Chinese Poetical Prosody

In the past, Chinese scholars invented a means by which words could be classed according to their rhyme (rime) and tone. This created a table of characters, just over 100 in all, in which the four basic tones are represented. These are traditionally called in Mandarin the Ping (pin2 - level), Shang (song1 - rising), Qu (hi4 - going) and Ru (ngip6 - entering) tones respectively. In some cases, there was a distinction that could be made in the Ping tones into high and low registers, but they are no longer borne out in modern dialects. All the original sounds have shifted away from the older forms, and this leaves us with the problem with how to distinguish the rhyme and tones in a proper way.

I have therefore arrived at a list of some 153 characters plus an extra three to account for the ng/m rhyme, listed according to their rhyme both alphabetically, and by closest rhyme. All six modern Hakka tones are here represented by one character with its associated rhyme.

Traditional rhyming dictionaries such as the QieYun of 601 AD built upon previous works. Its original rhymes may have encompassed a general state of common rhymes throughout Chinese at its conception. Today however, the rhymes are unsatisfactory for expressing all the rhymes in Hakka. Below, it is proposed that this should be a subset of a wider Hakka rhyme list, set out according to the tones of Modern Hakka at the latter quarter of the Twentieth Century. This is essentially based on the the Shataukok Hakka dialect, but there are characters here which are missing because no suitable rhyme could be found in character form for them, or that they simply do not exist at all in the spoken dialect and here represented by an asterix. Where there is a character with an asterix beside it on the right, the author has taken this from Lau's input so that it can fill the slot otherwise left blank, and so is outside his experience of that particular character.

20 Initials


Bad	Puppy	Man	Handle	Fun 	Vole	Daft	

b..	p....	m..	h..... 	f..	v...	d...	

sTDuff	Nice	Lounge	Green	Kite	Zorro	youNGer 

td....	n...	l.....	g....	k...	z....	ng.....	

Song	SHeet	Job	biTS 	Top	CHance

s...	sh...	j..	ts..	t..	ch....

b, ch, d, f, g, h, j, k, l, m, n, ng, p, s, sh, t, td, ts, v, z

153  Basic Rimes


	1	2	3	4

-a	馬m	牙ng	打d	射s	1

-ai	街g	鞋h	矮.	拜b	2

-am	三s	南n	減g	犯f	3

-an	滿m	難n	揀g	半b	4

-ang	釘d	零l	蜢m	硬ng	5

-au	毛m	桃td	好h	到d	6

-e	啤b	柿s	洗s	計g 	7

-em	參s	蟾ng	捂.	鴆ts	8

-en	煙z	前t	很h	面m	9

-i	機g	遲t	李l	四s	10

-ia	啤b	斜ch	姐j	借j	11

-iam	簽ch	鐮l	險h	暫ch	12

-iang	驚g	名m	餅b	姓s	13

-iau	錶b	苗m	曉h	貓m 	14

-im	心s	琴k	枕ts	禁g	15

-in	新s	人ng	緊g	信s	16

-io	蹻k	茄k	揉ng	嗉s	17

-ioi	*	*	*	癐k	18

-ion	軟ng	攣l	吮ch	旋ch	19

-iong	薑g	涼l	鏹k	向h	20

-iu	秋ch	流l	口h	夠g	21

-iun	軍g	群k	謹g	近k	22

-iung	宮g	龍l	鞏g	供k	23

-o	歌g	河h	鎖s	貨f	24

-oi	霉m	來l	彩t	嘴ts	25

-on	乾g	船s	館g	汗h	26

-ong	光g	忙m	綁b	放f	27

-un	孫s	論l	本b	問m	28

-u	租ts	爐l	手s	數s	29

-ui	杯b	雷l	水s	醉ts	30

-ung	東d	蟲t	孔k	送s	31

m	唔	魚	五	*	0b

	5	6

-ak	百b	石s	1

-ap	甲g	合h	2

-at	殺s	辣l	3

-ep	澀s	浙ts	4

-et	血h	舌s	5

-iak	鵲s	叻l	6

-iap	接j	協h	7

-iok	腳g	弱ng	8

-iot	啜j	虐ng	9

-ip	濕s	十s	10

-it	識s	食s	11

-iuk	曲k	局k	12

-ok	角g	落l	13

-ot	割g	捋l	14

-uk	竹ts	讀td	15

-ut	出t	術s	16


	1	2	3	4

-a	馬	牙	打	射

-ia	啤	斜	姐	借

-ai	街	鞋	矮	拜

-am	三	南	減	犯

-iam	簽	鐮	險	暫

-an	滿	難	揀	半

-ang	釘	零	蜢	硬

-iang	驚	名	餅	姓

-au	毛	桃	好	到

-iau	錶	苗	曉	貓 

-e	啤	柿	洗	計 

-em	參	蟾	捂	鴆

-en	煙	前	很	面 

-i	機	遲	李	四

-im	心	琴	枕	禁

-in	新	人	緊	信

-io	蹻	茄	揉	嗉

-o	歌	河	鎖	貨

-ioi	*	*	*	癐

-oi	霉	來	彩	嘴

-ion	軟	攣	吮	旋

-on	乾	船	館	汗

-iong	薑	涼	鏹	向

-ong	光	忙	綁	放

-iu	秋	流	口	夠

-iun	軍	群	謹	近

-un	孫	論	本	問

-iung	宮	龍	鞏	供	

-ung	東	蟲	孔	送

-u	租	爐	手	數

-ui	杯	雷	水	醉

	5	6

-ak	百	石

-iak	鵲	叻

-ap	甲	合

-iap	接	協

-at	殺	辣

-ep	澀	浙

-et	血	舌

-iok	腳	弱

-ok	角	落

-iot	啜	虐

-ot	割	捋

-iuk	曲	局

-uk	竹	讀

-ip	濕	十

-it	識	食

-ut	出	術