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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I (index)

(1,916 words)

Iberian Patronage system: Chinese Linguistics in Italy iconicity: Origin of the Chinese Writing System | Sign Languages, Overview iconicity, reduplication: Morphology, Modern iconographic origin of characters: Liù Shū 六書 (Six Scripts) ideational metafunction: Systemic Linguistics ideograms: Ideographic Fallacy: Historical and Conceptual Issues ideograms, character recognition: Lexical and Sublexical Access ideographic fallacy: Ideographic Fallacy: Historical and Conceptual Issues | Language of Táng Poetry ideographic myth: Western Views of the Chinese Language ide…

Illocutionary Acts of Requesting and Inviting

(2,901 words)

Author(s): Rong CHEN
The speech acts of requesting and inviting have enjoyed differing degrees of attention from students of Chinese pragmatics. Findings about them offer a representative landscape of speech act research in Chinese, particularly in relation to linguistic politeness. It will be demonstrated in this article that studies on requests have provided a useful opportunity to explore negative politeness whereas studies on invitations have been a window for Chinese positive politeness. These studies have offe…
Date: 2017-03-02


(1,770 words)

Author(s): Yanyu GUO | Yang SHEN
Generally speaking, Mandarin, just like other languages, has four types of sentences: declaratives, interrogatives, imperatives and exclamatives (Zhū 1982; Xú 1987; Jìn 1992; Mǎ 1995). Imperatives are used to give commands (1a), prohibitions (1b), and instructions (1c). 1.    a.    出去!               Chū-qù!               go.out-go               ‘Get out!’   b. 別關窗戶!     Bié    guān   chuānghu!     neg  close   window     ‘Don’t close the window!’   c. 咱們快走吧!     Zánmen   kuài    zǒu     ba!     1pl             quick  leave  sug     ‘Let’s go quickly!’ The syntactic, pragmatic, semantic and phono…
Date: 2017-03-02

Impersonal Politeness

(1,989 words)

Author(s): Mary ERBAUGH
Chinese tradition did not encourage impersonal politeness to strangers, comparable to the generic English hello, Japanese konnichiwa, or Arabic/Hebrew shalom, used uniformly toward people regardless of their rank. China’s politeness has been hierarchical, centered on face building among insiders addressed by title. Strangers can fall outside this hierarchical system. Chinese people, encouraged by government campaigns, are now smoothing rapid urban encounters by expanding traditional politeness to encompass imperso…
Date: 1899-12-30


(3,182 words)

Author(s): Yueguo GU
1. Introduction The word implicature is primarily used as a shorthand for conversational implicature, which was first coined by Grice (1989 [1967]) to capture the phenomenon that what is meant by the speaker can be more than what is said. The following exchange between two female neighbors is a case in point. A: 他家姑娘有了,還沒結婚呢!   Tā    jiā          gūniang    yǒu   le,    hái   méi  jiéhūn  ne!   3sg  family  daughter   has   asp  still  not   marry  prt   ‘His daughter is pregnant. Not married yet!’ B: 真的?!   Zhēn  de?!   real    prt   ‘Really?!’ There is an implicature associated with A…
Date: 2017-03-02

Indirect Speech, Premodern

(1,853 words)

Author(s): Christoph HARBSMEIER
Reported speech in classical Chinese has the syntactic properties of direct speech. The sayings attributed to such personalities as Confucius or Mencius purport to convey the ipsissima vox of the philosopher they are attributed to. Thus, first person pronouns in reported speech refer to the speaker in the text and not to the author of the speech report. The second person pronouns in reported speech refer to the person addressed by the speaker and not the person addressed by the author of the speech report. On the other hand, in many early historical sources, what poses syntactic…
Date: 2017-03-02

Influence of Writing System on the Language

(2,418 words)

Author(s): Jonathan SMITH
Writing consists of symbolic means for the physical (typically visual) representation of something linguists are inclined to consider more fundamental – spoken language (Rogers 2005:2). However, though horse and cart are thus placed in the proper order, it is not always the case that where speech leads, script dutifully follows. In premodern China, the language of literature remained largely intact for centuries after the spoken tongue to which it was first tethered had split apart and set off i…
Date: 2017-03-02

Integrational Linguistics

(2,607 words)

Author(s): Xiaoqin SU
Integrational Linguistics (IL), developed by the German linguist Hans-Heinrich Lieb and others since roughly 1965, is an overall approach to the study of language and languages that are non-generative and combines features of Item-and-Arrangement, Item-and-Process, and Word-and-Paradigm approaches. It has given rise to a theory of language, to a theory of grammars (grammatical descriptions), and to theories of individual languages, in particular, grammars (Lieb 1983; more briefly in Lieb 1992a, …
Date: 2017-03-02

Intercultural Pragmatics

(2,533 words)

Author(s): Helen SPENCER-OATEY | Jiayi WANG
1. What is Intercultural Pragmatics? Intercultural pragmatics has emerged as a relatively new area of linguistic research, building on earlier work in cross-cultural pragmatics. Pragmatics examines how language is used and interpreted in context, and cross-cultural pragmatics analyzes differences across languages and cultures in these respects. Intercultural pragmatics, on the other hand, focuses on the interaction between people from different cultural backgrounds, so whereas cross-cultural pragmati…
Date: 2017-03-02

Interface between Syntax and Semantics in L2 Chinese

(2,235 words)

Author(s): Doris Chun-Yin CHEN
1. Introduction It has been claimed that in children’s first language development, semantic representations appear early and predominate, while syntactic rules and representations develop relatively late (e.g., Goodluck 1991). In acquiring their mother tongue, children must go through different stages, during the first two stages of which (the one-word and the two-word stages) they can only utter one or two important keywords. After they get to the telegraphic stage, grammatical notions such as su…
Date: 2017-03-02


(1,628 words)

Author(s): Hang WEI | Yang SHEN
Interjections are elements that conventionally constitute utterances by themselves and express a speaker’s mental state or his or her reaction towards an element in the linguistic or extralinguistic context. In Chinese, and presumably other languages, interjections constitute a special class of words, which differ from other word categories syntactically, semantically, as well as phonetically (Poggi 2009). Syntactically, interjections do not enter into specific syntactic relations with other elements; they are always used independently, acting as a s…
Date: 2017-03-02

Internet Language

(3,249 words)

Author(s): Eleni ANDRIST
1. Definition “Chinese on the internet” or “internet language” wǎngluò yǔyán 網絡語言 (mainland) or wǎnglù yǔyán 網路語言 (Táiwān) is defined as all Chinese text on the World Wide Web. The term is defined by the medium of communication, not by style or speaker. This means that various kinds of texts fall into this category. Liú (2002) provides a list of types of internet texts: automatic messages, advertising, prosaic texts (e.g., blogs), emoticons and other graphic features, internet-technology related vocabulary, c…
Date: 2017-03-02


(4,645 words)

Author(s): Yi XU
Intonation, when used in a narrow sense, refers to fundamental frequency (henceforth F0) patterns in speech that convey information beyond lexical meanings. In a broader sense, intonation also includes other suprasegmental patterns such as duration, intensity and voice quality, etc., that also convey non-lexical meanings. This article will focus mainly on the former, because, as will be seen, F0 is the main carrier of non-lexical meaning, although for boundary marking, duration likely plays a major role. 1. Function Versus Form As the definitions above indicate, there are t…
Date: 2017-03-02