Jingdian Shiwen

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Jingdian Shiwen scrolls in the Chinese Dictionary Museum, Jincheng, Shanxi

Jingdian Shiwen (simplified Chinese: 经典释文; traditional Chinese: 經典釋文; pinyin: Jīngdiăn shìwén; Wade–Giles: Ching-tien shih-wen; lit. 'Textual explanations of classics and canons'), often abbreviated as Shiwen in Chinese philological literature, was a c. 583 exegetical dictionary or glossary, edited by the Tang dynasty classical scholar Lu Deming. Based on the works of 230 scholars during the Han, Wei, and Six Dynasties periods, this Chinese dictionary analyzes the pronunciations (given in historically invaluable fanqie annotations) and meanings of terms in the Confucian Thirteen Classics and the Daoist Daodejing and Zhuang Zi (Mair 1998: 168). It also cites some ancient books that are no longer extant, and are only known through Jingdian Shiwen.

Bernhard Karlgren considered Jingdian Shiwen and the 601 Qieyun rime dictionary as the two primary sources for reconstructing Middle Chinese. Many studies in Chinese historical linguistics (for instance, see References) use the important Jingdian Shiwen data.


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