Báihuà 白話 (Vernacular Written Chinese)
(2,365 words)

Báihuà 白話, lit. ‘clear speech’ or ‘unadorned speech’ refers to Vernacular Chinese, a written language that is opposed to wényán 文言, lit. ‘literary speech’ or ‘ornate speech’, Literary Chinese or Classical Chinese. The term báihuà mainly denominates:

1. A non-standard vernacular style found in written sources from the Táng until the Qīng dynasty which is thought to have been closer to the spoke…

Cite this page
Elisabeth KASKE, “Báihuà 白話 (Vernacular Written Chinese)”, in: Encyclopedia of Chinese Language and Linguistics, General Editor Rint Sybesma. Consulted online on 24 April 2017 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2210-7363_ecll_COM_00000031>
First published online: 2015

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