Cantonese, also widely known as Yue Yu (粤语) or Guangdong Hua (广东话) in
a much broader sense, is in fact one of the many varieties of the Yue
Family of Chinese dialects. From the linguistic and historical linguistic
point of view, it is generally viewed as the lingua fanca of this family.
The variety being discussed in this book is the one spoken in the City of
Guangzhou (广州), the capital of Guangdong province, therefore it is known
as Guangzhou Hua (Guangzhou speech), or rather, Guangzhou Cantonese as
suggested by the title of this book.
This book is based on the author's Master's thesis completed at the
University of Texas with updated information and language data. A
sociolinguistic as well as historical linguistic account of this language
is given in some detail, including a special section on the Creo-natured
origin of Cantonese and its close varieties. Discussions in great detail
have been given to the segmental and suprasegmental features of this
language. The complex yet symmetrical tone system and the unique tone
sandhi phenomena are treated with feature geometry framework. The major
motivation for the tone change has been investigated. For the first time,
presumably, some significant synchronic changes undertaken by modern
Guangzhou Cantonese in the past fifty years have been probed.
The author Ming Chao Gui, also the author of two other books on Chinese
dialects: Yunnanese and Kunming Chinese, published by LINCOM EUROPA in 2000
and 2001 respectively, is Associate Professor of Chinese and Linguistics at
the Department of Modern Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics of the
University of Oklahoma, Norman campus, U.S.A. He lived and worked in
Guangzhou from 1953 to 1983 and married a native Cantonese. In the past two
decades, he has regular publications on Chinese dialects, Chinese language
teaching methodology, and comparative studies of Chinese and English
phonetics, phonology, and translation in China, the U.S. and abroad.