Diversity in Sinitic Languages

Diversity in Sinitic Languages

by Hilary M. Chappell (Editor)


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This book presents new research into the great structural diversity found in Sinitic languages. While many studies focus principally on Standard Mandarin, this work draws on extensive empirical data from lesser-known languages, and seeks to dispel many recurrent linguistic myths about the Sinitic language family.

Part I presents findings that show the important interplay of research into diachronic linguistics and typology in China, beginning with a discussion of how to tackle the issue of linguistic diversity in Sinitic languages. Chapters in Part II examine the Sinitic languages from a crosslinguistic perspective with pan-Sinitic explorations of demonstrative paradigms; bare classifier phrases in relation to the coding of definiteness; and of the diachronic development of two main structures for comparatives of inequality with respect to issues in language contact. Part III is devoted to individual studies of linguistic micro-areas in China: Pinghua and the Guangxi Autonomous Region in the far South of China; Shaowu Min in the northwestern corner of Fujian province; the Wu dialect of Fuyang; and the Hui'an Southern Min dialect in the South of Fujian province.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780198723790
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publication date: 02/03/2016
Pages: 384
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Hilary M. Chappell, Chair Professor in Linguistic Typology, Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Paris

Hilary M. Chappell holds the Chair in Linguistic Typology of East Asia at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) in Paris. Her main research is on the typology of Sinitic languages (or Chinese dialects) with the goal of investigating the extent of their linguistic diversity. To this end, she has been carrying out fieldwork over the past seven years in Hunan province, China, on the Xianghua language. A second, related research area pertains to the diachronic syntax of Southern Min (Hokkien), making use of a corpus of late 16th and early 17th century materials. Her publications include Sinitic Grammar: Synchronic and Diachronic Perspectives (OUP, 2001), Chinese Grammar: Synchronic and Diachronic Perspectives (OUP, 2004), and, with Christine Lamarre, A Grammar and Lexicon of Hakka (EHESS, 2005).

Table of Contents

Notes on contributors
PART I: Approaches to Diversity in Sinitic Languages
1. Introduction: Ways of tackling diversity in Sinitic languages, Hilary M. Chappell
2. Linguistic areas in China for differential object marking, passive, and comparative constructions, Hilary M. Chappell
3. Grammatical change in Sinitic languages and its relation to typology, Alain Peyraube
PART II: Typological Studies of Sinitic Languages
4. The semantic differentiation of demonstratives in Sinitic languages, Yujie Chen
5. Bare classifier phrases in Sinitic languages: A typological perspective, Wang Jian
6. The comparative construction in Sinitic languages: Synchronic and diachronic variation, Hilary M. Chappell and Alain Peyraube
PART III: Individual Studies of Linguistic Micro-Areas
7. Language contact in Nanning: Nanning Pinghua and Nanning Cantonese, Hilario de Sousa
8. On the origin of special numerals for 'one' in southeastern China: [kɛi213] in the northwestern Min dialect of Shaowu, Sing Sing Ngai
9. Complex pronouns in Wu Chinese: Focalization and topicalization, XuPing Li
10. Comparative constructions of inequality in the Southern Min dialect of Hui'an, Weirong Chen

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