Encyclopedia of Chinese Language and Linguistics

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Old Chinese Morphology
(4,016 words)

Old Chinese (OC; also "Archaic Chinese" in the terminology of Bernhard Karlgren, c. 1250 BCE to 206 BCE) was an isolating language lacking the inflectional morphology that characterizes Indo-European (IE) languages (e.g., declensions of nouns for case/number, conjugation of verbs for person/number/tense/mood). In OC only word class and word order determine a word’s role and meaning in a sentence. Attempts to classify the OC lexicon in terms of IE word classes (nouns, adjectives, adverbs, transit…

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Axel SCHUESSLER, “Old Chinese Morphology”, in: Encyclopedia of Chinese Language and Linguistics, General Editor Rint Sybesma. Consulted online on 22 March 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2210-7363_ecll_COM_00000281>
First published online: 2015

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