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Book Information

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Title: Sound Systems of Mandarin Chinese and English: a comparison
Series Title: LINCOM Studies in Asian Linguistics 64

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

Division 4: Mandarin Sound System

Section XII: Mandarin Consonants
Section XIII: Mandarin Vowels
Section XIV: Mandarin Syllable Structure
Section XV: Mandarin Tones

Division 5: Traditional Chinese Phonology

Section XVI: Reverse Correspondence and Twin Initial-Double Final
Section XVII: Binary Initial+Final Analysis of the Mandarin Syllable
Section XVIII: Combinatory Constrains and Mandarin Syllables

Division 6: Phonetic Systems

Section XIX: The Three Major Romanization Systems and Their Comparison
Section XX: The National Phonetic Alphabet

Mandarin Initials
Mandarin Syllables

Publication Year: 2006
Publisher: Lincom GmbH
Review: Not available for review. If you would like to review a book on The LINGUIST List, please login to view the AFR list.
BibTex: View BibTex record
Linguistic Field(s): Phonetics
Anthropological Linguistics
Subject Language(s): Chinese, Mandarin
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Click here to see the original emailed issue.

Format: Paperback
ISBN: 3895863224
ISBN-13: N/A
Pages: 144
Prices: EuropeEURO 42