whole world; to which I replied "Just so; but we can do it without your assistance." Both Mr. Giles and Mr. Fraser would pull a wry face if I got them into a corner far away from dictionaries and "teachers," and said "Now then, read that aloud; pronounce every word correctly in any dialect you take of your own choosing, give me a literal written translation on the spot, and tell me where literary points originally hail from." (1898b: 173)

Giles' Dictionary is only for beginners (except, of course, my part of it). (1898b: 176)

In order to read the classics, 24 histories, and in a word, all sane Chinese literature, only about 12,000 characters are required: the remaining 28,000 are practically repetitions, duplicate forms, or rubbish. Now, Giles and Williams both give about 12,000; but (a big But) both of them give 1,000 useless ones, and fail to give 1,000 necessary ones. I hope to reward patient students soon by giving a list of "Giles' droppings," or omitted words of universal value. (1899c: 82)

I quote all this insolence not merely out of fun, but because Parker's rambunctious personality is the key to understanding his serious linguistic work and the neglect it has suffered.


Parker's modern reputation as a linguist appears to have been permanently determined by the contemptuous drubbing he received from Bernhard Karlgren - surely no slouch at the game of smearing one's opponents and predecessors - in the Introduction to Karlgren's Etudes:

. . . de toutes les descriptions incorrectes de dialectes chinois publiees jusqu'ici, les plus pretentieuses et, par consequent, les plus fallacieuses, sont celles qu'a faites M. Parker pour douze dialects . . . placees sous les differents caracteres du grand dictionnaire de Giles. (1915-24: 13-14)

This refers to one of the most unusual features of Giles' dictionary, one that still catches the eye even today - several thousand of the characters have readings listed in some eight different dialects, as well as the Sino-Xenic reading traditions. These readings were all taken from Parker's notes, though evidently with many typographical errors. In the original 1892 edition of the dictionary, Parker's contribution was acknowledged with praise in Giles' own preface, and Parker himself wrote a "Philological Essay" of thirty-three densely typeset pages on matters of historical phonology and comparative dialectology, and the interplay between them. That edition is much harder to find today than the corrected and enlarged 1912 edition, from which (after their feud) Giles cleanly expunged the "Philological Essay" and all references to Parker; the dialect forms themselves, which were retained in largely uncorrected form, became anonymous. This body of material represents Parker's largest known corpus of dialect data, but it is not at all easy to evaluate today because we do not have it in the corrected form that Parker intended. It is therefore natural for people to accept Karlgren's assessment of Parker. The late Paul Yang went to the trouble, in one of his bibliographies, of attributing the Giles dialect material to Parker, then immediately referred the reader to Karlgren "for evaluation and criticism" (1981: 38, no. 516).

Karlgren had two main complaints about Parker's work. First, he considered him a hack dialectologist, and listed example after example in which Parker's forms were either wrong or improbable - and no doubt many of them were wrong; Parker himself published corrections to any number of them in his notes in the late 1890s, often claiming that they were the result of sloppy copying work by Giles, even though early on he had said he thought that "thanks to the scrupulous care of the revisor . . . these misprints are comparatively rare" (1893: 327). To be fair, Parker was not too proud to suggest that some of the mistakes might have been his own (e.g., 1896: 558). Karlgren's master, Pelliot, also noted this fact in his even-handed necrology of Parker (1926: 303). Not only was Parker himself probably sloppier than a fieldworker can afford to be, but one sees today what poor sinological proofreading was done at the Chinese printing houses of the day.

Karlgren, further, tore into Parker's system of transcription on the grounds that it was naive and inconsistent. Parker had inherited from Samuel Wells Williams (1812-84) the program of working out a single system of universal orthography for all Chinese dialects, based on empirical experience of individual dialects (see Branner 1997). Apparently neither Williams nor Parker ever had much formal training in phonetics, but they had good ears, generally good sense, and unfailing enthusiasm. Parker's system of transcription, like Williams', was continuously in flux, and it was generally presented as a table of universal Chinese orthography that was updated with each successive dialect described. Parker's actual dialect surveys were only published in brief, usually as syllabaries (beginning in 1875 and followed by 1880a-c, 1881b-d, and 1884b), but he always appended comparative tables of phonetics and also of tonal values. (Unfortunately, he did not try to describe the phonetic values of the tone contours; he merely noted which dialects used the same contours for which categories. Parker's 1888 and 1889 essays offer more detailed views on tone in general, with reference to the relations between the tonal systems of Chinese and of Vietnamese, Thai, Burmese, and Shan.) His breezy approach to phonetics seems to have enraged Karlgren, who took pride in his own finely machined phonetic representations and his knowledge of oral physiology.

These men lived in completely different academic worlds - Karlgren in the sophisticated French-speaking world of continental sinology, Parker in rough-and-tumble British China, populated with missionaries, civil servants, and merchants. Parker had had only a year of higher education before leaving for China, and his law degree must have smacked of tradesmanship. One can only guess how his marriage to a Chinese woman must have looked to class-conscious Europeans in his day. Karlgren, who had already published scholarly works as a teenager, studied with Pelliot in Paris and went on to lead Sweden's premier Asian research organization, holding a high place in Swedish society; Parker ended up associated with unprestigious universities in England's industrial north (see Marshall 1984:525 n. 24). Karlgren, a grave and dignified gentleman who once put on a false beard rather than appear in his own recognizable face to accept a prize for a pseudonymous novel, clearly could not bear Parker's whole mode of "pretentious" scholarship. And certainly Parker's approach was at times haphazard.

Parker's "Philological Essay" was written in a far more casual tone than anything of Karlgren's - but as a popular description of the issues of this field it is really quite a good job. In order to illustrate dialect differences and their relations to historical phonological categories, Parker took as his vehicle a short piece of text for translation into a group of different dialects. Unlike Williams, who had used an imperial edict for this purpose, Parker began this essay with the "Song of Sorrow" (the "Beichour Ge"), a simple Western Hann poem about the suffering of the Chinese princess Liou Shihjiun in a foreign land. He wrote out this poem in fifteen different transcriptions: in a reconstructed ancient pronunciation (quite pretty and no doubt infinitely less precise than Karlgren's), in Sino-Korean, Sino-Vietnamese, Cantonese, Hakka, two varieties of Amoy (colloquial and literary), Foochow, Wenchow, Ningpo, two varieties of Sino-Japanese (kan'on and go'on), Pekingese, Hankow, and Yangchow. With each new translation of the poem he pointed out special features of the dialect under discussion, and in a loose way described the progression from most to least linguistically conservative. He went on to discuss issues of Chinese orthography, dialect phonetics, categories in historical phonology, and finally to present the last published version of his comparative orthographic table. To Karlgren all this was pathetic - Parker's "Song of Sorrow" was one of the pseudointellectual works of the pre-Karlgrenian period that he dismissed as "arbitraires, peu methodiques et inadmissibles." It was "un exemple charmant de ce dilettantisme sans valeur scientifique" (1915-24: 8).

Parker has not been taken seriously as a linguist since Karlgren's time. The purpose of the remainder of this paper is to rehabilitate his reputation, on the basis of two things: his ideas on dialectology and the accuracy of his fieldwork.


As for the first matter, Karlgren was surely not able to understand Parker's ideas - his own great intellectual bequest to us has been the idea that the purpose of dialect comparison in Chinese is the creation of a reconstruction, to be used as a kind of speculum in philological work. Parker's ideas on dialectology were characteristically his own, and seem to have favored comparativism for its own sake: that is, the web of relations between dialects themselves rather than the individual lines of descent between each dialect and the philologically attested "ancestor" language. In the 1870s and 1880s, while Joseph Edkins was advancing ever more elaborate theories about the common origin of Chinese and Aryan, and while Albert-Etienne Terrien de Lacouperie (fl. 1867-94) was claiming to show how Chinese was derived from Babylonian, Parker was wandering around China collecting data and evidently letting the data speak to him. He did occasionally dabble in some of the long-range comparisons that were so popular in his era (see, for instance, his own Sino-Aryan study of 1883a and his 1887 exposition of the "common origins" of Chinese and Japanese), but in general he was very skeptical of grand "Tower of Babel" theories. (Today the writings of Edkins and Terrien are recognized models for how not to practice comparativism.) Parker even gives the impression - mistakenly, I believe - of having certain idealist, anti-scholarly leanings:

There being . . . only 4,000 "dialect-fahig" characters, and all native dictionaries having necessarily been originally made from dialects, it is plain that 36,000 characters are of minimum value in any popular etymological sense; and therefore only 4,000 are of real value for comparative and historical purposes. The rest are merely the fancies of native prigs and pedants, in many cases. It is only by thus collecting living evidence that we can procure a basis of comparison on which to work in endeavouring to trace back older sounds. Dr. Edkins has done much very illustrious work on living matter; but the whole of his "old sound" theory becomes absurd, on the simple reflection that, with all our European appliances and home-knowledge, we cannot fit even our own language, with analogous "old sounds." How much less Chinese, the very modern forms of which we are only just beginning to discover. Besides that[,] his ideas on the subject of evidence, relevancy, and "issues" are most primitive. Moreover, instead of working back from definite evidence, Dr. Edkins in effect starts with the assumption that Chinese dates back to the common language of the Tower of Babel, and tries to force all facts to fit in with that theory. The idea appears to be that a Chinaman, having cleared the successive dangers of the Tower and of the Ark, trotted off with his carrying pole from Western Asia to Shen Si, carrying his wife in one basket and a stock of Accadian myths and "old sounds" in the other. Having successfully run the gauntlet of the Huns, he settled and made things fairly lively for his wife, who soon covered Shen Si with a rabbit-like brood of young Johns. Meanwhile John himself was actively sowing seed in the way of Accadian myths, tones, aspirates, &c., all over Shen Si, the young fledged Johns and Joans working their way gradually into Shan Si and Ho Nan. The final Clown and Harlequin transformation occurs in 1898, when the Russian Bear, British Lion, French Cock, American Eagle, and German Mailed Fist enter upon the stage. (1899c: 83-84)

This passage consists first of general objections to Edkins' "Old Sounds" reconstructions, followed by a farcical description of how Edkins must imagine Chinese to have derived from Accadian, followed by a cynical jab at Western territorial acquisitiveness in China. The last two sections are so flippant that they greatly diminish the weight of the first section; one easily imagines Parker advocating the view that linguistic history cannot be known. But he is not. Parker is actually making a serious point: given that our written sources furnish exaggeratedly detailed and hence unrealistic evidence about language, only living language is a sound basis for reconstruction. Given that our knowledge of historical linguistic processes is very limited even for our own language, we ought to be concentrating on the comparison of living dialect forms of Chinese. Whatever its appearances, this is no weak-minded evasion of strenuous work in philology; it is in fact a hard-nosed argument for comparativism and for the primacy of verifiable evidence. Stripped of its facetious air, Parker's argument can still be leveled seriously against Bernhard Karlgren or against any of the many modern linguists whose reconstruction "tries to force all facts to fit in with [some] theory."

For Parker had a clear understanding of the difference between book-readings and living language, and the soundest respect for the difference between evidence gathered in the field and evidence derived from prescriptive philological sources. It is not too much to say that this attitude was extinct in Chinese linguistics until the 1960s, by which time Parker had been long forgotten. He himself used an asterisk to indicate data of whose accuracy he was uncertain or which he had himself reconstructed for individual dialects, instead of eliciting it from informants. He viewed these as two completely different kinds of information, and was greatly annoyed with Giles for removing the symbols distinguishing them:

Wherever I give any dialect sound. I have had natives to give it me: in no case do I accept any dictionary or other authority. All my work is original and first-hand. (1899a: 222)

Now, (as I suspect few persons read, and fewer understand, my Introduction to Giles), I must here repeat that I give no dialect forms unless I have myself heard them; compared them (with European dialect-authors such as Williams, Baldwin, &c.); and thoroughly checked them. Where I say "see" I mean that all dialect forms are exactly as in the case of. . . .

Of the 6,000 or more usable characters which are beyond the ken of dialect, I myself know most, and I know their algebraical value: i.e., I know what they ought to be in all my eight Chinese dialects; but, as native dialect speakers are usually ignorant of them, of course I cannot know the actual dialect forms, for even a native has to accept the theoretical dictionary form. I therefore marked these with an asterisk; and it would have been very useful to students, taking me and my individual knowledge as a test or standard, to know precisely. negatively, what I did not know, and what therefore could not be found out by any one else except very slowly and gradually.

In informing me, at the last moment, that he required an asterisk for his own use, Giles promised me to try and find me some other mark for the above purpose; but (I now being far away from consultation in Burma) he ultimately failed to do so. . . . Whatever his motives, however, he has anyhow in fact failed to adopt my frank method, which, throughout, has been to furnish the public with all my own evidence, leaving it to draw its own conclusions. (1899c: 82-83)

Again, more concretely:

. . . The Yangchow form [of] is ts'ae; the Foochow ch'a, ch'o; the Cantonese ts'o. I have no record of the Hakka and Wenchow forms. It must be remembered that no dialect forms for rare words are given unless a native has actually uttered them in my own hearing, and undergone a cross-examination if necessary. (1895b: 349)

Parker had a distinct distrust of traditional Chinese (and foreign) written phonological sources from early in his career. A pseudonymous essay in 1877 discussed the fact that all the dialects to which he had access gave readings for the character sha/chah that were incompatible with the Kangshi Dictionary. He concluded:

In each case the dictum of the Dictionaries, general and local, is wholly or partly gainsaid. (1877: 139)

And this was an idea to which he returned many times in his career:

It must be remembered that I recognise no authority whatever. My sole evidence is natives, pronouncing in a natural way, subject to my cross-examination. Also, in the examples I give, I recognize no dictionary and no "scholar." Unless I myself find a phrase in the course of my own reading, and see from the context what it means, it has no permanent existence for me; it remains in suspension until I prove it for myself. My attitude is Johnsonian pure and simple. (1899a: 229) [The reference is probably to Samuel Johnson's Dictionary.]

Students of Chinese, who have accustomed themselves to the use of K'ang Hi's Dictionary, will recall the frequent disappoints which have often followed their attempts to search out a Chinese character unknown to them. If the student has chosen the Pekingese dialect, he will be puzzled at finding the terminal vowel, (whether it be alone, or followed by an n or an ng), different, in practice, from that which the printed example given in K'ang Hi would lead him to suppose it should be. Precisely the same thing occurs to him in the case of the initials, whether vowels or consonants. . . . Again, in the case of words of the entering tone class, which in Pekingese are distributed amongst the even, rising, and falling tones, he finds that K'ang Hi is no guide whatever. . . . With a student of Cantonese, difficulties in the matter of initials will be found less frequent; but the system of K'ang Hi will prove quite inadequate to produce the Cantonese finals k, p, and t, in their proper places, in the case of words of the entering tone class. . . . Further, the Dictionary of K'ang Hi is useless to determine the important "middle" entering tone of the Cantonese dialect, which, though as plain and as regular as either the upper or lower entering tones, has, apparently, been only recently discovered. . . . Both with regard to Pekingese and Cantonese, the student will often be puzzled to find the rising and falling tones indicated by K'ang Hi at hopeless variance with established fact. The above remarks will apply no doubt, in general principle, to all other dialects. (1878a: 386-87)

The Kangshi Dictionary is, of course, not intended to give accurate modern readings: its faanchieh sound glosses are taken uncritically from much older books. Nevertheless, those sound glosses were considered canonical for the longest time, and there is evidence that they themselves may have been the source of certain learned readings in modern Chinese (see Chao 1961 [1976]: 75-76). Here is another interesting example:

The character [mann] is an instance of how lexicographers go blundering one after the other age after age. There is not a single dialect in which it is pronounced otherwise than as [mann] (whether sinking or even [i.e., chiuhsheng or pyngsheng), and yet Giles' Dictionary imitates Williams in calling it as [wann], simply because K'ang-hi started the mistake. K'ang-hi is not wrong in putting the initial as [wuu], for it will be found that even with him this often represents a good m: his mistake lies in putting [wann] instead of [mann], and probably a Cantonese was responsible for it, for in Cantonese there is no difference in sound between [wann] and [mann]. In the sense of 'creeper', 'to creep', the character is colloquial, and accordingly the Pekingese man' p'a-cho, the Hakka man, the Ningpo maan, the Yangchow maa, the Wenchow ma, the Foochow mang. In not one single instance is there a sound corresponding to [wann]. True, Baldwin's Foochow Dictionary gives two sounds, but natives do not support him: it is a mere copied repetition of others' error. Fortunately in Giles' Dictionary my reference to the char[a]cter [mann] has been faithfully preserved, and students will please remember that this character belongs, to the man (not mwan) class, and not to the wan class. In every dialect it corresponds in sound strictly with [mann]. (1895b: 348)

Actually, the underlying morpheme of Peking guawall "tendril of a melon vine" and parwall "to put forth tendrils" does appear to be *wann, although it is attested only in its diminutive rhotacized form and only as a noun, and only in Peking dialect. Parker was wrong about this particular case because he lacked a certain single piece of data, but all the same his explanation epitomizes a robust attitude toward empirical evidence. Another example of this attitude is his intention to make details about his informants public:

Giles has also omitted my carefully-elaborated acknowledgments to my Canton, Foochow, Ningpo, Wenchow, Yangchow, Hakka, and other native teachers; also my account of their individual capacities; of their "records"; of the way I went about it, &c., &c. . . . My desire was not to pose as a self-inspired dialect man, but to render permanent service to the public; to explain precisely why I took up dialects; what I owed to others; how far each "other" could be believed; how I had checked him, and so forth. By eliminating my asterisk (frankly acknowledging, as that asterisk did, the limits of my lore), and my acknowledgments (frankly acknowledging as they did my indebtedness to natives, to Williams, Baldwin, &c.), Mr. Giles not only destroys and leaves in doubt respectively the extremely personal character and the origin of my Introduction, (which ought to have borne my name at the head, or at the end, or both); but he leaves the public in doubt as to how I got my information. (1899c: 83)

Parker's consciousness of the diversity of dialects led him to distrust the postulated uniformity of any ancient system, and also to eschew wild reconstructions. In his main essay on this subject he wrote:

The present existence of so many dialects in China, despite the centralising nature of the educational and official systems, and the tendency which the written character must have had and still has in the direction of unifying speech, renders it extremely improbable that the Chinese . . . were [in ancient times] more uniform in their language than they are now. (1883a: 498)

No man in these enquiring times can literally accept the Noah's Ark and Tower of Babel solution of philology. . . . (1883a: 499)

The present writer is by no means indifferent to the meretricious charms of the deductive method [i.e., reconstruction], and having thus had his say from the cathedra . . . now proceeds to don the garlands; handle the pipe, and to caper about with the pleasure-seekers of the period. (1883a: 502)

He then proceeded to propose that Indo-European clusters made up of a dental stop plus r corresponded to common Chinese aspirated dental stops or alveolar affricates, and appended a list of twenty-eight examples (1883a: 506). This is an interesting idea, and if it is wrong, at least it is thoroughly supported. If he was not much interested in reconstruction and "old sounds," he nevertheless knew his Chinese formal phonology, and he was not lulled by the use of romanization to forget the basic Chinese phonological rules and correspondences that operated across the dialects. For example:

It is difficult to understand why a certain number of yih [i.e., words of ruhsheng origin pronounced i in Mandarin] are included by Mr. Giles under [the spelling] i, whilst others fall under [the spelling] yi. The fact is, there is only one principle, and that is the one followed by Williams: the true yih become [i.e., correspond to] yet, yik, yep, and so on, in the South; whilst the true i remain i and ei in the South. As Mr. Giles' version of Williams is based on Pekingese, where all are i, it is misleading to have two divisions: either all should be yi, or all i, there being no practical distinction in Peking. Mr. Giles has never got to the bottom-rock of Chinese etymology. (1897: 741)

For reference to the native Chinese formal system he used mainly the Kangshi tzyhdean and, especially, the Peywen yunnfuu, which if of late date is nonetheless superior to the rime tables in that it assigns each and every character explicitly to a place in the formal system. Parker called this system the "theoretical standard" of Chinese, recognizing what he called the "algebraical" rather than the absolute phonetic value of each character in the system - an idea far in advance of Karlgren's Schleicher-inspired world-view, with its intense emphasis on phonetic realism and its rigid concept of genetic descent.

We still know very little about how Parker actually collected his data, or when or why he moved away from dialectology and devoted himself wholly to Central Asian and Chinese history. Dialectology occupied him mainly at the beginning of his career. His earliest signed essay was his 1875 notes on Hankow, and by 1884 he had published the last of his Chinese syllabaries and began exploring broader linguistic issues. It may be that after his marriage (the date of which is unknown) he took to a more sedentary life, to which the reading of history was better suited. Or it may he that he had had a limited program of dialect research and stopped when it was done. Or it may be that he ceased his dialect work after the death in 1884 of Wells Williams, whose ideas on universal spelling and the methodology of dialect study evidently influenced him a good deal. Or it may be that his growing responsibilities in the Consulate precluded long field trips. As to how he collected his data, there are suggestions in the following announcement:

The undersigned possesses copies of Sir Thomas Wade's colloquial course [(1859)] done under his own superintendence by natives of each place in the dialect of Canton, Foochow, Wenchow, and Hakka. In the three first cases the copies are double, consisting of a first copy full of notes and memoranda, and a second of clean and improved version. As he does not purpose to concern himself further with the study of Chinese dialects, he is willing to present the above severally to any student of each respective dialect who shall make application, and who shall satisfy him that good use will be made of the work. In the event of there being many applications, the undersigned reserves a choosing discretion to himself, and a decision will be given on the 1st of October, 1893. (1893b: 394)

His method, then, included the study of grammar by the use of a Mandarin textbook translated into dialect and then scrupulously corrected. (Why did he not have two copies of the Hakka book - did he keep the "clean and improved version" because it was his wife's language?) It also appears from this passage that Parker's work on Giles' dictionary (beginning in 1890, according to 1899a: 221) was his last project in dialectology, and evidently he had already ceased actual fieldwork well before this. Not much is known about the collaboration, but there are stray remarks in Parker's writings. And it seems clear that his survey list also included the four thousand or so most common characters in the Peywen yunnfuu, as well as words and ideas that would elicit more colloquial language.

Early in his career Parker published a few papers on matters of phonetics, among which should be mentioned his essay on Foochow tone and vowel sandhi (1878c) and discussion of the phonetics of the Peking finals [Unknown Text Omitted] and [Unknown Text Omitted] (1879a).

Parker's most important linguistic work, which to my knowledge has been almost completely neglected, is his notes on characterless words found across various dialects (1878d, 1880d, 1881b: 117-18). Since these words had no known characters associated with them (no characters known to Parker and his informants, anyway), their very identification as words in Common Chinese could only be done comparatively. This was a major step in Chinese dialectology, and Parker was fifty or a hundred years ahead of his time, practicing real comparative dialectology of unwritten languages. He wrote:

The real points of interest in the comparison of dialects are two: the regular and systematic changes which words represented by characters have undergone in each dialect; and the characterless words which are to be found in each. (1878d: 22)

This is a profoundly modern view. As an illustration, in table 1 (at the end of this paper), I have selected examples from Parker's essays of 1880d and 1881b. I have limited my choices to Cantonese and Hakka words, for which he provides the greatest number of parallel forms, and I have alphabetized them roughly by initial. His original tables also included Peking, Hankow, Foochow, and his eastern Szechwan notes. It should be noted that he identified at least one characterless word across all of his dialects: he recorded "to drain or strain off" as "pi" in Peking, Hankow, and Hakka, "pei" in Canton and Foochow, and "pi" in "East Sz Ch'uan" (1881b: 117). The Szechwan form is apparently not completely comparable to the Hankow, Canton, Foochow, and Hakka forms, and the Peking form could be comparable to either Szechwan alone or the others. There is a character [bih.sub.[China]]/[bii.sub.[Taiwan]] "to strain off" that can account for the Peking and Szechwan forms, and characters bih and bih "to cover, conceal" that can probably account for most of the forms other than Szechwan; but this does not alter the fact that Parker discovered the form based purely on comparative principles. The same holds for the other correspondences given below - whether or not canonical or arguably etymological characters can he found for them. Parker discovered these correspondences as correspondences, not as character readings.

It is clear that Parker did not yet understand how to construct a full and rigorous correspondence set; some of his equivalences are haphazard, and even those that are plausible today are not attested by all the necessary collateral evidence. Still, the fact is unchangeable that he discovered each of these correspondences as correspondences, not as the readings for characters that he had shown to his informants. This is comparative dialectology of a form still rarely practiced (or for that matter even understood) in Chinese, even today. It was a major intellectual advance in the field, and (with the exception of a cautious but favorable review in 1879 by the Foochow missionary Caleb Baldwin) it has been ignored until this day.


I said that my purposes in this paper were to rehabilitate Parker's ideas, but also to evaluate Karlgren's charge that Parker was an incompetent fieldworker. Too much of the Giles dialect material is of uncertain authenticity for us to rely on it for this purpose. Parker noted a number of misprints in his dialect forms, but I suppose he must have found them the same way he found so many misprints in the rest of Giles - haphazardly, through consulting Giles in his endless reading. That means that we really cannot consider Giles a reliable record of Parker's fieldwork at all. So I have turned instead to one of the short collections of characterless words that Parker published for individual dialects. These collections (1878d, 1879b, 1879c, 1880d, 1881b: 118) are remarkable for their sustained level of attention to truly colloquial language. Few publications in Chinese dialectology, even today, and fewer still in Karlgren's day, show anything like this level of attention to real, popular language. Of course, it goes without saying that real words are required for good comparative work, but this was not at all clear to Karlgren, or to any of his successors in the field of Chinese reconstruction. Chinese "philology" has always suffered from an egregious neglect of colloquial language in favor of the text. We can only guess how much conceptual awareness Parker had of these ideas - possibly the attention he paid to colloquial reflects his own cranky attraction to details of the real world. His distinctive personality comes through immediately in his headings: "Things not generally known in Pekingese"; "Waifs and strays in the Hankow dialect"; "Forgotten facts in Cantonese"; "Last pickings from the dialect of Foochow" (1878d). Each of these sections contains a list of real words that he had recorded from native speakers but that he said were not found in the best dictionaries of those dialects.

Since I have access to an excellent and conservative Peking dialect informant, and since Peking dialect is probably the most familiar dialect to readers at large, I have chosen Parker's Peking data as the sample by which to evaluate the accuracy of his transcription. And since I share Parker's love of data and of colloquial Chinese, along with the words I have elicited while attempting to check his forms I have also included shie'howyeu and other material that my informant provided during this fieldwork. I hope the Mandarin-speaking reader will enjoy browsing through this collection of rarely encountered colloquial matter. After working with my informant and consulting several Peking dialect dictionaries, I have divided Parker's data into four groups:

Table 2. Forms that are still attested in Peking dialect or in Mandarin or in Manchu, or whose principal morphemes are so attested. (127 items)

Table 3. Probable Typographical Errors. (3 items)

Table 4. Probable Transcriptional Errors. (12 items)

Table 5. Forms of Parker's Unconfirmed. (36 items)

Note that in this tabulation I am most concerned with the phonetic accuracy of Parker's transcription, since this is what Karlgren attacks. As long as the meanings of Parker's forms are close to what is attested today, I see no reason to fault him. By adding the results of table 4 and table 5, and table 3 and table 2, it follows that out of a total of 178 entries (including many more individual dialect words than that) there are 130 that should be counted as confirmed and 48 that should be counted as unconfirmed and possibly wrong. In other words, almost three-quarters of the basic forms have clear correspondents in my informant's speech or in available dictionaries of Peking dialect and Manchu. Caleb Baldwin evaluated Parker's Foochow material with the help of two native teachers and, after correcting typographical errors, found that virtually all the material was legitimate and about two-thirds of it was completely unattested in existing Foochow dictionaries (1879: 58).

As for those of Parker's Peking words that I cannot identify, we have no way of knowing for sure at this late date what is involved - was he indeed wrong? or have these words disappeared during the past century or so? or was he working from a slightly different dialect? Most of his words for birds and fish, and for the sex organs of animals, are unknown to my informant in the forms Parker recorded. My informant lived in the center of the city, at Shi.jymen, during the 1930s and 1940s. Presumably at Parker's time, people in Peking had more contact with animals, and went into the countryside more often than in my informant's day. Again, Parker does not have chingsheng (neutral tone) in most of the places my informant has it, other than particles; is this an error of his or a change in Peking dialect? Parker knew about the neutral tone, so I am inclined to assume the latter. In any case, we cannot decide the issue based on Chinese orthography - the fact that, for instance, ua.ku is always written [Unknown Text Omitted], as if pronounced uakuu, does not mean that Parker's uakuh is wrong; and the fact that this written form [Unknown Text Omitted] is read uakuu in the Mandarin of southern China, which is heavily influenced by written forms, also does not prove anything.

Apart from the question of accuracy, what comes through so strikingly to any wakeful reader is the kind of words Parker was after - real, often earthy language. Parker said that these were all forms that had been omitted from Williams' 1874 dictionary; I would imagine that Giles (1892) included all of them, though I have not been able to check this. Among these words are some that today we would probably consider plain Mandarin - "horn" for instance, and mhosuoo "to grope around," but there are many others that are raw Peking dialect. Not until the late-life writings of Y. R. Chao does one see the real Chinese language treated so seriously and with such obvious familiarity and love.

The fact is that close to three-fourths of Parker's highly colloquial Peking forms can be verified even today. He may have made transcriptional errors, and he certainly does not seem to have been a careful proofreader. Still, Karlgren's outright dismissal of his abilities as a fieldworker will not stand, and his ideas on linguistic comparison and reconstruction predate the comparable work of Coblin, Norman, and others by at least half a century. Loose cannon though he was, Edward Harper Parker was nevertheless a remarkable and original scholar who does not deserve his poor reputation.


Table 2: Forms of Parker's Confirmed

Parker: [pan.sup.4]-[la.sup.3] [yueh.sup.4]-[liang.sup.4] [bannlaa yuehlianq], "half-moon" [p'ang.sup.2]-pa-[la.sup.3]'rh [parng.balaal], "by the side of".

Present evidence: bannlaa yueh.liang "half- moon" parng.balaal "next to".

Parker: [peng.sup.3]-cho-lien [], "to look grave or angry".

Present evidence: lean "to have no expression at all on one's face, because of displeasure (bugaushinq)" (equivalent in meaning to leal, below).

Parker: [pen.sup.1]-to-[mu.sup.4] [ben.demuh or ben.duomuh], "a woodpecker". [Parker indicates that he is uncertain about the first two syllables.]

Present evidence: bendelmuh "woodpecker". The first syllable is ben "to take a bite out of with the beak (said of a bird)".

Parker: [peng.sup.4] [benq], "to burst".

Present evidence: benq "to burst open"; "to rebound, bounce back".

Parker: [pieh.sup.3] [biee], "concave".

Present evidence: biee "to go flat (said of a tire); to cave in, become dented".

Parker: [pi.sup.4]-[pi.sup.4]-[shui.sup.3]-'rh [bihbihshoel], "to drain or strain off the liquid or water".

Present evidence: bih "to strain, especially through the fingers". bihtz "a kind of strainer".

Parker: [ch'a.sup.3] [chaa], "flat, as a plate, in contradistinction to deep". [ch'a.sup.3]-[kou.sup.3] [charkoou], "funnel-shaped".

Present evidence: chaa "shallow (said of a plate or pan) - i.e., spread out rather than deep". leang jy jeau "to spread one's legs, to stand with the feet spread".

chaa ijeau shoei "to step in water".

Note: Informant rejects the form *charkoou, however.

Parker: [ch'en.sup.1] [chen], "to draw out, as elastic".

Present evidence: chen "to stretch, extend, pull out".

Parker: [ch'en.sup.1]-[lien.sup.4] [chenliann], "to browbeat, as a barrister his witnesses; to question".

Present evidence: chen.lian "to train using harsh methods, to push (someone) in order to bring about improvement". Note: Informant confirms this word, but rejects Parker's specific definition, offering this analysis of the two syllables: chen {to stretch} + liann {to train}. Chern Gang supports informant (p. 33).

Parker: [ch'eng.sup.1]-tsz [chengtz], "a gridiron, a bamboo cooking slat".

Present evidence: cheng "a kind of flat cooking pan, sometimes with a low rim".

chengtz "frame for holding open a quilt while it is being made"; "a cobbler's last".

Parker: [ch'i.sup.1] [chi], "to hem"; probably the same as [ch'i.sup.2] [chyi], "even". Also "a slit, as in a gown, or shirt". "To sew with an up and down stitch". [Parker indicates that the last definition is uncertain.]

Present evidence: chi "to sew as a sewing machine does, with no space visible between stitches". The meaning "slit" is not found; cf. kaichiell "a slit in the side of a skirt".

Parker: [ch'ien.sup.1] [chian], "to peck".

Present evidence: chian "to peck, as woodpecker or other bird".

Parker: [ch'ien.sup.4] [chiann], "to drive in, as stakes or piles". Probably [ch'ien.sup.4], "to inlay".

Present evidence: chiann "to drive in (a stake)"; "to inlay".

Parker: [ch'iao.sup.1] [chiau], "to geld".

Present evidence: chiau "to geld".

Parker: [ch'ieh.sup.4]-[mao.sup.2]-tsz [chiehmautz], "the scenery of a theatre, or the dresses, &c.", probably for [mo.sup.4] [moh], "a veil".

Present evidence: chieh.mau "large props or backdrop in the theatre" chieh.mau shih "drama with too many props" (considered inferior in Peking drama - the sound's the thing).

Parker: [ch'ung.sup.4] [chonq], "strong, as tea or tobacco".

Present evidence: chonq "strong in smell, an affront to the nose (e.g., onion, tobacco. liquor)".

Parker: [ch'ung.sup.4]-cho [], "towards, facing, running against".

Present evidence: X .de mianntz "(to do something) for X's sake".

chonq ta shengchih "to get angry fight in his/her face". woo shiaw "to smile directly at me". X shuohuah "to speak directly at".

Parker: [ta.sup.2]-[lien.sup.2] [darlian], "a purse, pocket-book". [Parker lists this under initial l, showing that the second syllable is the one he is primarily interested in. He also indicates by use of an asterisk that he is uncertain about the second syllable.]

Present evidence: da.lian or chyan da.lel "a kind of flat change purse designed to be folded around one's belt (it has a slit in it and so is easy to get money from)". Shyu Shyhrong has the form dalianl [da.liel] (p. 590). Informant's form da.lel sounds very much like English dollar.

Parker: [ta.sup.3]-[fei.sup.3]-tsz [darfeeitz], "to snap or fillip the fingers".

Present evidence: darfeeitz "to snap the fingers".

Parker: [ta.sup.3] [hu.sup.1] [lu.sup.1] [daa hulhu], "to snore". Probabl[y] [hu.sup.1], "to call out".

Present evidence:, daahu, daahu.luel "to snore". daahu.luel "to purr (said of a cat:)".

Parker: [tai.sup.3] [dae], "to catch, to trap".

Present evidence: dae "to capture, take captive".

Parker: [ta.sup.4]-[kai.sup.4]-[ch'i.sup.2] [dahgaychyi], "a sketch or outline".

Present evidence: dahgaychyi "It's probably like that, roughly so". Note: Informant rejects Parker's particular definition. Shyu Shyhrong supports informant (p. 86).

Parker: [ta.sup.3]-[chieh.sup.3]-tsz [darjieetz], "to tie a knot".

Present evidence: darjieetz "to tie a knot".

Note: Informant indicates that this form is rare but definitely known: daajye is more common.

Parker: [teng.sup.1]-[nie.sup.3]-'rh [dengneal], "a lamp wick".

Present evidence: dengneal "lamp wick". lahneal "candle wick".

Parker: [teng.sup.4] [denq], "to clarify, to filter".

Present evidence: denq.idenq "to let (something in liquid) settle to the bottom".

Parker: [ti.sup.1]-[liu.sup.1]-[yuan.sup.2] [diliouyuan], "perfectly round". [Parker indicates with an asterisk that this form is uncertain.]

Present evidence: diliulyuan "completely round".

Parker: [tung.sup.4]-[t'an.sup.4] [donqtann], "to move". Possibly for [t'an.sup.2].

Present evidence: donq.tan "to move (the body)": "Jonqfeng yiihow buneng donq.tan." "[Someone] can't move after having had a stroke".

Parker: [tou.sup.1] [dou], "concave".

Present evidence: dou "pocket". "to hold or carry in one's garment, by lifting the hem outward".

Parker: [tu.sup.1]-[lu.sup.1]'rh [du'lul], "a bunch, as of grapes or keys".

Present evidence: du.luel "[measure for clusters of grapes]".

Parker: [o.sup.3]-[hsin.sup.1] [eeshin], "sick; nausea". Probably for [o.sup.4].

Present evidence: eeshin "nauseous, nauseated; disgusting".

Parker: [o.sup.2]-[len.sup.4] [erlenn], "to run, as ink".

Present evidence: er.len or er.lian "a large faint stain left after the removal of a small spot of oil".

Parker: [ka.sup.1]-[la.sup.1]-[ka.sup.1]cha' [ga'lhaga.ja], "dregs, stuffing, padding, rubbish".

Present evidence: "rough, not smooth as expected".

Parker: [ka.sup.1]-[sha.sup.1]-[ha.sup.1] [gasha'ha], slang; "a rowdy"; probably a Manchu word. Also [ka.sup.1]-[shih.sup.1]-[ha.sup.1] [gashy'ha].

Present evidence: ga.shy'hah "a low-ranking chaiyih ("gofer") in a yamen" (felt by informant to be a Manchu word). Chern Gang and Shyu Shyhrong lack this word, though Chern Gang's gashiha "protruding round bone on a sheep's lower leg" might be related to the Mandarin paurtoei "gofer" (literally "running leg"). I have been unable to identify a comparable Manchu form. Parker and my informant, and also Chern Gang's possible cognate, have different tones in the last syllable.

Parker: [kan.sup.1]-[lan.sup.2]-cho [], "simply, merely"; probably [kan.sup.1], "voluntary". Also, "to snub".

Present evidence: "merely, just" as in the following examples: buyaw "just don't want (something, or to do something)". .sh jehyanq "That's just how it is." or "The real problem is simply . . ."

Note: Parker's gloss "to snub" is not known to informant, but Chern Gang's gloss "[Unknown Text Omitted] [to leave aside unused]" suggests it (p. 87).

Parker: [ko.sup.1]' [chan.sup.1] 'rh [gejal], "a scab".

Present evidence: ge.jel, shiee ge.jel "scab".

Parker: [ko.sup.4] [geh], "rough, knotty"; [ko.sup.4]-te-[huang.sup.1] ['huang], "hard to sit on or lean against".

Present evidence: geh "to cause discomfort (usually to the foot) by pressing against (as a stone in the shoe)". "to give one a feeling of discomfort (as though there is something on one's seat, for instance)".

Note: The suffix .de.huang used with verbs produces an adjective with the meaning "giving one the feeling of . . .".

Parker: [kwai.sup.3] [goai], "eccentric"; probably a Tientsin word, or perhaps used for [kuai.sup.1].

Present evidence: "eccentric".

Parker: [kung.sup.3] [goong], "to grub with the nose like a pig".

Present evidence: goong "to root underground with one's snout (said of a pig)".

Parker: [kung.sup.3] [goong], "to sew with a running stitch".

Present evidence: goong "to sew in a straight line after pinching the cloth into pleats, so that after stitching the thread is seen above and below the cloth, in alternation". This morpheme and the preceding one, "to root" are presumably one.

Parker: [ku.sup.3]-cho [lie.sup.3]'-'rh [ leal], "to look severe"; probably [ku.sup.3], "to swell".

Present evidence: leal "to have no expression at all on one's face, because of displeasure (bugaushinq)" (equivalent in meaning to lean, above).

Parker: [ku.sup.3]-tsz [guutz], "a target".

Present evidence: guutz "a target".

Note: Informant feels this word is quite rare, but nevertheless known.

Parker: [ha.sup.1]-[la.sup.1] [ha.'ha], "a 'surname', a 'family name'".

Present evidence: Manchu hala "clan, family, family name". Unknown to Peking informant as *ha'lha.

Parker: [ha.sup.1]-[la.sup.1]-[wei.sup.4] [ha'lhawey], "high smelling, as salt game": both probably Manchu or Mongol words.

Present evidence: "rancid (said of oil or oily foods such as peanuts)".

Parker: [han.sup.1] [han], "thick and big, as, a stick, a bar, &c."

Present evidence: han "thick, as a stick or a rope" (antonym of shih)

Parker: [shan.sup.1]-[t'ao.sup.4] [shantaw], "a valley".

Present evidence: hertaw "the bend in a river, the land within the bend in a river". This taw is clearly the same morpheme, even if Parker's specific compound is not attested.

Parker: [hsia.sup.1] [shia], "a 'boy,' a servant". [a.sup.1] [hsia.sup.1] [ashia], "a military tent-keeper".

Present evidence: Manchu hiya [hia]. Unknown to Peking informant as *shia, *ashia.

Parker: [hwan.sup.2]-lo-[hsu.sup.2] [hwan.leshyu], "to become a layman again"; used for [su.sup.2].

Present evidence: hwanshyu "to return to lay life after taking Buddhist orders".

Note: The usual word is hwanswu, but hwanshyu is also known.

Parker: [yi.sup.2]-[ch'a.sup.4]-'rh [ichall], "a moment of time".

Present evidence: ichall "a moment, an instant" (the same as ichahnah).

Parker: [yi.sup.2] [ch'ung.sup.4] [p'ai.sup.2] [ichonq pair], "a pack of cards".

Present evidence: ichonq pair "a pack of cards".

Parker: [han.sup.4] [hann], [hal.sup.4] [hay], "with"; Mr. Wade uses the character [ho.sup.2].

Present evidence: Informant rejects both hann and *hay for general use, but offers the following special uses of hann:

"Jeh .sh hann shernmhe .ia!" "What a mess! What a snafu!" (= luanngao, luann chiba tzau). Literally, "What is being put with what here?!"

" ren .sh sheir hann sheir." " Who do you think you're dealing with here?" (said in protest against excessive politeness on the part of a friend). Literally, "Who and who are you taking the two of us to be?!"

This is the well-known form hann used for "and, with" in Taiwan Mandarin and written with her. It is thought by many people that this form is a misreading based on a typographical error in National Phonetic Symbols (bopomofo). Parker's data, from 1878d, clearly proves that this is a Peking or Peking-area form and not a Nationalist-era invention. Parker lists a variant [hai.sup.4]. Chern Gang gives a form han but not *hai. His gloss is "[and, with]" and he notes, "[No longer current; usage limited to expressions such as hann, naal hann naal, sheir hann sheir]" (p. 106). Shyu Shyhrong not only lists sheir hann sheir but also gives an example of hann in the sense of "and" (p. 168).

Parker: [yu.sup.1]-[ch'i.sup.3]-[lai.sup.2] [iouchiilai], "to lift". [yu.sup.1]-[hui.sup.2]-[lai.sup.2] [iouhweilai], "to rebound".

Present evidence: iou "to swing (oneself) on a swing". yueh iou yueh gau "to swing oneself higher and higher".

Parker: [tsan.sup.3] [tzaan], "to sop up". [tsan.sup.3]-[kan.sup.1] [tzaangan], "to sop dry"; also [chan.sup.3].

Present evidence: jaan "to sop up". Only the second of Parker's forms is attested in informant's speech. jaan. ijaan "to daub at".

Parker: [chau.sup.3]-[ch'a.sup.2]-'rh [jaocharl], "to find fault with unnecessarily".

Present evidence: jaocharl "to find fault with (may be unnecessarily or not)".

Note: Informant offers this shie'howyeu: " tiau gwu.tou - meicharl jaocharl." "To try to pick out bones in a chicken egg - to find fault where there is none".

Parker: [chau.sup.1]-[pu.sup.4]-[hsia.sup.4] [jaubuhshiah], "will not contain".

Present evidence: jaujiah.bujuh "can't resist (an attack)".

Parker: [chiang.sup.3]-tsz [jeangtz], "a hardened p[ie]ce of skin, such as that produced on the hands by rowing".

Present evidence: jeangtz, same as jeantz "callus".

Parker: [chiao.sup.3] [jeau], "to cut with scissors".

Present evidence: jeau "to cut with scissors".

Parker: [chi.sup.1]-[liao.sup.3]-rh [jileaul], "the katydid, or 'scissors-grinding' cicada".

Present evidence: jileaul or jihneaul or jyleau "kind of cicada".

Parker: [chi.sup.1]-[su.sup.4]-tsz [jisuhtz], "a fowl's crop".

Present evidence: jisuhtz "chicken's crop".

Parker: [chih.sup.4]-tsz [jyhtz], "the stone used in exercises, or gymnastics".

Present evidence: jyhtz "a standard of weight (or other measure)".

Parker: [chih.sup.1]-tsz [jytz], "a gridiron". Probably [chih.sup.1], "to prop up".

Present evidence: jytz "a grill".

jylu "a kind of round earthen grill with a perforated top, used for cooking without oil; used especially for reheating cooked food".

kaojytz "a grill for roasting meat".

Parker: [k'o.sup.1]-[lo.sup.1]-[su.sup.4] [kelhesuh or kelhuosuh], "Adam's Apple". [Parker indicates uncertainty about the syllable [lo.sup.1]].

t'ou-[chen.sup.1]-[k'o.sup.1] [.toujenke], "a stye (on the eye)". [Parker has omitted the tone on the first syllable.]

Present evidence: ke.lesuh "adam's apple".

Note: Only jenyean and toujenyean are known to my informant for "stye". Toujenyean is said to get its name because it is the result of "stealing a needle".

Parker: [k'o.sup.2] [ker], "to catch, to get purchase, to be impeded".

Present evidence: kerjuh.le "to get stuck (logically, in one's argument)".

Parker: [la.sup.3]-[pa.sup.1] [laaba], "a trumpet". [Parker indicates he is uncertain about the pa syllable.]

Present evidence: laa. ba "trumpet, horn".

Parker: [la.sup.4] [lah], "to omit, drop, &c." The same is [lo.sup.4].

Present evidence: "to lose (something)" (the same meaning as

diousan lahsyh "careless in that one tends to lose things (said of a person)".

Parker: [lao.sup.3]-[pang.sup.1] [laobang], "simple, honest".

Present evidence: lao.bang "straightforward, plain-speaking" (equivalent to lao.cheng); also "mature, grown-up (said of a child)". Distinguish laobangtz "old fart".

Parker: [la.sup.2]-tsz [latz], "an [!] bottle".

Present evidence: latz "a jar made from a bottle with the neck broken off and filed down". Related to la, "to cut across".

Parker: [leng.sup.4] [lenq], "owlish".

Present evidence: lenq "appearing as if unaware of events around one" (adjectival use).

Parker: [t'ang.sup.1] [t'ang.sup.1] [tangtang], "bald".

Present evidence: lianqtangtang "very bright, very shiny".

Parker: [liao.sup.4] [liaw], "to gather, as seams or stitches". Often read [liao.sup.2].

Present evidence: liau "to take (a gather of cloth) in the fingers.

Note: Informant does not accept the form *liaw. Shyu Shyhrong lists only licio [liau].

Parker: [liao.sup.2]-tsz [liautz], "the male organ, whether of men or animals".

Present evidence: liautz "penis".

Note: Informant offers this colorful shie'howyeu: "Dah gu.niang chyau liautz - renn budoong (i.e., rennher shyh yee budoong)." "An unmarried grown woman seeing a penis - doesn't know a fucking thing."

Parker: [ma.sup.1]-[sa.sup.1] [mhasa], "to pat".

Present evidence: and mha.sou "to pet (an animal)"; "to flatten by patting with the hands (often done to a piece of dampened cloth or clothing: in place of ironing)".

Parker: [ma.sup.3]-cho [], "in a row".

Present evidence: maa "to set up neatly in a row"; usually maa ipair "to set up a row of . . ."

Note: This form would appear to be related to tsaymaal "dishes of food", below.

Parker: [ma.sup.3]-[pieh.sup.1] [maabie], "a leech": probably [pieh.sup.1], "a turtle".

Present evidence: maabie "leech" (one of many words).

Parker: [t'eng.sup.1] [teng], "vague". [man.sup.4] [t'eng.sup.1]-[t'eng.sup.1] [manntengteng], vague.

Present evidence: manntengteng "very slow".

Parker: [mai.sup.4] [may], "to wade, to walk". Probably [mai.sup.4], "to progress".

Present evidence: mayguoh "to step across".

Parker: [yi.sup.4]-[mo.sup.2] [imo], "a meal". Or [mo.sup.4] [. . . moh],.

Present evidence: Unknown to informant as *imo or *imoh. Chern Gang gives a measure word mor "[Unknown Text Omitted], [measure word for number of times done]" (p. 196).

Parker: [mo.sup.2] [i.sup.4] [moyih], "to grind smooth".

Present evidence: moyih "to wear down". Cf. yuh.le.

Parker: [meng.sup.3]-[ku.sup.1]-[bo.sup.1] [meenggubo], "a Mongol tent": probably a Thibetan or Mongolian word.

Present evidence: Manchu moongoboo "yurt". Unknown to Peking informant as *meenggubo; informant knows only the Chinese form mengguubau for this.

Parker: [ni.sup.4]-tsz [nihtz], "putty".

Present evidence: nihtz "putty".

Parker: [p'ai.sup.1]-tsz [paitz], "a flail, a sledge"; in the latter case probably for [p'ai.sup.2].

Present evidence: paitz "ping-pong paddle, fly-swatter".

Parker: [p'aio.sup.4]-lo [paiw.le], "'plucked,' as an unsuccessful student".

Present evidence: piaw.le "The opportunity has come to an end and one has obtained nothing".

Parker: [sha.sup.1] [sha], "to bind or tie", see [sha.sup.4].

Present evidence: sha "to tie more tightly, to tighten a knot or binding".

shajiah "to haggle over prices".

Parker: [sha.sup.4] [shah], "to tie; to snip or cut".

Present evidence: shah "to trim off a little".

shahkenn "in making a shirt or upper garment, to sew up the seam that runs from the armpit to the hem".

Parker: [shao.sup.4] [shaw], "to back, (a horse and cart)".

Present evidence: shaw "to back up, make way (for someone in front)".

Parker: [hsi.sup.1]-[lo.sup.4] [shileh or shiluoh], "to chaff".

Present evidence: shiluoh "to tease, satyrize".

Note: Informant feels this is a learned word; shiaw.huo would be colloquial.

Parker: [hsiung.sup.2]-[p'u.sup.2] [shyongpwu], "the bosom".

Present evidence: shiongpwu "chest".

Note: I believe the first tone in Parker's *shyongpwu is a typographical error. In any case, the fact that he alphabetizes this entry under [p'u.sup.2] shows that that is the syllable of interest to him.

Parker: [hsuan.sup.4] [shiuann], "to stuff, as a skin". [Parker indicates this form to be uncertain.]

Present evidence: shiuann "to stuff in as a stuffing or filling (e.g., cotton stuffed into the back pockets to soften a spanking, or bad apples hidden under good ones in a crateful)".

Parker: [hsuan.sup.-4]-tsz [shiuanntz], "a bason".

Present evidence: shiuanntz "cobbler's last".

Note: This form must be related to shiuann "to stuff in".

Parker: [chuai.sup.1] [juai], "maimed".

[chuai.sup.1]-tsz [juaitz], "one lame in the arm".

Present evidence: shoou juai.le "the arm is unable to move (e.g., because of damage to it or a stroke)".

Parker: [hsiao.sup.2]-[li.sup.4] [shyaulih], "a pick-pocket"; probably for [hsiao.sup.1] [liu.sup.3], or [hsiao.sup.3] [luo.sup.4].

Present evidence: shyaulih "pickpocket". The commoner word is sheautou, but this form is also definitely known.

Parker: [hsueh.sup.2]-tsz [shyuetz], "theatrical dresses".

Present evidence: shyuetz "a kind of skirt worn by men on the stage".

Parker: [so.sup.3]-[huang.sup.2] [suoohwang], "the 'female' part of a lock, the bolt or latch".

Present evidence: suoohwang "the spring of a traditional lock".

Parker: [so.sup.3]-[na.sup.4] [suoonah], "a clarinet".

Present evidence: suoonah "a traditional wind instrument with a very shrill sound, played vertically with a double reed".

Parker: [t'ang.sup.1] [tang], "to wade".

Present evidence: tang "to wade".

Parker: [t'an.sup.2]-[huo.sup.4] [tarnhuoh], "palsy"; probably for [t'an.sup.2] [huan.sup.4]. This expression is also used to signify "excess of phlegm".

Present evidence: tarn.huo "palsy after a stroke".

Parker: [t'eng.sup.2]-lo-[ch'u.sup.4]-lo [terng.le chiuh.le], "to clear away".

Present evidence: terng "to try to empty; to clear a space, make a vacancy";

terngchu.lai "to make (a vessel, an apartment) empty and available by moving out of or causing something to move out of".

Parker: [t'ing.sup.3]-[ta.sup.4] [tiingdah], "very big". For [ting.sup.3].

Present evidence: tiing dah "very big".

Parker: [ts'ai.sup.4]-[ma.sup.2]'rh [tsaymal], "seasoning". Also read [ma.sup.3]. [mien.sup.4] [ma.sup.3]'rh [miannmaal], "seasoning".

Present evidence: tsaymaal "dishes of food, especially the menu or overall range of dishes at a restaurant": " fanngoal. tsaymaal tay duo.le." "This restaurant has too many dishes."

miannmaal "various things mixed with noodles": " jyyyeou hwanggua, meiyeou miannmaal." "How come there's nothing on the noodles but cucumber?"

Parker: [ts'u.sup.4]-[hsin.sup.1]-ti [], "brand-new".

Present evidence: tsuhshin "brand-new".

Parker: [ts'z.sup.2]-[shih.sup.2] [tsyrshyr], "solid, full, firm".

Present evidence: tsyr.shy "solid". Distinguish tsyrshyr "magnet".

Parker: [t'u.sup.4]-[meh.sup.4] [tuhmeh], "spittle". For [mo.sup.4] or [me.sup.4].

Present evidence: "saliva, especially the foam on saliva". shingtz "spray from a person's mouth".

The letter -h in Parker's notation apparently means [Unknown Text Omitted] rather than [Unknown Text Omitted]. In my informant's dialect, glottal stop is regular after the finals -e and -uo ([Unknown Text Omitted] in neutral tone. In spite of the neutral tone, they still seem to contrast with final -a [Unknown Text Omitted].

Parker: [t'o.sup.2]-[lo.sup.2]-'rh [twoluol or twolel], "a spinning top".

Present evidence: two.lel "a spinning top".

Parker: [tsa.sup.1]-[shih.sup.2] [tzashyr], "firm, secure".

Present evidence: tza.shy "firm, solid".

Parker: [tsai.sup.1] [tzai], "to fall down".

Present evidence: gen.tou "to fall down" (means the same as shuaidao); "to lose face".

Parker: [tsang.sup.4]-[tsang.sup.4] [tzanqtzanq], "to whine, to whimper".

Present evidence: tzanq.tzang "to whimper (as a dog when its tail has been stepped on)".

Parker: [tsung.sup.4] [tzonq], "to creep, as a snake".

Present evidence: tzonq "to slink, to move as a snake does". tzonqshen "to jump high (the technique for this involves twisting one's body as one jumps)".

Parker: [wa.sup.1]-[k'u.sup.4] [uakuh], "to browbeat or chaff".

Present evidence: ua.ku "to show (someone) up by making a sarcastic comment; to get (someone's) goat". This form is commonly written with the tone/3/character kuu for the second syllable, and in southern Chinese Mandarin it is pronounced in a full tone /3/. Is this way of writing the toneless second syllable historically valid?

Parker: [wei.sup.1]-[sui.sup.4] [ueisuey], "weak".

Present evidence: uei.suei "lacking energy (said of a person)".

Parker: [wen.sup.1]-[p'o.sup.4] [uenpoh], "preserved haws"; said to be a Manchu word.

Present evidence: uen.po "the hawthorn fruit; also the preserved fruit".

Parker: [wei.sup.3]-[lien.sup.2] [woeilian], "a (winter) cap".

Present evidence: woei.lian "a kind of plant whose long leaves are woven into various things, including hats of a certain sort".

Parker: [wu.sup.4]-tsz [wuhtz], "a mole, or black pimple".

Present evidence: wuhtz "mole".

Parker: [wu.sup.3]lo [wuu.le], "high, as game".

Present evidence: wuu.le "to have gotten a funny taste or smell because of being covered up (said of food that should be left uncovered, such as hot mantour)".

Parker: [yao.sup.2]-tsz [vautz], "a brothel".

Present evidence: yautz "brothel".yaujieel "prostitute".

Note: In traditional times prostitutes were required by law to wear pants, to identify them. Informant offers this shie'howyeu: "Yaujieel chuan chyuntz - mawchong haoren." "Prostitute wearing pants - pretending to be a good person."

Parker: [yu.sup.4]lo [yuh.le], "limp, loose, slippery, as a worn lock &c."

Present evidence: yuh.le "worn smooth (especially said of the teeth of a cog, etc., so that it can't "hold" any more)". Compare moyih.le, above.

Parker: [pan.sup.1] [ban], "to extract, as teeth": probably [pan.sup.1], "to remove".

Present evidence: Unknown to informant as *banya. There is a Mandarin word with this sound that means "to pull back and out", as in ban chiangshuan "to pull back a rifle bolt". Presumably this is the form Parker is recording.

Parker: [ch'iao.sup.3] [cheau], "the male organ"; probably the same as [ch'iao.sup.4], "a sheath". [Ch'iao.sup.4]-[ch'u.sup.1]-[lai.sup.2] means to whip the organ out, as a jackass does.

Present evidence: Unknown to informant as *cheau. Chern Gang lists qiaozi [cheautz] "[penis]" (p. 226).

For "to whip the organ out", cf. regular Mandarin chiaw "to stick up, stick out".

Parker: [ch'ua.sup.3] [choa], "to flounder along in the mud". Also [ch'a.sup.3] [chaa].

Present evidence: Unknown to informant as *choa. Informant knows a word choa used in chwatzeel "to play jacks"; this choa might be understood as "to scoop up in the hand", though its use seems to be limited to this one phrase. Chern Gang, however, gives forms chua and cha, glossed as "[to walk in the mud, water, snow, sand]" (pp. 27, 38).

Parker: [ch'uan.sup.4] [chuann], "to grind, as corn".

Present evidence: Unknown to informant as *chuann. Chern Gang lists a form chuan [chuann] glossed "[to remove the husk of grain]" (p. 38).

Parker: [kung.sup.3]-[a.sup.3]-'rh [gorngaal], "a quartette, or trick at cards"; probably a Manchu word.

Present evidence: Unknown to informant as *gorngaal. The first syllable, goong, has the meaning "to cause to come out, to force out", as in the meaning "to root up with the snout (said of a pig)" (see above) and in such expressions as goong "to elbow out of the way" and goongnengl "to produce pus (said of a wound)" (see Chern Gang pp. 92-93). For the word aal, Shyu Shyhrong has "[in playing cards, it means a set of cards that can form a group]" (p. 5). Cf. aan "to arrange or place together (said especially of things that don't belong together)" (see Chern Gang pp. 1-2). This does not appear to be Manchu.

Parker: [li.sup.2]-[hsi.sup.4] [lishih], "to chaff"; probably [hsi.sup.4], "to play". [Parker indicates that this entry is uncertain.]

Present evidence: Unknown to informant as *lishih. Shyu Shyhrong gives lixi [li.shi] as "[to tease, kid around]" (pp. 244-45). Chern Gang has a form that may be related to this, lixi [lhi.shi], [in the nature of a joke, not serious]" (p. 176).

Parker: [mai.sup.4]-[yu.sup.2]-tsz [mayyutz], "rice-chaff". Probably [yu.sup.2], "waste".

Present evidence: Unknown to informant as *mayyutz. Chern Gang has maiyuzi [mayyutz]" [chaff of wheat or barley]" (p. 184).

Parker: [ts'ao.sup.3]-[mi.sup.2] [tsaomi], "a miscarriage". Also read [mieh.sup.4].

Present evidence: Unknown to informant as *tsaomi or *tsaomieh. Informant can suggest only tsaomieh "to gradually disappear (said of a person)". Chern Gang gives caomi [tsao.mi] "still birth" (p. 26).

Parker: [wo.sup.1]-[chi.sup.1]-[tsz.sup.3]-'rh [uojitzeel], "poached eggs". Or [wo.sup.4] [woh . . .].

Present evidence: wohjitzeel or wohgoel "poached eggs (eaten salted)".

Note: Informant says the name shoeipodann is a Southern term, adding that Southerners tend to eat poached eggs sweet. The first morpheme woh appears to be the same word as "to lie down", suggesting the gentle way the eggs must be handled.

Parker: [wu.sup.4]-tsz [wuhtz], "a bench, or stool".

Present evidence: Unknown to informant as *wuhtz. Shiannday Hannyeu tsyrdean lists a Mandarin form wuzi [wuhtz] "small stool or bench" (p. 1211), though informant is unaware of this form.

Parker: [ta.sup.1]-[la.sup.1] [dalha], "to lick up, as a dog".

Present evidence: Informant suggests a word "to hang down, hang out, droop" that may be what Parker is describing. lean 'to pull a long face'.

Parker: [chien.sup.4] [sui.sup.4] [jiannsuey], "a bad year"; probably one of the numerous forms of a character [ch'ieh.sup.4].

Present evidence: Unknown to informant as *jiannsuey. Informant knows only nian.cheng bu'hao for "a bad year". But Shyu Shyhrong gives a form jiannian [jiannnian]", [a lean year]" (p. 201), and Parker's form is parallel to this, hence I judge it likely.

Parker: [ma.sup.1]-[leng.sup.2] [mhaleng], "a water-gnat".

Present evidence: Unknown to informant as *mhaleng. Cf. maaleng "a kind of praying mantis". Chern Gang has malang [mha.lang] "[dragonfly (general word)]" (p. 184); similarly Shyu Shyhrong (p. 261). My informant cannot confirm this meaning. Although Parker's gloss is some distance from "dragonfly", I suspect this may be the word he has recorded.

Table 3: Probable Typographical Errors

Parker: [pieh.sup.2] [bye], "to pin, as the hair"; [yen.sup.1]-[pieh.sup.3]-tsz [ianbieetz], "a catch, or ornament worn to keep pipes &c. slipping from the belt".

Quaere, [pieh.sup.2]. [Parker indicates that he is uncertain about the syllable [pieh.sup.3].]

Present evidence: bye "to pin up (the hair)"; byejen "brooch, pin".

ianbyetz "a kind of hook on the belt used for carrying an opium pipe".

Parker: [tiao.sup.1]-[chin.sup.1]-[chiao.sup.4]-ti [], "a Jew".

Present evidence: Unknown to informant as * The term tiaujinjiaw "Judaism" ({to pluck} + {sinew} + {religion}) was formerly used in Chinese, referring to the Jewish custom of not eating the sinew of the thigh. The Kaifeng Synagogue, for instance, is located on a street called Jiaujingjie, formerly Tiaujinfie. Parker's first syllable is unaspirated, however, and although this may be a typographical error, the informant says Jews were not a well-known presence in the Peking of her day.

Parker: [tso.sup.3]-[pieh.sup.3]-tsz [tzwobieetz], "left-handed".

Present evidence: Unknown to informant as *tzwobieetz. Informant knows only of tzwopieetz "a left-handed person". I believe this is an error in transcription or printing.

Table 4: Probable Transcriptional Errors

Parker: [liao.sup.3]-[tiao.sup.4] [leaudiaw], "a staple and chain".

Present evidence: Unknown to informant as *leaudiaw. Shiannday Hannyeu tsyrdean lists liawdiawl for this.

Parker: mu-[la.sup.3] mu-[la.sup.3] [.mulaa .mulaa], "to munch". This last is also read [wu.sup.1] [la.sup.3] or [mu.sup.1] [nien.sup.1]. [Parker indicates he is uncertain about the mu syllable.]

Present evidence: mhu'lha mhu'lha "to make a munching sound". This is clearly the same form, but Parker has different tones.

Parker: [lieh.sup.4]-lo-[ch'u.sup.4] [lieh.lechiuh], "to clear away".

Present evidence: Unknown to informant as *lieh.le.chiuh. Informant suggests lhie "to tear off with a large movement of the arm (e.g., tearing off a poster from a wall)".

Parker: [liu.sup.4] [liow], "to creep".

Present evidence: Unknown to informant as *liow. Chern Gang lists a word liu [liow] "[to take a walk]" (p. 174). The form lhiou "to creep, slither like a snake" is common Mandarin, not properly Peking dialect.

Parker: [han.sup.4]-[t'i.sup.4]'rh [hanntiell], "a shirt". Also read [t'a.sup.4] [. . . tall].

Present evidence: Unknown to informant as *hanntiell, *hanntall. Informant knows only hanntal "a tee-shirt-like shirt". Informant suggests etymology from ta {to absorb}. To Chern Gang, hantir [hanntiell] means "[saddlecloth (used as padding under a saddle)]" (p. 108).

Parker: [hu.sup.1]-[po.sup.1]-[la.sup.3] [hubolaa], "a small thrush (?)"; probably a Manchu word.

Present evidence: huh.belaa "a kind of greyish bird, dark and not very pleasant to look at". Chern Gang gives hubala and Shiannday Hannyeu tsyrdean gives hu.bula; both name this bird as Mandarin borlau "shrike". Perhaps the last two syllables of huh.belaa reflect the same earlier name as the learned borlau - something like [blo]? Wilder (1938: 23641, #78-82) lists a number of shrikes whose names end in [hu.sup.3] [po.sup.2] [lao.sup.2] [huuborlau].

Parker gives a different tone for the first syllable than my informant and Chern Gang and the Shiannday Hannyeu tsyrdean do. Wilder gives a third form, but it appears that Wilder's romanization is merely derived from the characters he lists, and does not represent an independent record of spoken dialect names (1938: 6). Chern Gang and the Shiannday Hannyeu tsyrdean also write the unstressed second syllable in different ways, but this is a common artifact of romanization.

Note: Informant offers this shie'howyeu: "Hua huh.belaa - gerseh." "Multicolored huh.belaa-bird - having a color of one's own (i.e., different from everyone else)". Perhaps it is pedantic to note that hua huh.belaa is identified by Wilder (1938: 239, #81) as the Philippine red-tailed shrike.

Parker: [yao.sup.2]-tz [yautz], "a hawk, or kite".

Present evidence: Unknown to informant as *yautz. Informant knows only yawtz for this meaning. Wilder (1938: 410, #173) lists [yao.sup.4] tzu for the female (only) of the Asiatic sparrow-hawk.

Parker: [pien.sup.1]-tsz [biantz], "the female organ of a pig".

Present evidence: Unknown to informant as *biantz. The male organ of a number of animals is called bian or biantz, especially when used in medicine: nioubian "ox penis", luhbian "stag penis", gooubian "dog penis".

Parker: [ch'ie'.sup.4]-'rh-[mao.sup.2] [chiellmau], "a shuttlecock". Also read [chien.sup.4].

Present evidence: Unknown to informant as *chiellmau. Is the aspiration a misprint? Parker was clearly aware of the canonical unaspirated form. Informant knows only the usual form jiellmau, and offers this shie'howyeu: "Jiellmau - janntzay chyanyeanshanq." "Shuttlecock feathers - stands on the hole in the coin; i.e., is only interested in money." Shuttlecocks were traditionally made from torngchyan (copper coin with a hole in the middle) with feathers tied together on one side of the coin.

Parker: [mo.sup.1]-[so.sup.1] [mhosuo], the same as [ma.sup.1]-[sa.sup.1] [mhasa; see above].

Present evidence: mhosuoo "to grope around for". Tone of second syllable is different.

Parker: [yen.sup.3]-[chih.sup.4]-[mao.sup.2] [yeanjyhmau], "eyelashes"; probably used for [chieh.sup.4]. [Parker indicates this form is uncertain.]

Present evidence: mau "eyelashes". Almost certainly the same form that Parker is recording.

Parker: [kuo.sup.1]-lu-[niao.sup.3] [guo.luneau], "a curlew". Philologists, beware! [Parker's note. At the head of this entry, Parker lists the first syllable as [kou.sup.1] [gou], so it seems that either [kou.sup.1] or [kuo.sup.1] is a typographical error.]

Present evidence: Unknown to informant as *guo.luneau or *gou.luneau. Wilder (1938: 565, #263) lists [ta.sup.4] [kou.sup.4] [lou.sup.2] erh, Australian curlew, and the syllables [kou.sup.4] [lou.sup.2] erh appear in the names of a number of other curlews.

Table 5: Forms of Parker's Unconfirmed

Parker: [ai'.sup.4]-[hang.sup.4] or [ai'.sup.4]-[hao.sup.4] [ayhanq, ayhaw], "a target"; probably a Manchu word.

Present evidence: Unknown to informant as *ayhanq or *ayhaw.

Parker: [ch'ai.sup.1] [chai], "to sew, with a running stitch". [Parker indicates that this form is uncertain.]

Present evidence: Unknown to informant as *chai. Cf. chi, a form of stitching, below.

Parker: [ta.sup.3] [yun.sup.2]-[tan.sup.4] [daa yundann], "to manoevre ropes, as canal boats in meeting".

Present evidence: Unknown to informant as *daa yundann.

Parker: [ta.sup.3] [chueh.sup.4] [daajiueh], "chaff, tease, ridicule". Probably for [ch'u.sup.4] [chiuh]. [Parker indicates that this form is uncertain. He puts this entry under [ch'ueh.sup.4], suggesting that the unaspirated form [chueh.sup.4] is a typographical error.]

Present evidence: Unknown to informant as *daajiueh or *daachiueh. Informant knows only daachiuh "to make fun of".

Parker: [o.sup.2]-[lo.sup.4]'rh [erluell or erlell], "a lark". [Parker indicates that this entry is uncertain.]

Present evidence: Unknown to informant as *erluell or *erlell. Wilder (1938: 196, #48) lists a form [e.sup.1] [liao.sup.4] erh, North China skylark, though this graph is ordinarily read liow and the Goangyunn lists several other pyngsheng readings. Paul Kroll has suggested to me that Wilder's Chinese form may be related to the French alouette.

Parker: [fa.sup.2]-[t'iao.sup.2] [fartyau], "the spring of a watch"; probably [fa.sup.2] [far], "a method".

Present evidence: Unknown to informant as *fartyau. Informant knows only fatyau.

Parker: [ka.sup.1]-[nueh.sup.4] [ganiueh], "terse, abrupt".

Present evidence: Unknown to informant as *ganiueh.

Parker: [ko.sup.1]-[ti.sup.4]-'rh [gediell], "the calyx of a flower".

Present evidence: Unknown to informant as *gediell. The morpheme dih means the base of a flower or a piece of fruit in Mandarin. but this may be of no relevance.

Parker: [ko.sup.1]-[ko.sup.1] [gege], "the teats". Perhaps a Tientsin word.

Present evidence: Unknown to informant as *gege. Perhaps related to Manchu gege "young woman"?

Parker: [hwang.sup.2]-[tsuan.sup.1]-[yu.sup.2] [hwangtzuanyu], "salmon".

Present evidence: Unknown to informant as *hwangtzuanyu. Hwangtzuann is our trout (used for making yudonq "fish gelatine soup," made by stewing fish and bones together with lean pork). The native Manchurian Chinese name for salmon is dahmhahaa (eaten stewed with beancurd in winter time).

Parker: [cha.sup.1]-[la.sup.3]'rh [ja'laal], "a station-house"; probably a Manchu word (not to be confused with [cha.sup.4]-[la.sup.2]'rh).

Present evidence: Unknown to informant as *ja'laal. Cf. jah.lel "barricade, something set up to block the opening of a gate", which appears to correspond to Parker's second form; compare Manchu jala, jalan, "measure word for fences or walls".

Parker: [cha.sup.3]-tsz [jaatz], "slack, or loose coal".

Present evidence: Unknown to informant as *jaatz. But cf. "ground-up matter", and also jaa "to knead using the knuckles".

Parker: [chien.sup.4] [jiann], "a small hawk".

Present evidence: Unknown to informant as *jiann. I have seen nothing suggestive in Wilder.

Parker: [chu.sup.1] [nieh.sup.4] or [nueh.sup.4] (for [ni.sup.2]), [jiunieh, jiuniueh], "obstinate". [Parker indicates that this entry is uncertain.]

Present evidence: Unknown to informant as *jiunieh or *jiuniueh. Informant knows only jiu'ni "stiff and inflexible, not adaptable (said of a person's temperament)" (antonym to sweibiann).

Parker: [chu.sup.4]-[ma.sup.2]-'rh [juhmal], "the Mahommedan Sabbath"; probably an Arabic word.

Present evidence: Unknown to informant as *juhrnal. Informant says Muslim vocabulary was quite rare in her circles. One word known to her is a.hong "a Muslim religious leader".

The Shiannday Hannyeu tsyrdean, however, lists a form zhumd [juuma], which it etymologizes with Arabic jum'a. South Coblin has pointed out to me that throughout the northwestern areas of China, where there is a large Muslim presence, the shaangsheng is a high falling tone, easily phonemicized in Peking phonology as tone 4, and that this could be the origin of Parker's reading.

Parker: [la.sup.2]-'rh [lal], "a rock"; . . . probably for [lwan.sup.2] or [an.sup.2].

Present evidence: Unknown to informant as *lal.

Parker: [lao.sup.2]-[k'uo.sup.4] [laukuoh], "firm, solid"; probably for [ku.sup.4], or [k'au.sup.4].

Present evidence: Unknown to informant as *laukuoh. Informant recognizes only laukaw "firm", also "dependable (said of a person)".

Parker: [lai.sup.1]-[p'i.sup.2] [lhaipyi], "a target".

Present evidence: Unknown to informant as *lhaipyi.

Parker: [liung.sup.2]-[huang.sup.2], also [liung.sup.2]-[huang.sup.2], sulphur. For [liu.sup.2]-[huang.sup.2].

Present evidence: Unknown to informant as *lionghwang or *liunghwang. Both of these syllables would be highly unusual in Peking phonology, though liunn (phonetically [lyn]) is known in some parts of Peking.

Parker: [liu.sup.4] [liow], "to geld".

Present evidence: Unknown to informant as *liow. Chern Gang has a possible related form in liu [liow] "[to nibble (bits of meat or melon flesh that were missed the first time)]" (p. 174).This is probably too remote to be what Parker meant.

Parker: [p'u.sup.4] [puh], "a dungeon".

Present evidence: Unknown to informant as *puh. This is an important morpheme for "store, business".

Parker: [se.sup.4] [seh], "to tuck in".

Present evidence: Unknown to informant as *seh. Informant knows only sai for this. Parker's form is a known reading for this character {[Unknown Text Omitted]}, but it is not clear whether Parker is interested in this morpheme in its several phonetic forms or in the absolute reading *seh.

Parker: [sheng.sup.4]-'rh [shengl], "the male organ of an ass".

Present evidence: Unknown to informant as *shenql.

Parker: [hsu.sup.3]-[t'u.sup.2] [sheutwu], "to covet"; probably used for [hsi.sup.1].

Present evidence: Unknown to informant as *sheutwu.

Parker: [hsia.sup.1]-[lao.sup.2] [shialau], "a mole"; an animal which undermines the banks of the Hwang Ho.

Present evidence: Unknown to informant as *shialau. The first syllable is recognizably "blind".

Parker: [hsiian.sup.4] [shiuann], "to pant, as a broken-winded horse". [t'iao.sup.4] [hsiian.sup.4] [tiawshiuann], "to hiccough".

Present evidence: Unknown to informant as *shiuann, *tiaw-shiuann.

Parker: [shou.sup.4] [show], "towards".

Present evidence: Unknown to informant as *show.

Parker: [shu.sup.4] [shuh], "to decant".

Present evidence: Unknown to informant as *shuh.

Parker: [shui.sup.3]-[cha.sup.3] [shweijaa], the unusual northern name for snipe.

Present evidence: Unknown to informant as *shweijaa. Wilder (1938: 572, #267) names the Eastern fantail snipe as [shui.sup.3] [cha.sup.4] [shoeijah], using for the second syllable an evidently non-standard character [Unknown Text Omitted] above [Unknown Text Omitted], which occurs in the names of a great many other birds among the plovers and snipes (Charadriidae). I have remarked above (under [hu.sup.1][po.sup.1]-[la.sup.3] [hubolaa]) that Wilder's phonetics are not reliable. Parker's form seems unlikely to be a misprint since it appears with [cha.sup.3]-tsz, slack, or loose coal.

Parker: [sung.sup.1] [song], "a sort of hawk or kite"

Present evidence: Unknown to informant as *song. Wilder (1938: 412, #174) lists a form [sung.sup.4] erh, North China sparrow-hawk, that may be related.

Parker: [t'a.sup.1] [t'a.sup.1] [tata], "bald"

Present evidence: Unknown to informant as *tata.

Parker: [tsai.sup.3] [tzae], "to catch, to trap".

Present evidence: Unknown to informant as *tzae.

Parker: [tseng.sup.1]-'rh [tzengl], "the male organ of a pig".

Present evidence: Unknown to informant as *tzengl.

Parker: [yao.sup.4]-cho-[chin.sup.3] [yaw.jejiin], "to stick fast, as in the mud".

Present evidence: Unknown to informant as *yaw.jejiin. Informant knows only yeau.dejiin "to hold one fast (said of mud)", identifying the first morpheme as "to bite", ie., to hold fast.

Parker: [ye.sup.4] [nao.sup.3]-[ku.sup.3] [yehnauguu], "the brow"

Present evidence: Unknown to informant as *yehnauguu or * The syllable guu appears to be "to protrude".

Parker: [t'o.sup.1] [hou.sup.3]-[hsi.sup.4] [tuo'hooushih], "punch and judy"; probably for [ou.sup.3].

Present evidence: Unknown to informant as *tuo'hooushih. Shyu Shyhrong lists tuoou [tuo'oou] as a kind of puppet drama performed with large puppets whose arms were manipulated from underneath with bamboo sticks The name tuo'oou is meant to distinguish them from tyioou, marionettes control from above with strings.

Sources of Dialect Data

Peking, a.k.a. Beeijing [BEijing]. The dialects spoken in this city provide the phonological and syntactic basis for the standard language, called Mandarin in English, but differ from it considerably in some areas of lexicon. My principal informant for Peking dialect forms is Mrs. Huang Yi [Hwang Yih], born 1929, a native of the Shi.jymen [Xizhimen] district, in continuing fieldwork begun in 1994 in Seattle.

I am grateful to Jerry Norman, Paul W. Kroll, South Coblin, and Axel Schuessler for comments on earlier drafts of this paper. A short version of it was read at the Western Branch Meeting of the American Oriental Society, on 26 October 1996, in Tempe, Arizona.


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Kangshi tzyhdean. 1716. Compiled under imperial auspices. Many editions and reprints.

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-----. 1878a. "The Concise Dictionary of Chinese." China Review 6.6: 386-94.

-----. 1878b. "The Pekingese Ju-sheng." China Review 7.2:117-20.

-----. 1878c. "Tonic and Vocal Modification in the Foochow Dialect." [Unsigned, but: clearly not by Baldwin, Maclay, or Edkins (because it mentions them by name) and almost certainly by Parker because the author misspells Maclay as "Maclean", as Parker does in 1879b: 415, 1880a: 206, 1880c: 63.] China Review 7.3: 182-87.

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-----. 1879c. "New Cantonese Words." [Unsigned. Format and title resemble Parker's.] China Review 8.1: 18-22.

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-----.1880b. "Canton Syllabary." China Review 8.6: 36382. Errata in IX(1880)/i: 60.

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-----.1881a. "Hakka Songs" China Review 11.1: 32-33. [Unsigned, but similar in format and content to the "Hakka Songs" of 1883 that appears to be Parker's. The present article is appended to an installment in a Szechwan travelogue of Parker's.]

-----. 1881b. "The Dialect of Eastern Sz Ch'uan." China Review 11.2:112-20 Pages 117-18 include material on characterless words

-----. 1882c. "The Dialect of Yangchow." China Review 12.1: 9-12. Errata in 12.3: 175.

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-----. 1882e. "Hakka Folklore." [Unsigned, but similar in format and content to the "Hakka Songs" (1883b) that appears to be Parker's.] China Review 12.3: 182-88.

-----. 1883a. "Chinese and Sanskrit." China Review 12.6: 498-507.

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-----. 1884a. "More About the Old Language of China." China Review 13.2: 114-17. Errata in 13.3: 226.

-----. 1884b. "The Ningpo Dialect." China Review 13.3: 138-60.

-----. 1886a. "Chinese, Corean, & Japanese." China Review 14.4: 179-89. Errata in 14.5: 297.

-----. 1886b. "Notes by E. H. Parker." China Review 15.1: 51-54.

-----. 1887. "The 'Yellow' Languages." Transactions of the Asiatic Society of Japan 15: 13-49.

-----. 1888. "Chinese and Annamite Tones." China Review 16.5: 309-12.

-----. 1889. "Indo-Chinese Tones." Transactions of the Asiatic Society of Japan 17.1: 67-86.

-----. 1892a. "Philological Essay." Appears in Giles 1892: xiv-xlvi.

-----. 1892b. "The Muong Language." China Review 19.5: 267-80.

-----. 1892c. "The Li Aborigines of K'iung-Shan." China Review 19.6: 383-87.

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-----. 1893b. "Notes by E. H. Parker" China Review 20.6: 393-94.

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Title Annotation:British historian
Author:Branner, David Pragger
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Date:Jan 1, 1999
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