Encyclopedia of Chinese Language and Linguistics

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Altaic Elements in Chinese
(1,806 words)

Chinese is a language that has evolved in the zone of interaction between two major areal-typological complexes that may be labeled “Sinitic” and “Altaic”. The Sinitic type is dominant in southern China (south of the Yangtze River) and Southeast Asia, while the Altaic type is prevalent in Western and Northern China and Northeast Asia, including Turkestan, Mongolia, Manchuria, Siberia, Korea, and Japan. The terms “Sinitic” and “Altaic” should here be understood as areal-typological labels with no…

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Juha JANHUNEN, “Altaic Elements in Chinese”, in: Encyclopedia of Chinese Language and Linguistics, General Editor Rint Sybesma. Consulted online on 25 July 2024 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2210-7363_ecll_COM_000027>
First published online: 2015

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