Cambridge University Press, 21. jan. 1988
This general introduction to the study of the Chinese language traces its history from its beginings in the second millennium BC to the present day and provides a clear picture of the contemporary language and its sociolinguistic status. Chinese in its numerous dialect forms, has more speakers than any language in the modern world, and this vast extension in time and space brings to its study an exceptional complexity. Nevertheless, Professor Norman handles this extraordinary range of material with a deftness of organization and lucid elegance of style that make his book of real interest to any reader with only an elementary knowledge of linguistics. It includes information on the genetic and typological connections of Chinese, traditional Chinese phonology, the writing system, the classical and early vernacular languages, the modern language and the non-standard dialects, and the history of linguistic reform in China, concluding with a discussion of present and future prospects.
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alphabetic andthe century Chao China Chinese characters Chinese dialects Chinese language Chinese Linguistics Classical Chinese clerical script common compounds consonants dialect groups dictionary distinction dynasty elements example final forms Fújiàn Fúzhōu Gàn grammatical graphs Guăngzhōu Han dynasty hànyŭ initials inthe itis Karlgren Kèjiā lexicography literary language Liú Mandarin dialects meaning medial Middle Chinese Mĭn Mǐn dialects Modern Chinese morphemes Nanbeichao nasal negative northern nouns numberof obstruents ofChinese ofthe Old Chinese onthe origin particle Peking Peking dialect period phonetic phonological pīnyīn prepositions presentday pronouns pronunciation Pŭchéng pŭtōnghuà Qièy reconstruction region retroflex rhyme tables script semantic sentence shì Shījīng shū Southern dialects spoken Chinese standard language suffix syllables Tang texts thatthe thirdperson TibetoBurman tobe tonal tone tothe transitive verb verb vernacular Vietnamese voiced voiceless Wáng withthe words writing system written Wú dialects Xiàmén Xiāng Y. R. Chao Yuè dialects zhī