Li Rong (linguist)

This is a Chinese name; the family name is Li.
Li Rong
Born (1920-02-04)February 4, 1920
Died December 31, 2002(2002-12-31) (aged 82)
Fields Chinese language
Institutions CASS Institute of Linguistics
Chinese name
Chinese 李荣

Li Rong (4 February 1920 – 31 December 2002) was a Chinese linguist known for his work on Chinese dialectology. He was director of the Institute of Linguistics at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences from 1982 to 1985,[1] and editor of the Language Atlas of China and the Great Dictionary of Modern Chinese Dialects.[2]

Li Rong was born in Wenling county, Zhejiang. In 1939 he was admitted to the Southwest Associated University in Kunming, studying Chinese literature. In 1943, he went on to postgraduate study at the Language Institute of Peking University, then based in Kunming. His master's thesis, a study of the system of fanqie pronunciation guides in the Qieyun, a 7th-century rime dictionary, was published in 1952.[2] In this work, he demonstrated that the mysterious "divisions" of the later rime tables reflected distributional patterns in the Qieyun.[3]

Li Rong founded the Chinese dialectology journal Fangyan in 1979, and served as its editor.[2] He led a team from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, collaborating with the Australian Academy of the Humanities to produce the Language Atlas of China in 1987.[2] The Atlas was based on Li's revised classification of Chinese dialects, with separate Jin, Hui and Pinghua groups. Although this classification has been adopted by many workers, it remains controversial.[4][5] Li was also the chief editor of the Great Dictionary of Modern Chinese Dialects, containing descriptions of 42 varieties from locations scattered across China.[2]

Selected works


  1. "The Institute of Linguistics, The Chinese Academy of Social Sciences".
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 "Lǐ Róng xiānshēng jiǎnlì" 李荣先生简历 [Li Rong: biographical sketch]. Institute of Linguistics, The Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, adapted from obituary in Fangyan 2003(2):97–107.
  3. Branner, David Prager (2006). "What are rime tables and what do they mean?". In Branner, David Prager. The Chinese Rime Tables: Linguistic Philosophy and Historical-Comparative Phonology. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. pp. 1–34. ISBN 978-90-272-4785-8.
  4. Kurpaska, Maria (2010). Chinese Language(s): A Look Through the Prism of "The Great Dictionary of Modern Chinese Dialects". Walter de Gruyter. pp. 55–56. ISBN 978-3-11-021914-2.
  5. Yan, Margaret Mian (2006). Introduction to Chinese Dialectology. LINCOM Europa. pp. 60–61. ISBN 978-3-89586-629-6.
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