Modern Chinese People's Republic of China 1949 - Present Standard Putonghua. Reform of the written script - simplification of the characters.
Republic of China (China)
Republic of China (Taiwan)
1912 - 1949
1949 - Present
Standard Guo Yu. Widespread reform of the Chinese language. Attempt to introduce romanisation with the view of replacing the cumbersome Chinese script. Literature is written in colloquial style.
Recent Chinese Qing 1644-1911 Influx of Northern Dialects into Central China with the coming of the Mongols. Yuan rimebook ZhongYuan YinYun 1324, shows the loss of occlusive endings. Chinese regain hold over China, and begin reinforcing and strengthening the Great Wall. Hardships and corruption brings down the Ming empire, to the victorious Manchu. The Qing government is set up, and eventually become sinicised. Qing KangXi Dictionary enumerates 47000 plus characters. Qing scholar Qian DaXin discovers that the ancients had no labio-dental and alvelo-palatal initials
Ming 1368-1644
Yuan 1279-1368
Middle Chinese Song
GuangYun rimebook 1008, JiYun Rimebook 1038. QiYinLue, YunJing rimebooks. GuangYun rimes later condensed into the PingShui Yun of 1252. In the Song Dynasty, a massive population move southward leaves a depopulated north.
Five Dynasties
Ten Kingdoms
Tang618-907QieYun rimebook 601. Tang poets gather some 900,000 sonnets and poems. Towards the end of Tang phase, unrest splits Tang empire, causing war, and once again, population movement.
Sui 581-618
Northern Dynasties
Southern Dynasties
First account of the four types of tones, Ping, Shang, Qu and Ru by Shen Yao.
Old Chinese Eastern Jin
Sixteen Kingdoms
Translation of Buddhist scriptures into Chinese, enabling the introduction of the FanQie system of intial and rime to transcribe non-Chinese sounds. First recorded contact with the inhabitants of the Japanese Islands.
Western Jin 265-317
Three Kindoms 220-280
Eastern Han
Western Han
206 BC-25 AD
Introduction of Buddhism to China. ShuoWen JieZi 100AD. At the end of the Han Dynasty, a massive population exodus heads southwards.
Qin 221 BC - 206 BC Li Si's XiaoZhuan codifies the meanings to Chinese characters for the first time. Differing glyphs from different part of the empire are simplified and unified into one representative glyph each.
Ancient Chinese Warring States
Springs and Autumns Period
Eastern Zhou
475 BC - 221 BC
770 BC - 476 BC
770 BC - 256 BC
Oldest Chinese poetry is collected by Confucious in ShiJing. Leaps in philosophical and moral thought. Da Zhuan script.
Western Zhou 1066 BC - 771 BC
Shang 16th Century BC - 1066 BC Shang bronze inscriptions. Oracle bone inscriptions. Earliest inscriptions in the BanPo neolithic excavations in northern China.
Xia 21st Century BC - 16th Century BC