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By Hongyuan Dong

A background of the chinese language Language offers a complete creation to the historic improvement of the chinese from its proto Sino-Tibetan roots in prehistoric instances to fashionable average chinese language. Taking a hugely obtainable and balanced technique, it offers a chronological survey of a number of the phases of chinese improvement, overlaying an important facets reminiscent of phonology, syntax and semantics. Written through a hugely skilled teacher, A heritage of the chinese will be a necessary source for starting scholars of chinese and Linguistics and for somebody drawn to the heritage and tradition of China.

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Extra resources for A History of the Chinese Language

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As can be seen from the table, the only thing that cannot be omiƩed is the main vowel. e. where the syllable starts with a vowel. The coda can be a vowel or a nasal consonant. When linguists talk about the sound systems of a European language, they normally refer to the consonants and vowels in the language. In the reconstrucƟon of a proto-language in the Indo-European family, it is the consonants and vowels that are reconstructed. We could do the same thing with Chinese but tradiƟonally and pracƟcally it is more convenient and useful to talk about the iniƟals, rimes and tones, rather than consonants and vowels.

The verƟcal line on the right represents the level of pitch disƟncƟons that can be made by a speaker of a language, with 1 being the lowest and 5 being the highest. The 1st tone is represented by 55, which means the starƟng pitch is 5 and should be maintained throughout. The 2nd tone is 35, the 3rd tone is 214 and the 4th tone is 51. This system can be used to describe any tonal shape. Therefore, when it is necessary, we will use such numerals to describe the shape of Chinese tones in the diīerent stages of the history of the language.

1ഩA sample poem from the ^ŚţũţŶŐ ŚŝŶĞƐĞ ĐŚĂƌĂĐƚĞƌƐ DŽĚĞƌŶ^ƚĂŶĚĂƌĚ ŚŝŶĞƐĞ ŶŐůŝƐŚdƌĂŶƐůĂƟŽŶ;ďLJ:ĂŵĞƐ>ĞŐŐĞͿ ৳ᐞ㥷㨌, ᐖਣ㣬ѻDŽ ジᇘ␁ྣ, 䦮啃′ѻDŽ cĤncţ xìng cài zu‫ ڥ‬yòu mào zhţ y‫ڣ‬oƟ‫ڣ‬o shƻ n‫ک‬ zhƃng g‫ ڦ‬lè zhţ Here long, there short, is the duckweed; On the leŌ, on the right, we cook and present it. The modest, reƟring, virtuous, young lady: With bells and drums let us show our delight in her. 2 SYLLABLE STRUCTURE OF CHINESE Before discussing how we can use the rhyming scheme in the ^ŚţũţŶŐ, some basic phonological knowledge of Chinese is needed.

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