LINGUIST List 32.3289

Tue Oct 19 2021

Books: A Grammar of Shaowu: Ngai

Editor for this issue: Billy Dickson <>

Date: 18-Oct-2021
From: Birgit Sievert <>
Subject: A Grammar of Shaowu: Ngai
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Title: A Grammar of Shaowu
Subtitle: A Sinitic Language of Northwestern Fujian
Series Title: Sinitic Languages of China
Published: 2021
Publisher: De Gruyter Mouton

Book URL:

Author: Sing Sing Ngai
Electronic: ISBN: 9781501512483 Pages: 733 Price: U.S. $ 160.99
Hardback: ISBN: 9781501517723 Pages: 733 Price: U.S. $ 160.99

This is the first comprehensive grammar of Shaowu, a Min language spoken in Shaowu city and its environs in northwestern Fujian province, China. The book offers first-hand linguistic data collected over four years in the field, now placed at the disposal of researchers and students working in language documentation, comparative linguistics and Sinitic typology. It can serve as a reference grammar for those interested in learning the Shaowu language, thereby helping to preserve it. In addition, the book provides insights into Shaowu's classification which has been widely debated, thus elucidating its genetic affiliation.

The book first presents Shaowu's geography, demography and history. It then profiles the language's phonology and lexicon, before providing a detailed description of its syntax, notably on its nominal, predicate, clausal and complex sentence structures, which are the focus of the book.

The typological profile of Shaowu is also treated with the conclusion that the language has Gan, Hakka, Mandarin and even some Wu overlays on its Min base. The Shaowu language serves an excellent example to illustrate the degree of hybridity a language can attain due to intensive language contact over time.

Linguistic Field(s): Language Documentation
Areal Regions: East Asian

Written In: English (eng)

See this book announcement on our website:

Page Updated: 19-Oct-2021