This book is a carefully revised version of the author's Ph.D. dissertation. For a long time, yinbian (phonetic change) had been assumed as a pure phonetic process, and the roles semantics and grammar play in phonetic changes had failed to gain enough attention. The author, studying this subject in his own unique way, discovers the compulsory and correlative relationship between syllables and meanings in the monosyllabic language Chinese and supports his discovery with sufficient and convincing evidence, which supplements and corrects the deficiencies of former researches and theories on phonetic changes.
Taking language data from the Northern Yu Dialects, the author investigates how semantic meanings affect phonetic changes from the perspectives of lexicalization, grammaticalization and subjectification and constructs a series of theories concerning bianyin (Chinese Morphonology). The author's research on phonetic changes is a significant contribution to the studies of historical linguistics and general theoretical linguistics.
Chen Weiheng (Ph.D., Peking University) is a member of Chinese Linguistics Society and an associate professor and a supervisor for postgraduate students in Beijing Language and Culture University. His researches focus on historical linguistics and theoretical linguistics.