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學 was /hæwk/ according to Baxter-Sagart transcription of Qieyun, and according to this wikipedia page, -æwk became /Jye/ in modern Mandarin, where J is a palatalized initial consonant.

What I'm curious is the series of intermediate sound changes that went through this word step by step, from EMC to the modern form. Thanks.

Edit: Or, if you could point me to some resources, that would be great too.

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    I was just thinking about this the other day. I don't have a source at all, but my guess is /hæwk/ -> /hjok/ -> /hjwek/ (vowel breaking) -> /hjwe/ (loss of final) -> /ɕwe/ -> /ɕye/. Note that Cantonese has hok3, which is similar to one of the intermediate forms.
    – jogloran
    Aug 8 '16 at 4:28
  • For what it's worth, Pulleyblank (1991) lists /ɣaɨwk/ and /ɣœ:wk/ for Early Middle Chinese (AD 601), /xɦja:wk/ for Late Middle Chinese, and /xjaw/ and /xɥɛ/ (both with the yangping tone) for Early Mandarin (AD 1300).
    – michau
    Nov 12 '16 at 20:06

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