Encyclopedia of Chinese Language and Linguistics

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Ancient Wú 吳 Language
(1,472 words)

During the Spring and Autumn period (770–476 BCE), today’s Wú-speaking region belonged to the states of Wú 吴 and Yuè 越. According to Lǚ shì chūn qiū 吕氏春秋 (Mr. Lü’s Annals; 3rd cent. BCE), these two states had identical customs and mutually intelligible languages (xísú tóng, yányǔ tōng 習俗同, 言語通), distinct from those of the northern state of Qí 齊. We also know that the language of Wú and Yuè was different from that of the western state of Chǔ 楚, because Liú Xiàng’s 劉向 (77–6 BCE) Shuō yuàn 說苑 (Garden of Persuasions) records that Èjūn Zǐxī 鄂君子皙, a member of the Chǔ royal family during the …

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Wuyun PAN, “Ancient Wú 吳 Language”, in: Encyclopedia of Chinese Language and Linguistics, General Editor Rint Sybesma. Consulted online on 19 June 2019 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2210-7363_ecll_COM_00000015>
First published online: 2015



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