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

Help us improve our service

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

Focus

(2,477 words)

Author(s): Linda BADAN
1. Definition Focus is often defined as the notion that provides new or salient information in a sentence. Focus typically involves a focus-background articulation. Focus is the "informative" part of the sentence; the background is the "non-informative" part, that is, the knowledge that the speaker presupposes to be shared by the hearer (Halliday 1967; Jackendoff 1972; Vallduví and Engdhal 1996, among others). There are different uses of focus. New information, in its simplest form, is expressed by the so-called information focus, which, for example, can c…
Date: 2017-03-02

Food Terms

(3,774 words)

Author(s): Isaac YUE | Chung-hao Pio KUO
1. Introduction In his reminder to Liú Bāng 劉邦 (256 BCE–195 BCE) of the importance of food to society, Lì Yìjī 酈食其 (?–203 BCE) famously analogizes food to heaven and argues for the former as the basis of effective kingship ( Xīn xù, “Shàn móu xià 善謀下” 10.5). Such an outlook, which is echoed in the idiom “people consider food heaven” ( mín yǐ shí wéi tiān 民以食為天) is revelatory of the inherent importance of food to Chinese civilization. This is further attested to by the abundance of gastronomy-related terms in the Chinese language, some of which may even be furt…
Date: 2017-03-02

Foreigner Talk

(3,269 words)

Author(s): Tian SI
Foreigner talk ( yǔ wàiguórén jiāotán yǔ 與外國人交談語) refers to the discourse, modified from ordinary language in form and function, that is employed when native speakers (NS) and non-native speakers (NNS) communicate with each other in order to achieve more rapid and effective understanding (Ferguson 1971:141–150; Ellis 1994:133). The research surrounding Chinese input discourse is primarily focused on “Teacher Talk”. Studies of “Foreigner Talk” in other languages have produced a rich body of literature that includes both general discussions of …
Date: 2017-03-02

Forensic Linguistics

(2,632 words)

Author(s): Bin LI
1. Overview Forensic linguistics in China has gone through a rapid development since the 1980s (Lǐ Zhènyǔ 2012). Research in the 1990s and 2000s developed a rising role and contribution for foreign language studies, which introduced concepts and frameworks as well as major developments in the West. During this period, textbooks and monographs with references to local cases were published, written by Chinese scholars including Yú (1990), Zhōu and Sūn (1997); Dù (2004a), Jiāng (1995), Pān (1997); Wá…
Date: 2017-03-02

Forensic Voice Comparison

(2,667 words)

Author(s): Cuiling ZHANG | Geoffrey Stewart MORRISON
Forensic voice comparison is an analysis performed in order to assist a court of law to decide whether a voice of questioned identity on an audio recording was produced by a particular speaker of known identity. A typical scenario is that the voice of questioned identity is that of an offender recorded on a telephone intercept, and the speaker of known identity is a suspect whose voice has been recorded during a police interview. In their analysis of the voice recordings, the forensic scientist …
Date: 2017-03-02

Four-Corner System

(1,964 words)

Author(s): Yves TRACHSEL
This article describes the four-corner method, an indexing system or character retrieval system for Chinese characters. It originated in the 1920s, in a time where Republican China saw itself confronted with a myriad of revolutionary western ideas that were not readily compatible with old traditions. This article aims to shed light on the development of the four-corner method and its historical background on the one hand and to provide a short but practical introduction to familiarize the reader with the basics of this method on the other hand. 1. Historical Background and Authorship Th…
Date: 2017-03-02

Free Relatives

(1,130 words)

Author(s): Francesca DEL GOBBO
A free relative clause in English is characterized by the following features: 1. it is introduced by a wh-word (or a morphologically complex word which contains a wh-element);   2. it can be substituted by a semantically equivalent DP or PP; and   3. it contains a trace (it is therefore generated by movement).   Consider the following examples from English: 1. a. I tasted [what Adam cooked].   b. I wonder [wh-INT what Adam cooked].   c. I tasted [DP the thing(s) Adam cooked].   d. *I wonder [DP the thing(s) Adam cooked].     (Caponigro 2003) The example in (1a) contains the free relative clause what …
Date: 2017-03-02

Functional Projections

(1,573 words)

Author(s): Andrew SIMPSON
The existence of functional projections in a particular language may be motivated on the basis of different kinds of evidence, relating both to X0/head-level items and also phrasal categories. Frequently it is the occurrence of independent words (heads) or inflectional morphemes with primarily functional-grammatical rather than lexical-descriptive properties that is presented as evidence for the occurrence of functional projections in a language, especially when the distribution of such elements seems linked to certai…
Date: 2017-03-02