Date: 15-Sep-2006 From: Ulrich Lueders <lincom.europat-online.de> Subject: Sound Systems of Mandarin Chinese and English: a comparison: Chin
Title: Sound Systems of Mandarin Chinese and English: a comparison
Series Title: LINCOM Studies in Asian Linguistics 64
Publisher: Lincom GmbH
Author: Tsung Chin, University of Maryland
Paperback: ISBN: 3895863224 Pages: 144 Price: Europe EURO 42
This is a book on the sound systems of Mandarin Chinese and English. It takes a contrastive approach by first analyzing English and then using the same framework for Chinese.
The book focuses on the basic concepts for the understanding of Mandarin sound system. It describes the basic units of meaning, zi (words), as morpheme-syllables. The 405 morpheme-syllables in Mandarin form a closed set before tones are added. The components in the syllable are analyzed in terms of consonants and vowels, and divided into initials and finals by a binary approach used in traditional Chinese linguistics.
In this book, an original view is illustrated on the positional analysis of the syllable and the selection of vowels heading the groups of finals in the binary system. The four tones are shown to form a symmetrically balanced system with the phonetic variations explained in concise and simple terms. The placement of tone marks which often causes confusion is also demonstrated to follow well-motivated rules. This book provides insights for speakers of English and Chinese about their languages. It can be used as a textbook on Chinese phonetics, or as a reader for students of Chinese as a second language. Linguistic concepts are explained in plain language supplemented by analogies, examples, and reinforcing exercises. Learning problems are pointed out, causes explained, and remedies suggested.
Table of Contents
Division 1: The Chinese Language
Section I: What Is Chinese Section II: The Dialects Section III: Mandarin Section IV: Mono-Syllabicity, the Morpheme and the Morpheme Syllable
Division 2: Linguistic Concepts
Section V: Pronunciation vs. Spelling Section VI: Phonetics Section VII: Consonants, Vowels, and the Syllable
Division 3: English Sound System
Section VIII: Minimal Pairs and Phonemes Section IX: English Consonants Section X: Allophones and Assimilation Section XI: English Vowels