Encyclopedia of Chinese Language and Linguistics

Get access Subject: Language and Linguistics
Editor-in-Chief: Rint SYBESMA, Leiden University

Associate Editors: Wolfgang BEHR University of Zürich, Yueguo GU Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Zev HANDEL University of Washington, C.-T. James HUANG Harvard University and James MYERS National Chung Cheng University

The Encyclopedia of Chinese Language and Linguistics offers a systematic and comprehensive overview of the languages of China and the different ways in which they are and have been studied. It provides authoritative treatment of all important aspects of the languages spoken in China, today and in the past, from many different angles, as well as the different linguistic traditions they have been investigated in.

More information: Brill.com

Roman Alphabet in China

(1,155 words)

Author(s): Jeroen WIEDENHOF
Through the ages, the Roman alphabet has played diverse roles in Chinese society, ranging from a marginal foreign script to an essential tool in primary education, and from a one-time rival to character orthography to today’s secure niche as a popular keyboard interface. Early Chinese acquaintance with the Roman alphabet arose through contact with merchants, missionaries, and adventurers, but its use in China was long restricted to foreign tongues. The first systematic romanization of a Chinese language was presented in Matteo Ricci’s Xī zì qíjì 西字奇跡 [Marvels of Western charact…
Date: 2017-03-02

Roman Letters in Chinese Writing

(4,248 words)

Author(s): Mark HANSELL
1. Introduction Chinese texts that consist solely of Chinese characters (henceforth Hànzì 漢字) are increasingly rare. In the globalized economic and cultural environment, Arabic numerals and Roman letters are nearly unavoidable in writing. Even a book of classical texts, if reprinted in recent decades, will bear the letters ISBN on the back cover. Newspapers, magazines, websites, advertisements abound with alphabetic expressions both familiar to the English speaker ( WTO, IBM) and uniquely Chinese ( KTV, AA制 [ zhì ‘made’]). Many of these expressions (“lettered words”, as …
Date: 2017-03-02

Rukai (Tona) Language

(4,097 words)

Author(s): Elizabeth ZEITOUN
1. General Introduction The Rukai (with a population of 12,000) forms one of the 16 Austronesian ethnic groups of Táiwān and live in the south of Táiwān. In recent years, some have migrated and formed new communities in areas occupied by Páiwān 排灣 and Southern Mǐn 閩 speakers; in 2009, the devastating Morakot typhoon erased entire Rukai villages. Six mutually unintelligible dialects are distinguished, each dialect corresponding to the name of a village/community: Tanan spoken in the east in Taitung County (Táidōngxiàn 台東縣), Budai and Labuan in the south…
Date: 2017-03-02

Rù 入 Tone Development in Běijīng Mandarin

(3,842 words)

Author(s): Chris Wen-chao LI
The evolution of the Middle Chinese checked 入-tone (“entering tone” or “ rùshēng 入聲”) syllables into the unchecked syllables of present-day Běijīng Mandarin—whose pronunciation is the basis for that of Modern Standard Chinese—has been of particular interest to linguists over the past century for the reason that a clear pattern of development has been hard to discern. Unlike the systematic development of the -tone in other Mandarin dialects (Rù-tone Development in Mandarin Dialects), the -tone syllables in Běijīng Mandarin until very recently appeared on the surf…
Date: 2017-03-02

Rù 入 Tone Development in Mandarin Dialects

(3,849 words)

Author(s): Hongzhi WANG
The term entering tone ( rùshēng 入聲) in its most basic meaning refers to the Middle Chinese (MC) short tone on syllables with -p, -t, -k stop endings. The Yuánhé yùnpǔ 元和韻譜 of the Táng dynasty (618–907) notes that “the entering tone is straight and short”. According to this record, we know that the clipped entering tone seen today in the dialects of southern China is a retention of a key characteristic of the entering tone of the early period: its short duration. Mandarin, the dialect group with the greatest population of sp…
Date: 2017-03-02

Rù 入 Tone Development in Non-Mandarin Dialects

(3,268 words)

Author(s): Mai YUN
入 ‘entering’ tone is a distinctive tone category of ancient Chinese. Syllables in this tone category had two key characteristics. They not only probably had a distinctive pitch contour, but more importantly, they contained one of the stop endings *-p *-t *-k. This article describes the features of these words in present-day non-Mandarin varieties of Chinese, and outlines their historical developments. (On the tone in Mandarin, 入 Tone Development in Mandarin Dialects.) We consider the Jìn 晉 dialects to be a subtype of Mandarin, so they are not included i…
Date: 2017-03-02