Encyclopedia of Chinese Language and Linguistics

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Typology of Sinitic
(2,070 words)

The term "Sinitic" has been adopted to encompass all Chinese (or Hàn 漢) languages that descend from Old Chinese (see Chappell 2001). In Chinese, these varieties are classified as fāngyán 方言, often translated as ‘dialects’ but effectively denoting large linguistic groupings which are by and large mutually unintelligible. The various ‘regional languages’ have diverged from each other from as early as the first century CE, beginning with the especially diverse Mǐn 閩 g…

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Umberto ANSALDO and Stephen MATTHEWS, “Typology of Sinitic”, 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_00000432>
First published online: 2015

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