Encyclopedia of Chinese Language and Linguistics

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Guānhuà 官話, Historical Development
(4,192 words)

The term Guānhuà 官話 'Official Language, Language of the Officials' is the traditional name for the lingua franca or koiné used in China in administrative, educated, and similar circles during the Míng (1368–1644) and Qīng (1644–1911) dynasties. The expression first appears in texts of mid-Míng times but was undoubtedly used in speech before then. The seventeenth century Dominican grammarian and lexicographer of Guānhuà, Francisco Varo (Chinese name Wàn Jìguó 萬濟國, 1627–1687), remarked that in his time two other terms, zhèngzì 正字 ('correct characters or words') and zhèngyīn 正音 (…

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Weldon South COBLIN, “Guānhuà 官話, Historical Development”, in: Encyclopedia of Chinese Language and Linguistics, General Editor Rint Sybesma. Consulted online on 27 March 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2210-7363_ecll_COM_00000173>
First published online: 2015

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