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(1,860 words)

Author(s): Katia CHIRKOVA
Linguistic fieldwork refers to the activity of linguistic data collection through interaction with native-speaker consultants. Broadly speaking, it encompasses any collection of accurate data, regardless of: (1) the prior familiarity of the linguist with the language from which data are collected; (2) the whereabouts of the study – the original environment where the language is spoken or immigrant communities; and (3) the goal of the study – a comprehensive description of an entire language or a…
Date: 2017-03-02

Non-Sinitic Languages of Yúnnán and Sìchuān

(2,018 words)

Author(s): Katia CHIRKOVA
This overview encompasses the provinces of Yúnnán and parts of Sìchuān. Situated at the meeting point between Tibet, China, and Southeast Asia, this region is marked by diversity—geographic, biological, historical, cultural, ethnic, and linguistic. A major dividing line between the three realms runs along the southeastern ridge of the Tibetan plateau, separating the Tibetan world to the north and northwest (Non-Sinitic Languages of Tibet), the Sinitic world to the east, and the areas of mixed Si…
Date: 2017-03-02

Xùmǐ 旭米 Language

(5,188 words)

Author(s): Katia CHIRKOVA
1. General The Xùmǐ 旭米 language (also known as Shǐxīng 史興) is spoken by Xùmǐ Tibetans, an ethnic group of c. 1,800 people who reside along the banks of the Shuǐluò 水洛 river in Mùlǐ 木里 (Written Tibetan [WT] rmi li) Tibetan Autonomous County in Sìchuān Province (see Map 1). Shuǐluò Township is a historically multi-ethnic and multi-lingual area, and Xùmǐ villages are interspersed with those of other ethnic groups. Their most numerous neighbors include Pǔmǐ 普米 people in the lower reaches of the Shuǐluò river, and Gāmǐ 嘎米 Tibetans in the upper reach…
Date: 2017-03-02

Běijīng, The Language of

(5,402 words)

Author(s): Katia CHIRKOVA | Yiya CHEN
1. General Běijīng Mandarin (Běijīnghuà 北京話, Pekingese, hereafter BM) is a language spoken in the city of Běijīng (Peking) by its natives. The development of BM in this definition is essentially influenced by two factors: the special status as capital that the city enjoyed almost uninterruptedly for nearly a millennium, and the normative language(s) of its successive ruling elites. Situated for many centuries in the borderlands between China proper and the Altaic peoples to its north, the predecessor cities of present-day Běijīng served as capital to m…
Date: 2017-03-02