Eric Shepherd Chinese 3500 Fall 2012 University of South Florida

 Refers to a group of related languages that

exhibit significant variation; tremendous diversity bilingual environment

 Everywhere in China is always at least a

Language Families in China (over 1.4 billion speakers)  Sino-Tibetan Language Family: e.g. Mandarin, Tibetan, Burmese, Miao, Yak  Altaic Language Family: e.g. Mongolian, Turkic, Tungusic Manchu, Korean  Austro-Asiatic: e.g. Mon-Khmer, Vietnamese, Tai  Indo-European (Iranian, Slavic)  Others: e.g. Blang (in Yunnan Province)

Called Putonghua-literally “common speech” (Mainland China) Also known as guoyu-”national language” (Taiwan, Hong Kong) Now referred to as huayu-”language of the Chinese people’s” outside of China

radio Intellectual movement after the fall of Qing Dynasty (1911) To unify languages of China and eliminate characters/Romanize writing system One of the factors deterring China’s development was its difficult language    . National standard  Heard in schools. on TV (in south also Cantonese TV).

and Yuan (Mongols) (12061368)  It is NOT Beijing speech. Developed from a koine that grew out of an environment in which government officials and traders of multiple regions interacted during the reign of several foreign dynasties who all had their capitals in Beijing beginning with the Liao (9071125). Jin (1115-1234). which is a distinct dialect .

   Monosyllabic phonemes-smallest units of meaning Examples: 老 (lăo) elder/older + 师 (shī) master of trade/craft = 老师 (lăoshī) teacher 足 (zú) foot + 球 (qíu) ball = 足球 (zúqíu) football/soccer  .

 教 (jiào) to teach + 员 (yuán) one who…= 教员 (jiàoyuán) instructor 铁(tiĕ) iron + 路 (lù) = 铁路 (tiĕlù) railroad  .

 Genuinely polysyllabic morphemes are minority      Subcomponent characters have no meaning on own 蜘蛛 (zhīzhu) spider 搭拉 (dāla) hang down 疙瘩 (gēda) lump 珊瑚 (shānhú) coral  Modern Chinese increase in polysyllabic words .

reading. because each individual unit has meaning facilitates variety of combinations . or listening to one another Chinese do not process individual morphemes separately Burden on memory too heavy to process each individually Larger chunks of meaning-combinations roughly equivalent to words But.    When speaking.

 Each syllable characterized by a fixed pitch pattern  Tones function like English consonants and vowels in distinguishing meaning in Chinese  # of tones varies across dialects ▪ 4 tones in standard Mandarin (5 with an unstressed syllable-qingsheng) ▪ More in many southern dialects (9 in Taiwanese). only 3 in Shandong dialects .

time 时 Shĭ-excrement 屎 Shì-louse 虱 .          Example 1: mā-mother 妈 má-hemp 麻 mă-horse 马 mà-to scold 骂 Example 2: shī-teacher 师 shí.

 Tremendous number of homonyms meaning distinguished by context and tones  shī: 湿 wet /师 teacher/诗 poem/狮 lion  shí: 实 true/石 stone/十 ten/时 time/食 to eat/food  shĭ: 史 history/屎 excrement/始 to start/使 to use/ 驶 to drive/pilot  shì: 是 to be/视 to look/氏 clan/family/市 city/municipality/虱 louse /士 gentry  老师 (lăoshī) teacher .

  Tones shift in combination: 2 third tones together = 2nd + 3rd  你好!nĭ hăo sounds like ní hăo .



 一  Alone: yī  Before 1st tones: yì ▪ 一天、一些、一边、一生、一声、一间  Before 2nd/3rd tones: yì ▪ 一种、一点  Before 4th tones: yí ▪ 一定、一个、一样、一面、一趟、一次、一件 、一见、一切、 一块 .

prefixes) No verb conjugation!  . Isolating language  A word is coterminous with a morpheme  No internal changes in words (suffixes.

• Modifiers precede what they describe in Chinese English-we can say my book or a book of mine Chinese-can only say: • 我的书 • wŏ de shū • I + possessive marker + book • • .

cars) 部 (bu) film. military contingents. artillery. and machines 架 (jia) planes. songs 枝 (zhi) slender items 只 (zhi) animals. fur) 门 (men) course. Used in counting but primarily serve a descriptive function (iconicity) 个 (ge) generic measure 位 (wei) people 张 (zhang) flat. cannons. ticket. picture) 支 (zhi) slender items. cylindrical objects 根 (gen) long and thin things (smaller than 支) (hair. string. thin objects (paper. large books. one of a pair of things. vessels. utensils. table. branches of science 辆 (liang) vehicles (bikes. radios            .

           艘 (sou) boats 条 (tiao) pants. abstract things. performances 派 (pai) cliques. things with engines. news items. schools. files 所 (suo) houses. things with handles. shoes. scenery 把 (ba) keys. pairs of things 副 (fu) sets of things or facial expressions 本 (ben) bound objects. hand movements . machines. socks. research institutes 栋 (dong) houses. buildings 台 (tai) computers. clothes 双 (shuang) chopsticks. long and narrow things 件 (jian) articles.

Iowa (ài hé huá). Washington (huà shèng dùn) Technologies or phenomena not originating in China  伊妹儿 (yi mei er). 打 (da) Phonetic shift to meaning  Tiĕlèfēng-telephone shifts to 电话 (diànhuà) electric speech   . Florida (fó luó lĭ dá). names.  Increasing # of Sinicized foreign loan words Phonetic Borrowing-proper nouns. Ohio (éhàié). 模特儿 (mo te er). 磅 (bang). people and places  Michael Jordan (qíaodān). 雷达 (lei da).

have you ever seen it? .  SVO language Topic Comment Language  Main thing being talked about stated and then commented upon         Example 1: Zhèi wèi xiānsheng nĭ jiàn guo méi you? This + (measure) + man + you + see + ever (aspect) + not + have As for this man. have you ever seen him? Example 2: Zhèi bù diànyĭng nĭ kàn le méi you? This + (measure) + movie + you + see + ever (aspect) + not + have As for this movie.

/I have eaten at some point in my life or some specified time period./I ate rice and the action is completed. 了 (le) completed action.  Wo chi fan le.  Wo chi guo fan. after eating I will go home. Frequency and importance of time words  ./Tomorrow. Lack of tense/presence of aspect markers  着 (zhe) on going action./I am in the process of eating.  Wo chi le fan.  Wo mingtian chi le fan jiu hui jia./I ate and the action is completed. 过 (guo) experienced action  Wo chi zhe fan.

 Context-based language as opposed to sentence based (English)  懂了吗? (dŏng le ma?)  understanding + completed action + question marker  Has understanding occurred?/Do you understand?  吃饭了吗?(chīfàn le ma?)  to eat + rice/food + completed action + question  Example 1:  Example 2: marker  Has eating been completed?/Have you eaten? .

American speakers who frequently translate from English use “I” as a subject too much so project arrogant and self centered image • .• • Ellipsis-elements known to speaker and listener left out 我 (wŏ)-I/me • 吃饭了吗?吃过了。 • Have you eaten? Eaten. • 你去过美国吗?去过。 • Have you been to the US? Been there.

• 吃饭了吗?(chīfàn le ma?) Have you eaten? • • • • • Greeting Way to start small talk Inquiry about well being Invitation to eat together Question whether you have eaten or not • What is not said is often what is most important .

      您好!(nín hăo) honorific you + well/good = Hello (person of higher social status)! 你好!(nĭ hăo) unmarked you + well/good = Hello (person of equal or lower social status)! .

.) I + avoid/not allowed + esteemed + to be surnamed + name. My not so esteemed name is Xie (humble).      您贵姓? (nín guìxìng?) Honorific you + esteemed + to be surnamed? What is your name (polite)? 我免贵姓谢。 (wŏ miăn guì xìng xiè.

 Regionalects-environment and way of life. values all different and influenced by language Range from quite similar to mutually unintelligible “Languages of Europe”-206 China 8. way of thinking.000 counties probably 8.000 dialects  Qingdao-7 dialects  Yantai-Muping (10 kilometers)    .

000 speakers)  Northern  Northwestern  Southwestern  River Dialects .000. Mandarin 70% (over 900.


g. Shanghai) (77.5 million) Population of: US-301 million. France-63 million. Germany-83 million.        Wu (e. Japan-127 million.1 million) Cantonese (52 million) Min (Fujianese. Italy-58 million . including Taiwanese) (49 million) Jin (spoken in Shanxi Province) (45 million) Hakka (33 million) Xiang (spoken in Hunan Province) (25 million) Gan (spoken in Jiangxi Province) (20.


  Major north/south division Northern/Mandarin Dialects  differences in intonation. p. initials. tonal systems. usage differences  Research on regional dialects began with Yang Xiong’s (53 BC-18 AD) Fangyan  Absence of retroflex sounds. p. x endings Minority Languages   . x endings Southern/non-Mandarin Dialects  different linguistic systems. b. pronunciation differences. finals and usage  grammatical structure and word order basically the same  Retroflex marks northern speech. no m. m. b. grammatical structure different. tonal differences.

mono-ethnic country It is a multicultural and ethnically diverse place Its population size. ways of life and levels of development vary tremendously from region to region Unifying thread is written language   . ethnic diversity and wide range of physical terrains combine to foster tremendous diversity within the Han majority Customs. vast area.   China has never been a homogeneous. diets.

Longshan. in order to rule more efficiently Zhou Dynasty (11th-3rd Century BC)-bronze inscriptions called jinwen (literally “gold writing”) and classics (Analects of Confucius and Mencius)   . Yangshao-all names of locations of prehistoric archaeological dig sites) ▪ Cang Jie-scribe for Yellow Emperor who created writing based on the tracks of birds and animals. tortoise shells) ▪ Precursor was pottery shards (Banpo. Significant gap between written language and spoken language-not only characters but structure Writing system traced to 2000 BCE Oracle Bones ▪ Shang Dynasty divinatory texts (ox scapula. Da wenkou.



Shang oracle bone .



000 Romanization systems  Pinyin (PRC)  National phonetic alphabet (ROC)  others (Wade-Giles. Yale) .000 characters Average literate person recognizes 3-4.     Non-alphabetic Over 150.000 characters College educated person recognizes around 10.

Zhi shi (indicate things: ideographic-symbolize complex notions) ▪ 刃 (a dot on sharp part of knife blade) edge of blade/sword ▪ 上\下 (above and below primary stroke) above/below ▪ 三 (the number three) 3. Xingsheng (form and sound: semantic and phonetic elements mixed) ▪ 马、妈、骂、吗、江、河 2. compound with semantic notion) ▪ 酒 (wine) use the type of vessel that wine is brewed in and water ▪ 解 (separate/divide) use knife to separate ox and horn ▪ 鳴 (the sound of birds chirping) mouth and bird ▪ 从 (one person behind another) to follow . Hui yi (joining meaning: 2 or 3 characters make up one.From Xu Shen’s Shuo Wen Jie Zi-1st dictionary of Chinese characters (121 AD) 1.

巨. 曲. characters with similar meaning. 易. 甲. Xiangxing (imitate form: pictographic) very small number ▪ 一, 二, 日,月. 辰 . 才. Jiajie (loan borrowing: borrowed from character with similar meaning) ▪ 北 (north-no shape for it.4. rhyme. 白. 山. 市. radical) •考/老 kao and lao 5. 因. 我. Zhuanzhu (interchangeable notation: establish category. use something that sounds similar) ▪ Others: 方. 田 6.

  Nĭ hăo! Nĭ hăo! .

.    Nín guì xìng? Wŏ miăn guì xìng Wáng. Nín ne? Wŏ xìng Chén.

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