Encyclopedia of Chinese Language and Linguistics

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Báihuà 白話 (Vernacular Written Chinese)
(2,364 words)

Báihuà 白話, lit. ‘clear speech’ or ‘unadorned speech’ refers to Vernacular Chinese, a written language that is opposed to wényán 文言, lit. ‘literary speech’ or ‘ornate speech’, Literary Chinese or Classical Chinese. The term báihuà mainly denominates:

1. A non-standard vernacular style found in written sources from the Táng until the Qīng dynasty which is thought to have been closer to the spoken language …

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Elisabeth KASKE, “Báihuà 白話 (Vernacular Written Chinese)”, in: Encyclopedia of Chinese Language and Linguistics, General Editor Rint Sybesma. Consulted online on 19 July 2024 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2210-7363_ecll_COM_00000031>
First published online: 2015

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