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ABC Dictionary of Ancient Japanese Phonograms

ABC Dictionary of Ancient Japanese Phonograms that was highly accurate and yet not idiosyncratic in spellings would be the best to use”. The logic of Languages and literature this approach is debatable, but it should not create an insuperable problem, as it will be recognisable to users of more standard forms, and no doubt there are online systems for translating between RR 2016/188 systems. ABC Dictionary of Ancient Japanese However, the more fundamental problem is Phonograms that there is no index which allows ready access to John R. Bentley the information if the reader does not know how the character is pronounced. A non-specialist user University of Hawai’i Press would expect there to be a stroke count index, Honolulu which is the traditional method of identifying the pronunciation of a Chinese character. Admittedly, vii  608 pp. many online dictionaries now exist such that if you ISBN 978 0 8248 5610 6 highlight a character, its pronunciation is provided, £66.50 $70 but other volumes in this series do provide stroke count indices. Confusingly, the conventions section ABC Chinese Dictionary Series of this book states that “a character finding index Available in the United Kingdom, Europe, at the rear of the dictionary will alert the reader to the Middle East and Africa from Eurospan a kanji with multiple readings”. This is misleading Keywords Dictionaries, Language, Japan as the only additional entry route provided is for Review DOI 10.1108/RR-04-2016-0122 Pinyin pronunciation. When clarifying the nature of the indices with the publisher, I was directed to The title ABC Dictionary might indicate that this is the fact that an incorrect version of this Pinyin a book for beginners, but it is in fact a very index had been printed and the correct version was specialised academic work of value to advanced available to download on the University of Hawai’i researchers into sixth to eighth century Japanese press website. language use. A more accurate description would This book is a meticulously researched work be a concordance of ancient Sino-Japanese which will be of great interest to a small number of character use. As such, it is a major work of scholars, but it could have been produced in a scholarship but unfortunately, its arrangement format which would make the scholarship means its content is only easily accessible to accessible to more users. So librarians without experts. specialist knowledge should check with the The dictionary covers the 1,215 characters used academics they serve before purchasing this in the earliest Japanese texts. Each entry contains volume. the character, its Old Japanese reading (in an Val Hamilton unusual Romanisation, see below), a range of Freelance Reviewer, Nethy Bridge, UK different period Chinese readings plus Sino-Vietnamese and Sino-Korean readings followed by examples of use. The examples come RR 2016/189 not only from ancient texts but also from recently The Cambridge Companion to Fairy Tales excavated bamboo or wooden tablets (mokkan). One aim of the dictionary is to provide “a Edited by Maria Tatar substantial amount of state-of-the-art information Cambridge University Press regarding reconstructed languages of East Asia as Cambridge well as putting important Sino-Xenic information in one easy to find place”. The appended 30-page xiii  252 pp. chart of all the phonograms, showing which of 12 sources each appears in, is an important aspect of ISBN 978 1 107 03101 2 (hbck); the book in this regard. ISBN 978 1 107 63487 9 (pbck); The ABC referred to is a recently developed ISBN 978 1 316 19084 5 (e-book) form of Romanisation designed specifically for Old £55 $80 (hbck); £16.99 $29.95 (pbck) Japanese called Frellesvig Whitman. The choice is Cambridge Companions justified, thus “to make this dictionary as accessible to as many specialists and non-specialists as Keywords Children, Literature, Myths, Fairy tales possible, it was felt that a Romanisation system Review DOI 10.1108/RR-06-2016-0169 Fairy tales – they help us make sense of our world, incorporating symbolism and morality Reference Reviews tales in stories with a magical undercurrent. For Volume 30 · Number 6 · 2016 · pp. 20 –23 © Emerald Group Publishing Limited · ISSN 0950-4125 so many of us, the symbols have become part of http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Reference Reviews Emerald Publishing

ABC Dictionary of Ancient Japanese Phonograms

Reference Reviews , Volume 30 (6): 1 – Aug 15, 2016

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Emerald Publishing
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Copyright © Emerald Group Publishing Limited
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0950-4125
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10.1108/RR-04-2016-0122
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Abstract

that was highly accurate and yet not idiosyncratic in spellings would be the best to use”. The logic of Languages and literature this approach is debatable, but it should not create an insuperable problem, as it will be recognisable to users of more standard forms, and no doubt there are online systems for translating between RR 2016/188 systems. ABC Dictionary of Ancient Japanese However, the more fundamental problem is Phonograms that there is no index which allows ready access to John R. Bentley the information if the reader does not know how the character is pronounced. A non-specialist user University of Hawai’i Press would expect there to be a stroke count index, Honolulu which is the traditional method of identifying the pronunciation of a Chinese character. Admittedly, vii  608 pp. many online dictionaries now exist such that if you ISBN 978 0 8248 5610 6 highlight a character, its pronunciation is provided, £66.50 $70 but other volumes in this series do provide stroke count indices. Confusingly, the conventions section ABC Chinese Dictionary Series of this book states that “a character finding index Available in the United Kingdom, Europe, at the rear of the dictionary will alert the reader to the Middle East and Africa from Eurospan a kanji with multiple readings”. This is misleading Keywords Dictionaries, Language, Japan as the only additional entry route provided is for Review DOI 10.1108/RR-04-2016-0122 Pinyin pronunciation. When clarifying the nature of the indices with the publisher, I was directed to The title ABC Dictionary might indicate that this is the fact that an incorrect version of this Pinyin a book for beginners, but it is in fact a very index had been printed and the correct version was specialised academic work of value to advanced available to download on the University of Hawai’i researchers into sixth to eighth century Japanese press website. language use. A more accurate description would This book is a meticulously researched work be a concordance of ancient Sino-Japanese which will be of great interest to a small number of character use. As such, it is a major work of scholars, but it could have been produced in a scholarship but unfortunately, its arrangement format which would make the scholarship means its content is only easily accessible to accessible to more users. So librarians without experts. specialist knowledge should check with the The dictionary covers the 1,215 characters used academics they serve before purchasing this in the earliest Japanese texts. Each entry contains volume. the character, its Old Japanese reading (in an Val Hamilton unusual Romanisation, see below), a range of Freelance Reviewer, Nethy Bridge, UK different period Chinese readings plus Sino-Vietnamese and Sino-Korean readings followed by examples of use. The examples come RR 2016/189 not only from ancient texts but also from recently The Cambridge Companion to Fairy Tales excavated bamboo or wooden tablets (mokkan). One aim of the dictionary is to provide “a Edited by Maria Tatar substantial amount of state-of-the-art information Cambridge University Press regarding reconstructed languages of East Asia as Cambridge well as putting important Sino-Xenic information in one easy to find place”. The appended 30-page xiii  252 pp. chart of all the phonograms, showing which of 12 sources each appears in, is an important aspect of ISBN 978 1 107 03101 2 (hbck); the book in this regard. ISBN 978 1 107 63487 9 (pbck); The ABC referred to is a recently developed ISBN 978 1 316 19084 5 (e-book) form of Romanisation designed specifically for Old £55 $80 (hbck); £16.99 $29.95 (pbck) Japanese called Frellesvig Whitman. The choice is Cambridge Companions justified, thus “to make this dictionary as accessible to as many specialists and non-specialists as Keywords Children, Literature, Myths, Fairy tales possible, it was felt that a Romanisation system Review DOI 10.1108/RR-06-2016-0169 Fairy tales – they help us make sense of our world, incorporating symbolism and morality Reference Reviews tales in stories with a magical undercurrent. For Volume 30 · Number 6 · 2016 · pp. 20 –23 © Emerald Group Publishing Limited · ISSN 0950-4125 so many of us, the symbols have become part of

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Reference ReviewsEmerald Publishing

Published: Aug 15, 2016

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