Encyclopedia of Chinese Language and Linguistics

Purchase Access
Subject: Language and Linguistics

Editor-in-Chief: Rint SYBESMA, Leiden University

Associate Editors: Wolfgang BEHR University of Zürich, Yueguo GU Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Zev HANDEL University of Washington, C.-T. James HUANG Harvard University and James MYERS National Chung Cheng University

Early Release Version: content being added regularly, expected completion Fall 2016.

The Encyclopedia of Chinese Language and Linguistics offers a systematic and comprehensive overview of the languages of China and the different ways in which they are and have been studied. It provides authoritative treatment of all important aspects of the languages spoken in China, today and in the past, from many different angles, as well as the different linguistic traditions they have been investigated in.

More information: Brill.com

Names for the Chinese Language

(1,652 words)

Author(s): Jeroen WIEDENHOF
The nomenclature of Chinese language names has a long and complex history both natively and internationally. This complexity becomes less baffling once it is appreciated that (a) “the Chinese language” is really a cover term for an immense range of linguistic varieties; (b) the emergence of new varieties, and new standards, periodically calls for new names; and (c) the choice of language names follows social and political trends which are in constant flux. An off-hand remark by one of the most famous Chinese linguists of the 20th century, Yuen Ren Chao 趙元任 (Zhào Yuán…
Date: 2016-11-09

National Language Movement

(3,395 words)

Author(s): Elisabeth KASKE
1. Definition The National Language Movement ( guóyǔ yùndòng 國語運動) was a movement among educators and intellectuals from the 1920s to 1940s for the promotion of Mandarin as the national language ( guóyǔ 國語). The term “national language movement” has also been used to include all efforts to reform the Chinese language since the end of the 19th century, but several of these efforts claim their independent status as “movement”, especially the “vernacular literature movement” ( báihuàwén yùndòng 白話文運動) (see Báihuà), after 1917 also known as the “Literary Revolution” ( wénxué gémìng 文學革命),…
Date: 2016-11-09

Nàxī 納西 Language / Naish Languages

(7,031 words)

Author(s): Alexis MICHAUD | Yaoping ZHONG | Limin HE
1. General 1.1 Definition and genealogical position ‘Naxi’ (Nàxī 納西) is commonly used in Chinese scholarship as a cover term for a range of language varieties related to the Naxi language as spoken in Lìjiāng 麗江, in Northwestern Yúnnán. The same usage was followed until recently in the Ethnologue inventory of languages (code: NBF). The diversity of this set of ‘dialects’ or ‘languages’ is increasingly recognized, however, witness the creation of two distinct entries in Ethnologue as from May 2011: NXQ for Lìjiāng Naxi (‘Naxi proper’), and NRU for Na/Narua. The latter v…
Date: 2016-11-09

Neurolinguistics, Overview

(5,170 words)

Author(s): Chia-Ying LEE
1. Neurolinguistics and Its Methodological Advances Neurolinguistics is an interdisciplinary research field that aims to uncover the underlying neural mechanisms in the human brain for the comprehension, production, and acquisition of language. Much work in neurolinguistics involves testing and evaluating theories put forth by psycholinguists and theoretical linguists. Theoretical linguists propose models to explain the structure of language and how language information is organized. Psycholinguists p…
Date: 2016-11-09

Neutral Tone

(5,532 words)

Author(s): Yiya CHEN
Běijīng Mandarin is commonly described as having four tones. Yet this apparently simple assertion turns out to be a complicated and controversial question, because it depends on the status of the so-called neutral tone. The term neutral tone, known in Chinese as qīngshēng 輕聲 'light tone', was first introduced by Chao in the 1920s (Chao 2002) to describe the pitch pattern of some syllables in Běijīng Mandarin which show variability as a function of the preceding lexical tone. These syllables are also short and reduced in segmental articulation. The tone is often notated as T0. Over the las…
Date: 2016-11-09