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The initials are grouped by their places of articulation and also the type of voicing that has been used traditionally. They are represented in the table by four symbols:

全清Fully Voiceless QuanQing (Unaspirated)
全濁Fully-Voiced QuanZhuo
次清Semi-Voiceless ChuQing (Aspirated)
次濁Semi-Voiced ChuZhuo (Sonorants)


幫非 滂敷 並奉 明微      
Retroflex Silibants
照莊  穿初  床崇     審山  禪俟 
Palatal Silibants
照章 穿昌 床船 審書

GuangYun (廣韻) uses thirty five initials, 1 幫, 2 滂, 3 並, 4 明, 5 端, 6 透, 7 定, 8 泥, 9 來, 10 知, 11 徹, 12 澄, 13 精, 14 清, 15 從, 16 心, 17 邪, 18 莊, 19 初, 20 崇, 21 山, 22 章, 23 昌, 24 船, 25 日, 26 書, 27 禪, 28 見, 29 溪, 30 群, 31 疑, 32 曉, 33 匣, 34 影, 35 餘.

The following initials are merged in QieYun (切韻):

  • 泥 and 娘
  • 幫滂並明 and 非敷奉微
  • The following initials are dependent on the medial and main vowels:
  • 照穿床審 can be split into two Deng (等); Deng II 莊初崇山 and Deng III 章昌船書
  • and 喻 derive from 于 where the former is connected to Deng II rhymes, whilst the latter dependent on Deng III rhymes. Deng II rhymes of the 喻 initial become 匣 intials, whilst Deng III rhymes of the 喻 initial become 餘 intials.
  • Some authors make 影 a zero initial [ ø ], in the table above, we see an glottal stop initial. Consequently, they also interpret 喻 as being merged with the 匣 initial and then, 喻 becomes simply a palatal approximant [ j ].
  • Some authors have used Retroflex Silibant values for the Affricate initials.
    Initials : Guangyun Rhymes : Inner and Outer Series : She : Deng : Rhyme Tables : Chinese

    © Dylan W.H. Sung
    This page was created on Saturday 13th January 2001 and recently updated on Thursday 25th April 2002