By Jeroen Wiedenhof
A desirable description of an international language, A Grammar of Mandarin combines wide views with illuminating intensity. filled with examples from daily conversations, it goals to enable the language communicate for itself. The publication opens with an outline of the language state of affairs and a radical account of Mandarin speech sounds. 9 middle chapters discover syntactic, morphological and lexical dimensions. a last bankruptcy strains the chinese language personality script from oracle-bone inscriptions to today’s electronic pens.
This paintings will cater to language rookies and linguistic experts alike. effortless reference is supplied via greater than 80 tables, figures, appendices, and a word list. the most textual content is enriched by means of sections in finer print, providing extra research and mirrored image. instance sentences are totally glossed, translated, and defined from various angles, with a willing eye for fresh linguistic switch. This grammar, briefly, finds a Mandarin language in complete swing.
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Additional info for A Grammar of Mandarin
The Chinese languages have not always been tone languages. The reconstruction of older stages reveals a process in which tone develops, or TONOGENESIS . The tonal contrasts which we fnd today can be derived systematically from other sound contrasts (Matisof 1973, Baxter 1992: 302-324, Schuessler 2007: 29-50, Baxter & Sagart 2014a: 15). For instance, the third tone of Beijing Mandarin regularly refects an earlier glottal stop [ʔ]: bǎo ‘treasure’ and xiǎng ‘enjoy’ have been reconstructed as *pˤuʔ and *qhaŋʔ in Old Chinese (11th-7th c.
The THIRD TONE or shǎngshēng 上 聲 starts at the half-low pitch level, slowly drops to low, then ends in a swift rise to half-high pitch (notation: 214). In the low stretch of the tone, the volume is softer than at the beginning and at the end. In the lowest trajectory, the voice may break to produce a creaky sound. The third tone exceeds all other tones in terms of duration. Compare Pulleyblank (1984a: 58) for the historical relation between low tone and creaky voice. In most contexts, the third tone is realized as falling from half-low to low (21).
One of the initiators of the project, Fred Fangyu Wang 王方宇 (Wáng Fāngyǔ, 1913-1997), also published dictionaries of spoken Mandarin under his own name (Wang 2002a, 2002b). Since the publication of Chao’s grammar, a number of popular reference works on Mandarin have been produced outside China. An accessible overview of the language is given in Charles N. Li & Sandra A. Thompson’s Mandarin Chinese: A functional reference grammar (1981). Similarly commendable is Jerry Norman’s Chinese (1988), which is both a comprehensive introduction to Chinese linguistics and a source of detailed information on Mandarin grammar.
A Grammar of Mandarin by Jeroen Wiedenhof