Modern Chinese: History and Sociolinguistics / Edition 1

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The Chinese language, spoken by over one billion people, has undergone drastic changes over the past century. This book presents a comprehensive, up-to-date account of the development of Modern Chinese from the late nineteenth century to the 1990s. It describes and analyzes in detail, from historical and sociolinguistic perspectives, the establishment and promotion of Modern Spoken Chinese and Modern Written Chinese, and the reform of the Chinese script, and reveals the interaction of linguistic, historical and social factors in the recent development of the language.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"...Ping Chen's account of the history of standard Chinese is interesting and thought-provoking...a rich, valuable, and important addition to the basic literature in the field of Chinese linguistics. The book will be of great interest both to students who seek an introduction to the nature of Modern Chinese in its sociolinguistic aspects and to specialists who wish to delve further into any of those aspects." Anthropological Linguistics

"Modern Chinese whets our appetite for more and better analysis of language change. Until recently, the study of Chinese sociolinguistics has beed neglected because of politics. Chen's unprecedented attention to sociolinguistics opens up insights on language and social relationships that are just now beginning to be explored." Language in Society

Daniel Kane
Modern Chinese: History and Sociolinguistics is an excellent book, placing the development of modern Chinese in its social and historical context… Until the publication of Modern Chinese: History and Sociolinguistics, there was no comprehensible, serious, linguistically sophisticated analysis of such matters for students of Chinese… Its publication is a great step forward for Chinese language studies and linguistics.  It should be prescribed reading for all advanced students.
Higher Education, The Australian       
Ellen Soulliere
Ping Chen’s Modern Chinese: History and Sociolinguistics is a very valuable book. Grounded in the tradition of Chinese philology and Western linguistics, Chen provides an unusually deft and clear-sighted synthesis and presentation of complex material. He creates and applies a series of conceptual frameworks for the description and analysis of the Chinese language. He marshals a wealth of detail which helps him to place linguistic issues in a wider social and historical context. His broad comparative perspective draws attention both to the features which Chinese shares with other languages, and those which are unique to the Chinese case… Chen Ping’s thoughtful work sets a new standard for the discourse in English on the Chinese language.
New Zealand Journal of Asian Studies          
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521645720
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 9/28/2007
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 244
  • Sales rank: 1,031,026
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.55 (d)

Table of Contents

List of tables; Preface; Acknowledgements; List of abbreviations; 1. Introduction; Part I. Modern Spoken Chinese: 2. Establishment and promotion of Modern Spoken Chinese; 3. Norms and variations of Modern Standard Chinese; 4. The standard and dialects; Part II. Modern Written Chinese: 5. Development and promotion of Modern Written Chinese; 6. Norms and variations of Modern Written Chinese; 7. Dialect writing; Part III. The Modern Chinese Writing System: 8. Basic features of the Chinese writing system; 9. Simplification of the traditional writing system; 10. Phonetization of Chinese; 11. Use and reform of the Chinese writing system: present and future; 12. Conclusion; Notes; References; Index.

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