Encyclopedia of Chinese Language and Linguistics

Get access Subject: Language and Linguistics
Editor-in-Chief: Rint SYBESMA, Leiden University

Associate Editors: Wolfgang BEHR University of Zürich, Yueguo GU Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Zev HANDEL University of Washington, C.-T. James HUANG Harvard University and James MYERS National Chung Cheng University

The Encyclopedia of Chinese Language and Linguistics offers a systematic and comprehensive overview of the languages of China and the different ways in which they are and have been studied. It provides authoritative treatment of all important aspects of the languages spoken in China, today and in the past, from many different angles, as well as the different linguistic traditions they have been investigated in.

More information: Brill.com


(3,753 words)

Author(s): Anthony Pak Hin KONG
1. Introduction Aphasia refers to acquired language impairments resulting from a focal brain damage in the absence of sensory, motor, or cognitive impairments. Symptoms of aphasia can affect all modalities of language, including listening, speaking, reading, and writing. In addition, language impairments associated with aphasia can be present in one or more of the following language components: phonology, morphology, semantics, syntax, and pragmatics (Basso 2003; Davis 2007; Papathanasiou et al. 2011). Similar to Western countries, the most common cause of aphasia …
Date: 2017-03-02

Apical Vowels

(1,488 words)

Author(s): Wai-Sum LEE | Eric ZEE
Four types of apical vowels occur in the Chinese dialects: the unrounded and rounded alveolar apical vowels symbolized as [ɿ ʮ] and the unrounded and rounded post-alveolar or retroflex apical vowels symbolized as [ʅ ʯ ]. The [ɿ ʮ ʅ ʯ ] are widely used by dialectologists in China. Phonologically, the apical vowels occur only in CV syllables and function as syllable nucleus. In an overwhelmingly large number of the Chinese dialects, the apical vowel is obligatorily preceded by a homorganic sibilant. In a limited number of …
Date: 2017-03-02

Arabic in China

(2,489 words)

Author(s): Zhiming FU
1. Historical Background There have been contacts between China and the Arabic world since the Hàn. These contacts intensified during the Táng and Sòng, but it was not until the Yuán that intensive interactions among China, the Arab world, and Central Asia also brought a large number of Arabs and Persians to China. Those who settled in China constituted a distinctive ethnic group that is often referred to as Huíhui 回回. They established the Huíhui Imperial School (Huíhui Guózǐ Xué 回回國子學) and Huíhui …
Date: 2017-03-02

Areal Typology

(2,817 words)

Author(s): Walter BISANG
Research on areal typology reflects the effects of structural convergence as it is induced by situations of contact between speakers of different languages with various genetic affiliations. Long periods of contact across languages spoken within a larger geographic space often result in areal clusterings of grammatical properties which are discussed in terms of linguistic areas since Trubetzkoy (1930) introduced this notion under the German term of Sprachbund. Linguistic areas are characterized by structural similarities across a set of geographically adjacent…
Date: 2017-03-02

Argument Structure

(3,471 words)

Author(s): Yafei LI
In essence, argument structure (“a-structure” henceforth) is the traditional notion of transitivity reconceptualized in and enriched by modern linguistic theory. The a-structure of a lexical predicator describes its semantic and syntactic abilities to combine with other core constituents in a sentence. Usually, though not always, the focus of a-structure research is on verbal predicators. In this respect, Chinese has offered valuable contributions to our understanding of a-structure. A situation S, be it a state or an event, has a number of participants each of…
Date: 2017-03-02

Articles by Author

(3,215 words)

Ahrens, Kathleen: Metaphor Processing Aldridge, Edith: Ergativity and Unaccusativity Old Chinese Syntax: Basic Word Order Wh-questions, Premodern Alleton, Viviane: Chinese Linguistics in France Personal Names Alves, Mark: Chinese Loanwords in the Languages of Southeast Asia Chinese Loanwords in Vietnamese Anderl, Christoph: Medieval Chinese Syntax Northwest Medieval Chinese (with Osterkamp, Sven) Anderson, Matthew M.: Notions of “Chinese” Number of Characters Andrist, Eleni: Internet Language Writing Systems for the Visually Impaired Ansaldo, Umberto: Comparatives P…

Articles by Subject Area

(1,812 words)

Typology Areal Typology Typology of Sinitic Chinese as a Monosyllabic Language Varieties of Chinese and Dialectology Dialect Classification Dialect Diversification, Major Trends Dialect Geography (Geolinguistics) Language versus Dialect Layers in Dialectology Dialects, Premodern Northwest Medieval Chinese Ancient Chǔ 楚 language Ancient Wú 吳 Language Gàn 赣 Dialects Hakka Dialects Huī 徽 Dialects Jìn 晉 Dialects Mandarin, Varieties of Mǐn 閩 Dialects Pínghuà 平話 Dialects Wú 吳 Dialects Xiāng 湘 Dialects Yuè 粵 Dialects Dialect Islands Běijīng, The Language of Hohhot, The Language of Sh…

Articles by Title

(2,297 words)

Volume I Abbreviations, Acronyms, Initialisms 1 Academia Sinica Balanced Corpus 5 Acquired Dyslexia and Dysgraphia 7 Acquisition of Bèi 被 and Bǎ 把, L1 10 Acquisition of Classifiers and Count-Mass Distinction, L1 (Mandarin) 15 Acquisition of Discourse and Pragmatics, L1 20 Acquisition of L2, Overview 27 Acquisition of Logical Connectives and Focus, L1 34 Acquisition of Nouns and Verbs, L1 40 Acquisition of Oral and Written Chinese by Hong Kong Deaf Children 45 Acquisition of Phonology, L1 49 Acquisition of Relative Clauses, L1 57 Acquisition of Semantics, L1 63 Acquisition of Shangha…

Aspect, Inner

(4,068 words)

Author(s): Rint SYBESMA
1. Introduction “Inner aspect” is a term coined by Henk Verkuyl (Verkuyl 1988; based on insights from Verkuyl 1972; Vet 1976; Timberlake 1982 and others; see also Verkuyl 1993): “the study of inner aspect can be taken as the study of what sort of substructures events are composed of” (Verkuyl 1988:222). The term was popularized by Lisa Travis (Travis 2010) for the complex of functional projections between (little) vP and (big) VP. It is the representation in structural terms of Aktionsart or Situation aspect (Smith 1991; Aspect, Modern). Situation aspect is to b…
Date: 2017-03-02

Aspect, Modern

(5,029 words)

Author(s): Hooi Ling SOH
1. Introduction A major goal of research on aspect is to determine which aspectual elements are universal and which are not, and where in the grammar aspectual information is represented. The study of Chinese aspect contributes to this general goal by enriching the empirical base upon which a theory of aspect can be built.  The term “aspect” has been used to refer to “Viewpoint aspect” and “Situation aspect” (Smith 1991, 1994). Viewpoint aspect, also referred to as grammatical or syntactic aspect, focuses on the temporal perspective of the situati…
Date: 2017-03-02

Aspect, Premodern

(5,950 words)

Author(s): Barbara MEISTERERNST
It is generally agreed that in the earliest stages of Chinese a morphological system was in place which extended to aspectual marking on the verb (Sagart 1999; Gassmann and Behr 2005; Jīn 2005, 2006; Schuessler 2007). More particularly, it is assumed (e.g., Jīn 2005, 2006; Gassmann and Behr 2005) that the aspectual morphology of Ancient Chinese involved a distinction between the imperfective ( wèi wánchéng tǐ 未完成體) and the perfective aspect ( wánchéng tǐ 完成體), e.g., by a voiceless (imperfective) – voiced (perfective) alternation of the root initial, or – more frequen…
Date: 2017-03-02

Aspectual Adverbs

(1,898 words)

Author(s): Jo-Wang LIN
Aspectual adverbs describe a relation between the beginning or end of a current state and a current stage of that state. Included in traditional grammar books are examples such as zhèngzài 正在 ‘right at’, réngrán 仍然 ‘still’, jiànjiàn 漸漸 ‘gradually’, céngjīng 曾經 ‘once’, cónglái 從來 ‘ever’, jiù 就 ‘then’, cái 才 ‘until’, etc. These aspectual adverbs may function differently in different dialects, but only standard Mandarin will be discussed in this article. The most typical example of aspectual adverbs discussed in the literature is the opposition between already and still in English…
Date: 2017-03-02

Atayal Language

(4,186 words)

Author(s): Paul Jen-kuei LI
1. General The Atayalic group of languages is treated as one of ten primary subgroups of the Austronesian family (Blust 1999). It occupies the northern half of Táiwān, covering eight counties, with a total population of 83,700 (government census in December 2012). It is comprised of Atayal (Tàiyǎ 泰雅 ) and Seediq, each with dialects of its own. Atayal, in turn, consists of two major dialect groups, Squliq and C'uli' (= Ts'ole'). Squliq dialects are all fairly uniform, geographically widespread, and they serve as the lingua franca for all Atayal…
Date: 2017-03-02

Austroasiatic Languages

(5,888 words)

Author(s): Gerard DIFFLOTH | Nathan BADENOCH
Austroasiatic languages constitute a large and very ancient linguistic family that stretches from Central India to Peninsular Malaysia, including the Nicobar Islands and much of Mainland Southeast Asia. The Austroasiatic (AA) languages spoken in present-day China constitute only the northern fringe of that family. Most of the AA languages in China have close relatives further south, or even straddle the country’s international borders. There are at least a dozen AA languages in China; a more pre…
Date: 2017-03-02

Austronesian Languages

(3,632 words)

Author(s): Claire SAILLARD
1. Introduction: Austronesian Languages of China and the Austronesian Language Family The Austronesian language family, encompassing a fifth of the world’s languages (Grimes et al. 1995:122 count 1202 languages) covers a large territory: 106 degrees longitude from Mayotte to Easter Island, 72 degrees latitude from Táiwān to South Island, New Zealand. Austronesian languages of China are spoken in Táiwān, including Táiwān main island and Lányǔ 蘭嶼 island (Botel Tobago), and on Hǎinán island. Austronesian languages of Táiw…
Date: 2017-03-02

Author Identification and Dating of Texts

(3,207 words)

Author(s): Hongyin TAO
Identification of Chinese language texts typically manifests itself as ascription of authorship or dating of texts, or both. This has been an ongoing endeavor since the Hàn period. Early Chinese texts were believed to have been collected, transmitted, edited, rearranged, and reproduced often by multiple authors or groups of authors, such that some scholars went so far as to claim that early Chinese texts are “compositional in nature” (Boltz 2005), and that over time some of the classic texts are…
Date: 2017-03-02


(3,255 words)

AHRENS, Kathleen, Hong Kong Baptist University, Kowloon, Hong Kong. ALDRIDGE, Edith, University of Washington, Seattle, United States. ALLETON, Viviane, Centre d’Études sur la Chine moderne et contemporaine (EHESS), Paris, France. ALVES, Mark, Montgomery College, Rockville, United States. ANDERL, Christoph, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium. ANDERSON, Matthew M., University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, United States. ANDRIST, Eleni, University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland. ANSALDO, Umberto, The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong. ARCODIA, Giorgio Fra…

Automatic Speech Recognition and Speech Synthesis

(3,412 words)

Author(s): Daan VAN ESCH
1. Introduction Broadly speaking, automatic spoken language processing systems come in two flavors: automatic speech recognition systems (ASR) and speech synthesis systems (commonly abbreviated TTS, for text-to-speech). Automatic speech recognition systems are developed to allow computers to transcribe into written text any audio they receive as input, while speech synthesis systems turn written text they receive as input into audio. Huang et al. (2001), Benesty et al. (2008), and Jurafsky and Martin (2008) provide the most comprehensive coverage of the field …
Date: 1899-12-30