Typology of Sinitic
(2,071 words)

The term Sinitic has been adopted to encompass all Chinese (or Hàn 漢) languages that descend from Old Chinese (see Chappell 2001). In Chinese, these varieties are classified as fāngyán 方言, often translated as ‘dialects’ but effectively denoting large linguistic groupings which are by and large mutually unintelligible. The various ‘regional languages’ have diverged from each other from as early as the first century CE…

Cite this page
Umberto ANSALDO and Stephen MATTHEWS, “Typology of Sinitic”, in: Encyclopedia of Chinese Language and Linguistics, General Editor Rint Sybesma. Consulted online on 23 March 2017 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2210-7363_ecll_COM_00000432>
First published online: 2015



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