So I was wondering why the on'yomi reading of Japanese 学 was "gaku" and the Korean reading of 學 was "hak", since I knew that in Mandarin, 学 was "xué", which is radically different from the two.
I did some research and learned that the Middle Chinese reading of 學 was "hæwk" (IPA /ɦˠʌk̚/). That left me to wonder: how did Middle Chinese "hæwk" evolve into modern day Mandarin "xué", considering that modern day Cantonese 學 is "hok6"?
It seems like no other Sinitic or Sino-Xenic descendants differed vastly from the original pronunciation of "hæwk" as much as Mandarin did. Is there a reason for Mandarin specifically differing so much as well?
Linguistically I know the least about Mandarin since I'm a heritage speaker and I didn't learn it as a language learner like I did the other languages, so I apologize if this is a stupid or bad question 😅