Encyclopedia of Chinese Language and Linguistics

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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

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

Reading Characters and Words, Behavioral Studies

(2,698 words)

Author(s): In-Mao LIU | Jei-Tun WU
Reading is a process of transforming symbols into sounds (or representations of sounds) for the purpose of deriving meaning. Orthography generally refers to the rules about how to write these symbols. In the context of Chinese, the main concerns are “character recognition”, “word segmentation”, and “character-sound translation”. 1. Character Recognition Character recognition generally refers to character-form identification, from which meaning is retrieved. For understanding character recognition, the following topics are of general interests:…
Date: 2017-03-02


(1,412 words)

Author(s): Chen-sheng Luther LIU
The meaning of reciprocity in Chinese reciprocal sentences, especially regarding distributivity and what is called grain ambiguity, cannot (as we will see below) be derived from the two major theories of reciprocals: the intrinsic theory of Heim et al. (1991) and the relational theory of William (1991). This may be related to the fact that, whereas in some languages reciprocals are pronominal, Chinese reciprocals like hùxiāng 互相 , jiāohù 交互 , jiāoxiāng 交相, zìxiāng 自相, and bǐcǐ 彼此, all meaning ‘mutually’, always occur as adverbs. Predicates modified by them require a …
Date: 2017-03-02

Reconstruction, Methodology

(5,965 words)

Author(s): William H. BAXTER
Linguistic reconstruction is the process of making inferences about languages that are no longer spoken. Sometimes the goal is primarily to reconstruct some particular synchronic linguistic state: the language of a cer…
Date: 2017-03-02


(4,072 words)

Author(s): Feng-fan HSIEH
1. Introduction Sinitic languages are morphologically poor in the domain of inflection, and derivation is equally typically not realized by means of morphophonemic alternations either. Aside from compounding, reduplication may be regarded as the most well-represented morphological process in these analytical languages. Morphologically speaking, reduplication is affixat…
Date: 2017-03-02

Reference Processing and Discourse

(2,041 words)

Author(s): Yulong XU
Reference to entities talked about in discourse can be expressed in Chinese by using different types of referring expressions, and reference processing is an important sub-task of discourse processing, whose main purpose is to determine which discourse entity is referred to by a particular referring expression used in a particular discourse context. 1. Forms of Reference and Their Discourse Functions According to their form, Mandarin nominal referring exp…
Date: 2017-03-02

Relative Clause Comprehension, Neurolinguistic Studies

(4,285 words)

Author(s): Chin-Lung YANG
1. Introduction Studies of relative clause (RC) processing in Chinese are motivated by the fact that Chinese sentences containing a RC have a “mixed-headed” structure. While in Chinese the verb…
Date: 2017-03-02

Relative Clauses

(3,771 words)

Author(s): Francesca DEL GOBBO
Date: 2017-03-02


(6,947 words)

Author(s): Bianca BASCIANO
Date: 2017-03-02

Rgyalrong Language

(3,367 words)

Author(s): Guillaume JACQUES
1. Introduction Rgyalrong is a group of four languages spoken in Sìchuān province, People's Republic of China. These languages, along with Lavrung and Horpa/Rtau, belong to the Rgyalrongic branch of the Sino-Tibetan family (Sun 2000); they are likely to be closely related to other languages such as Pumi, Muya, Tangut, Queyu and Qiang within a larger Qiangic branch. The four Rgyalrong languages are known by various names, as some scholars use the Tibetan place names of the area where these languages are spoken, while others use the Chinese transcription of these names.…
Date: 2017-03-02