Literary Phonetics is the first Chinese masterpiece recording the general history of Chinese phonology. It marks the first time that the pronunciations of ancient and modern Chinese words were categorized into their respective periods of the Zhou Qin, Han, Wei, Jin, Southern and Northern, Sui, Tang, Song, Yuan, Ming, and the Qing dynasties, as well as the Modern age. It was the first comprehensive formation of Chinese phonological history, which is still cited by phonologists today. The first edition of the book was written by Qian Xuantong, in 1918. It was originally the teaching material of a Peking University professor in 1917.