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It's Been Said Before

By Orin Hargraves

It's Been Said Before "examines why certain phrases become clichés and why they should be avoided -- or why they still have life left in them."

New from Cambridge University Press!


Sounds Fascinating

By J. C. Wells

How do you pronounce biopic, synod, and Breughel? - and why? Do our cake and archaic sound the same? Where does the stress go in stalagmite? What's odd about the word epergne? As a finale, the author writes a letter to his 16-year-old self.

Book Information


Title: Francisco Varo's Grammar of the Mandarin Language: An English Translation of 'Arte de la lengua Mandarina'. With an Introduction by Sandra Breitenbach
Written By: W. South Coblin
Joseph A Levi
Series Title: Studies in the History of the Language Sciences 93

Francisco Varo's Arte de la Lengua Mandarina, completed ca. 1680, is the earliest published grammar of any spoken form of Chinese and the fullest known description of the standard language of the seventeenth century. It establishes beyond doubt that this 'Language of the Mandarins' was not Pekingese or Peking-based but had instead a Jiang-Huai or Nankingese-like phonology. It also provides important information about the nature and formation of pre-modern standard forms of Chinese and will lead to revisions of currently held views on Chinese koines and their relationship with regional speech forms and the received vernacular literature. Finally, it provides a wealth ot information on stylistic speech levels, honorific usage, and social customs of the elite during the early ing period. The book provides a full translation of the 1703 text of the Arte, an extensive introduction to the life and work of Varo, an index of Chinese characters inserted into the translation, and an index of linguistic terms and concepts. It should be of interest to a diverse readership of Chinese historical, comparative, and descriptive linguists, students of ing history and literature, historiographers of linguistics, and specialists in early Western religious and cultural contact with China.

Publication Year: 2000
Publisher: John Benjamins
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BibTex: View BibTex record
Linguistic Field(s): Historical Linguistics
Language Documentation
Subject Language(s): Chinese, Mandarin
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Format: Hardback
ISBN: 1556196067
ISBN-13: 9781556196065
Prices: U.S. $ 162
Format: Hardback
ISBN: 9027245819
ISBN-13: N/A
Prices: NLG 190.00