Encyclopedia of Chinese Language and Linguistics

Get 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

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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.

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(203 words)

Abbreviations in Leipzig Glosses1first person2second person3third personaagent-like argument of canonical transitive verbablablativeabsabsolutiveaccaccusativeadjadjectiveadvadverb(ial)agragreementallallativeantipantipassiveapplapplicativeartarticleauxauxiliarybenbenefactivecauscausativeclfclassifier (sometimes cl)comcomitativecompcomplementizercomplcompletivecondconditionalcopcopulacvbconverb (sometimes cv)datdativedecldeclarativedefdefinite (sometimes df)demdemonstrativedetdeterminerdistdistaldistrdistributived…

Abbreviations, Acronyms, and Initialisms

(2,763 words)

Author(s): Giorgio Francesco ARCODIA
Abbreviations, acronyms, and initialisms are the result of some form of reduction of the phonological shape or orthographic representation of one or more words. Although “abbreviation” is sometimes used as a cover term for any kind of reduction of an existing word or phrase, strictly speaking, abbreviations are purely graphical shortenings, such as, for instance, the English “Dr.” for “Doctor” (Kreidler 2000; López Rúa 2006). “Acronyms” (< Greek ákron ‘tip, end’ + ónyma ‘name’) are generally understood as words made up of the first letters (or, less commonly, the fi…
Date: 2017-03-02

Academia Sinica Balanced Corpus

(706 words)

Author(s): Keh-Jiann CHEN | Chu-Ren HUANG
1. The Sinica Corpus Academia Sinica Balanced Corpus (Sinica Corpus) is the first proportionally sampled Chinese corpus with part-of-speech tagging. The corpus (Sinica 1.0) was compiled and opened to the research community through direct license in 1995 (Huang et al. 1995). Its size was two million words. After 10 years of further development, it was upgraded to the Sinica 5.0 with ten million words in 2005. Its on-line web service is available at http://asbc.iis.sinica.edu.tw. The corpus can also be accessed through direct licensing from the ROCLING Society (http://www.aclclp.org…
Date: 2017-03-02

Acquired Dyslexia and Dysgraphia

(2,136 words)

Author(s): Sam-Po LAW | I-Fan SU
The Chinese writing system, unlike alphabetic systems, is generally considered logographic and a deep orthography, in which the relationship between written form and sound is opaque. More specifically, the Chinese character corresponds to a syllable and a morpheme. Constituents of a character are arranged in a square shape, and none of them map onto phonemes or tone. Today more than 80% of all characters are phonetic compound characters composed of a semantic and a phonetic radical, which provid…
Date: 1899-12-30

Acquisition of Bèi 被 and Bǎ 把, L1

(3,416 words)

Author(s): Xiaolu YANG
Acquisition of the 把-construction (“ba”) and the bèi 被-construction (“bei”) refers to the process of how ba and bei are attained by Chinese children acquiring Mandarin. ba and bei are two well-known constructions in Mandarin that involve a reorganization of the grammatical functions found in sentences with a canonical np1 v np2 word order. In ba, which takes the np1 ba np2 v form, np2 (henceforth the ba np) is often, though not always, as we will see below, the theme object of the verb (see Sybesma 1999 and references cited there). bei is a typical passive in Mandarin with the np2 bei np1 v orde…
Date: 2017-03-02

Acquisition of Classifiers and the Count-Mass Distinction, L1 (Mandarin)

(2,963 words)

Author(s): Peggy LI | Pierina CHEUNG
In numerical classifier languages, such as Mandarin, classifiers are morphemes that occur next to numerals and “classify” nouns on some semantic basis (Classifiers). For example, ‘three cats’ in Mandarin requires the classifier zhī 隻, which is typically used with nouns for animals ( sān zhī māo 三隻貓 ‘three clf cat’). Thus, nominal syntax differs between classifier languages and “count-mass” languages such as English. In this review, we first focus on how children learning classifier languages inform us about the development of the count-mass …
Date: 2017-03-02

Acquisition of Discourse and Pragmatics, L1

(4,346 words)

Author(s): Chiung-chih HUANG
1. Introduction The study of first language acquisition of discourse and pragmatics deals with the question how children acquire the competence to use language in context to achieve communicative appropriateness. Research on the acquisition of discourse and pragmatics in Chinese-speaking children focuses mainly on the following four aspects of communicative competence: (1) speech acts; (2) conversational skills; (3) narrative skills; and (4) the discourse pragmatic uses of linguistic devices.  2. Speech Acts The early development of children’s pragmatic competence h…
Date: 2017-03-02

Acquisition of L2, Overview

(5,079 words)

Author(s): Doris Chun-Yin CHEN
This lemma provides an overview of L2 Chinese, or CSL, that is, Chinese (more particularly, Mandarin) acquired as a second language (L2), focusing on phonology, Chinese characters, syntax, and semantics, L1 (first language) transfer, and L1 attrition. Some research on L2 Chinese teaching efficacy is also reviewed, namely pedagogical grammars, Chinese heritage language, and bilingual Chinese. 1. L1 Transfer and L2 Chinese Lado (1957) hypothesized that L2 learners tend to make errors when producing the structures of their second language due to differences f…
Date: 2017-03-02

Acquisition of Logical Connectives and Focus, L1

(3,601 words)

Author(s): Stephen CRAIN | Peng ZHOU
1. Disjunction in Classical Logic Until quite recently, it was taken for granted that human languages were logical. It seemed so obvious that no one even bothered to question it. After all, some of the greatest thinkers of their time spoke Indo-European languages, others spoke Asian languages, and still others spoke Greco-Roman languages. Yet the native tongues of these intellectual giants did not appear to leave any indelible marks on the arguments they presented. Carefully reasoned arguments that w…
Date: 2017-03-02

Acquisition of Nouns and Verbs, L1

(3,082 words)

Author(s): Twila TARDIF
Word learning requires establishing a mapping between words and concepts, and utilizes a variety of cues from both the language and the surrounding environment. Early work on this topic suggested that despite the variety of languages, environments, and ways in which adults interact with young children, nouns appeared to be the easiest type of word to learn and are the most predominant in children’s early vocabularies. However, research on early language learning in Mandarin, Cantonese, and Korea…
Date: 2017-03-02

Acquisition of Oral and Written Chinese by Hong Kong Deaf Children

(2,924 words)

Author(s): Scholastica LAM | Gladys TANG
1. Introduction When approaching how deaf children acquire spoken language, one needs to take into account the degree and nature of hearing loss, types and effectiveness of hearing devices, as well as learning environment, because these factors may directly or indirectly impact their speech perception and production abilities, accessibility to spoken language input as well as ultimate attainment in language acquisition. Clinical reports on deaf children’s oral language performance consistently rev…
Date: 2017-03-02

Acquisition of Phonology, L1

(4,583 words)

Author(s): Hua ZHU
This chapter is concerned with acquisition of phonology, in particular, speech production, among young children. It aims to review the patterns and extralinguistic factors in phonological development among Mandarin- and Cantonese-speaking children in monolingual or bilingual contexts. It also offers some theoretical interpretations for cross-linguistic similarities and differences. 1. Acquisition of Mandarin Phonology The study of the acquisition of phonology of Chinese can be traced back to Chao’s longitudinal case study of a girl who was acquiri…
Date: 2017-03-02

Acquisition of Relative Clauses, L1

(3,572 words)

Author(s): Chun-Chieh HSU
The relative clause (RC) construction, an example of complex sentence structure, has played a significant role in understanding children’s linguistic knowledge of embedding and non-local dependencies. Chinese, which has a typologically rare combination of a subject-verb-object (SVO) word order and pre-nominal RCs (Dryer 2005), has drawn researchers’ attention interested in cross-linguistic comparisons. This lemma summarizes past research findings on the acquisition of RCs in Chinese. We first pr…
Date: 2017-03-02

Acquisition of Semantics, L1

(2,971 words)

Author(s): Chunyan NING
Chinese adults all know that the word zìjǐ 自己 (‘him/herself’) in a sentence like Zhāng Sān juéde Lǐ Sì xǐhuān zìjǐ 張三覺得李四喜歡自己 ‘Zhāng Sān thinks that Lǐ Sì likes him(self)’ can refer to the same person that either Zhāng Sān or Lǐ Sì refers to, that a sentence like Měige nánrén dōu xǐhuān yīge nǚrén 每個男人都喜歡一個女人 ‘Every man loves a woman’ should be understood as John loves Mary, Bill loves Emily, Jack loves Lisa, and so on so forth , and that the wh-word shénme 甚麼 ‘what’ in a sentence like Wǒ méi kànjiàn shénme 我没看見甚麼 ‘I haven’t seen anything’ must be interpreted as anything in contrast with shénme in Nǐ kà…
Date: 2017-03-02

Acquisition of Shanghainese, L1

(1,740 words)

Author(s): Bei YANG
Shànghǎi children acquire most segments of Shànghǎi phonology by age two and a half. They control phonological units, such as syllables, onset, and rhyme (=rime), by the time they are three years old. Cross-language comparison indicates that the acquisition of Shànghǎi dialect has many similarities with Mandarin, Cantonese, and Southern Mǐn 閩 acquisition, including acquisition order. However, because of some unique features of Shànghǎi dialect, such as the vowel /ɿ/ and complex tone sandhi, rese…
Date: 2017-03-02

Acquisition of Sign Language by Hong Kong Deaf Children

(3,895 words)

Author(s): Scholastica LAM | Gladys TANG
1. Introduction The deaf community is always heterogeneous, as deaf individuals have varying degrees of and different perceptions about deafness and deaf identities. Hence, some remain unimodal monolingual or bilingual in spoken languages, while others develop knowledge of both a sign language and a spoken language in a bimodal bilingual fashion, again with varying levels of ultimate attainment. Just as in any country, a majority of Hong Kong deaf children born to hearing parents may or may not be…
Date: 2017-03-02

Acquisition of Syntax, L1, Overview

(3,075 words)

Author(s): Yi-ching SU
It is undeniably a marvelous achievement for three- or four-year-old children to be able to grasp the major components of their target languages without explicit grammatical instruction. What is more fascinating is that despite the apparent differences in terms of grammatical structures among human languages, there exists tremendous similarity in the stages children go through in acquiring these languages, namely, proceeding from one-word stage to a two-word stage and then full sentences, with o…
Date: 2017-03-02

Acquisition of Taiwanese, L1

(2,667 words)

Author(s): Jane TSAY
1. Introduction Taiwanese refers to the Southern Mǐn variety of Chinese spoken in Táiwān, as the term has been used in the literature (e.g., Cheng 1968). According to Huáng Xuānfàn (1993), about 73% of the population in Táiwān belongs to the Southern Mǐn ethnic group. However, for over forty years (1950s-1990s), Mandarin was the only official language for instruction in schools in Táiwān. Taiwanese was even prohibited outside class on school grounds up to the 1970s, or even later. One of the c…
Date: 2017-03-02

Acquisition of Tone, L1

(3,951 words)

Author(s): Jane TSAY
1. Theme and Methods All varieties of Chinese have lexical tones. The most discussed issues concerning the acquisition of tone in Sinitic (Chinese) languages include: 1. The acquisition of tones versus the acquisition of segmentals; 2. The chronological order (or stages) in the acquisition of tone categories (i.e., lexically contrastive tone); 3. The substitution of tones or deviations from the adult form; and 4. The acquisition of tone rules. In addition to the above issues, less discussed, but by no means less important, issues will also be brought to the reade…
Date: 2017-03-02

Acquisition of Tone, L2

(4,677 words)

Author(s): Yue WANG | Allard JONGMAN | Joan A. SERENO
Chinese languages use tones to distinguish word meaning. Tones are acoustically manifested by changes primarily in fundamental frequency (F0, perceived as pitch) as well as amplitude and duration. Native Chinese speakers process these acoustic correlates as linguistic entities in their perception and production of tonal categories. For learners whose native language (L1) is non-tonal, tones may present great difficulty, since the functional association between the acoustic characteristics and th…
Date: 2017-03-02
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