琵琶

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Chinese[edit]

phonetic
simp. and trad.
(琵琶)
variant forms 枇杷
批把
鼙婆
Wikipedia has an article on:
琵琶
Pipa.

Etymology[edit]

Borrowed from a language in the Western Regions during the Han Dynasty. Compare Persian بربط (barbat, barbat; lute), Ancient Greek βάρβιτος (bárbitos, barbitos; ancient stringed instrument).

Both characters were initially non-checked-tone characters. Reborrowed during the Tang Dynasty from a source that more closely resembles the modern Persian name of the instrument, both characters were read as if they have checked codas. The original non-checked readings were restored after the Tang Dynasty. Compare the modern checked-tone dialectal readings of 枇杷 (pípá).

Much folk etymology exists surrounding the name origin. The dictionary Shiming [2nd CE] explains the name as 批把 (“slap-grasp”), reflecting the plucking movements while playing the stringed instrument. 琵琶 is also cognate with—and possibly gave rise to the name of (due to the similarity in shape)—枇杷 (pípá, “loquat”), which is also a non-native species.

Pronunciation[edit]



Rime
Character
Reading # 1/1 1/1
Initial () (3) (3)
Final () (15) (98)
Tone (調) Level (Ø) Level (Ø)
Openness (開合) Open Open
Division () III II
Fanqie
Reconstructions
Zhengzhang
Shangfang
/biɪ/ /bˠa/
Pan
Wuyun
/bi/ /bᵚa/
Shao
Rongfen
/bjɪ/ /ba/
Edwin
Pulleyblank
/bi/ /baɨ/
Li
Rong
/bi/ /ba/
Wang
Li
/bi/ /ba/
Bernard
Karlgren
/bʱi/ /bʱa/
Expected
Mandarin
Reflex
Zhengzhang system (2003)
Character
Reading # 1/1 1/1
No. 525 116
Phonetic
component
Rime
group
Rime
subdivision
2 0
Corresponding
MC rime
𣬈
Old
Chinese
/*bi/ /*braː/
Notes

Noun[edit]

琵琶

  1. (music) pipa (plucked Chinese string instrument)

Derived terms[edit]

Descendants[edit]

Sino-Xenic (琵琶):

Japanese[edit]

Japanese Wikipedia has an article on:
Wikipedia ja
English Wikipedia has an article on:
Wikipedia
Kanji in this term

Jinmeiyō
は > わ
Jinmeiyō
on’yomi

Etymology[edit]

/bipa//bifa//biwa/

Borrowing from Middle Chinese 琵琶 (MC biɪ bˠa). The sound change of /f//w/ is unusual in Sino-Japanese vocabulary.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

琵琶 (hiragana びわ, rōmaji biwa, historical hiragana びは)

  1. biwa (plucked, fretted pear-shaped Japanese lute with four or, more rarely, five strings)
    Synonyms: 琵琶琴 (biwagoto), 琵琶の琴 (biwa no koto), 四弦, 四絃 (shigen), 四つの緒 (yotsu no o)
    Hyponyms: 筑前琵琶 (Chikuzen biwa), 薩摩琵琶 (Satsuma biwa), 平家琵琶 (Heike biwa)

Derived terms[edit]

See also[edit]

Proper noun[edit]

琵琶 (hiragana びわ, rōmaji Biwa, historical hiragana びは)

  1. a place name
  2. a surname

References[edit]

  1. ^ 2006, 大辞林 (Daijirin), Third Edition (in Japanese), Tōkyō: Sanseidō, →ISBN

Korean[edit]

Hanja in this term

Noun[edit]

琵琶 (bipa) (hangeul 비파)

  1. Hanja form? of 비파 (bipa, lute).

Vietnamese[edit]

Hán tự in this word

Noun[edit]

琵琶

  1. Hán tự form of tỳ bà, (“a plucked, fretted pear-shaped lute with four strings”).