Due to the Tang's and later imperial courts' enforcement, yunshu 韻書 (rhyme books) such as Qieyun 切韻 (Spelling Rhymes), Yunlue 韻略 (Concise Rhymes), and Hongwu zhengyun 洪武正韻 (Standard Rhymes of the Hongwu Reign Period) came to exert extensive linguistic and cultural influence. However, during their inception before the Tang, rhyme books did not enjoy broad recognition, belonging more or less within circles of experts. In examining the case of Lu Fayan's 陸法言 (fl. 581–601) Qieyun (Spelling Rhymes; compiled ca. 601), which is often characterized as the incipient guan yun 官韻 (official rhyme book) in Chinese history, the author argues for its more private and personal nature and brings to light a different picture of pre-Tang “tonal and rhyming” culture.

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