Modern Chinese: History and Sociolinguistics

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This book presents a comprehensive and up-to-date account of the development of Modern Chinese from the late nineteenth century up to the 1990s, concentrating on three major aspects: Modern Spoken Chinese, Modern Written Chinese, and the Modern Chinese writing system. It describes and analyses 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. Through an integrated discussion of these three areas of the language, it highlights the close interrelationships between them and reveals the interaction of linguistic, historical, and social factors in the development of Modern Chinese.
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Editorial Reviews

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          
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

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521641975
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 9/28/2007
  • Pages: 244
  • Lexile: 1590L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.67 (d)

Table of Contents

List of tables
List of abbreviations
1 Introduction 1
Pt. I Modern Spoken Chinese 5
2 Establishment and promotion of Modern Spoken Chinese 7
3 Norms and variations of Modern Standard Chinese 34
4 The standard and dialects 50
Pt. II Modern Written Chinese 65
5 Development and promotion of Modern Written Chinese 67
6 Norms and variations of Modern Written Chinese 91
7 Dialect writing 114
Pt. III The Modern Chinese writing system 129
8 Basic features of the Chinese writing system 131
9 Simplification of the traditional writing system 148
10 Phonetization of Chinese 164
11 Use and reform of the Chinese writing system: present and future 191
12 Conclusion 202
Notes 204
References 210
Index 222
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