The Oxford Handbook of Chinese Linguistics by William S-Y Wang, Chaofen Sun

By William S-Y Wang, Chaofen Sun

The Oxford guide of chinese language Linguistics deals a large and finished insurance of the full box from a multi-disciplinary viewpoint. All chapters are contributed by means of major students of their respective components.

This Handbook comprises 8 sections: background, languages and dialects, language touch, morphology, syntax, phonetics and phonology, socio-cultural points and neuro-psychological elements. It offers not just a diachronic view of ways languages evolve, but in addition a synchronic view of ways languages in touch increase one another by way of borrowing new phrases, calquing personal loan translation or even constructing new syntactic buildings. It additionally accompanies conventional linguistic experiences of grammar and phonology with empirical proof from psychology and neurocognitive sciences. as well as examine at the chinese and its significant dialect teams, this instruction manual covers reports on signal languages and non-Chinese languages, reminiscent of the Austronesian languages spoken in Taiwan.

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Many decades back, Franz Weidenreich, who oversaw some of the first Zhoukoudian excavations in the early 20th century, lectured on the anatomical continuities between Peking Man and the modern Chinese. Wu Xinzhi 吴新智, a leading authority on Zhoukoudian fossils, continues to explore this line of thought (Wu and Poirier 1995). Interestingly, recent excavations in Zhoukoudian, at a site called Tianyuandong 田园洞, yielded fossils that are more compatible with the multiregional hypothesis (Shang et al.

Taiwan was the launching pad, so to speak, for the great diaspora of this great family of languages (see c­ hapter 9 in this volume). However, this view may not be consistent with recent findings in molecular genetics (cf. HUGO 2009:s32). On a lesser scale, the land bridges allowed the early speakers of Altaic languages to cross over from Korea to Japan, while leaving descendants in northern China who spoke languages that have evolved into modern Uyghur, Mongolian, Manchu, Evenki, and so on. These Altaic peoples have played important roles in China’s cultural history.

Although the words were originally assimilated into these languages as companions of their written forms, when these neighboring countries had not gained literacy, Korean and Vietnamese are no longer written with Chinese characters. This makes the explorations of their histories a little less transparent but no less worthwhile. In ­chapter 18, Shi Xiangdong 施向东 makes it clear that the influence of Buddhist Sanskrit on the Chinese language has been considerable. Many words have crossed the line from religious discourse to everyday use, such as shijie 世界 ‘world’ and boli 玻璃 ‘glass’.

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