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By Hongyuan Dong

A background of the chinese language Language offers a complete creation to the ancient improvement of the chinese from its proto Sino-Tibetan roots in prehistoric occasions to fashionable general chinese language. Taking a hugely available and balanced process, it offers a chronological survey of some of the levels of chinese improvement, protecting the most important elements comparable to phonology, syntax and semantics. Written through a hugely skilled teacher, A background of the chinese will be an important source for starting scholars of chinese and Linguistics and for an individual attracted to the background and tradition of China.

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Extra info for A History of the Chinese Language

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Using a vast amount of data about known true cognates and known borrowings from diīerent languages, he discovered that when two languages share many relaƟonal words due to contact, these shared words tend to be the less basic ones, those that are higher up the hierarchical structure of basic vocabulary, and shared words in the more basic vocabulary tend to be fewer. g. among the diīerent Chinese dialects, or among the Germanic languages including English, German, Dutch and Swedish, these shared words tend to be the more basic vocabulary items, while the less basic ones tend to be fewer.

6. Previously we only focused on their rimes. If we look at their iniƟals, we Įnd that the Įrst four characters all share the same iniƟal “f”, while the remaining four characters do not have an iniƟal at all. The “y” is pronounced similarly to “ee” as in English “sheep”, which is a medial, not an iniƟal. Note that in such cases it can be said that they have a zero iniƟal. In this way, these characters share the same iniƟal. But when we look at more examples, we Įnd that the iniƟals of xiéshĤngzì characters do not always have to be the same.

XiéshĤngzì, to study the classes of rimes and iniƟals in Old Chinese and we have also discussed some representaƟve features of Old Chinese iniƟals. But the classes of iniƟals and rimes only tell us how many diīerent rimes and types of iniƟals there were back then. How could we know the phoneƟc values of these classes? To do so, most linguists rely on the phonological system of Middle Chinese as the wriƩen records of Middle Chinese are much more extensive. To some extent, most modern Chinese dialects are descendants of Middle Chinese so we can use the pronunciaƟon of modern dialects and the wriƩen records together to reconstruct the phoneƟc values of Middle Chinese rimes and iniƟals.

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