Featured Linguist!

Jost Gippert: Our Featured Linguist!

"Buenos dias", "buenas noches" -- this was the first words in a foreign language I heard in my life, as a three-year old boy growing up in developing post-war Western Germany, where the first gastarbeiters had arrived from Spain. Fascinated by the strange sounds, I tried to get to know some more languages, the only opportunity being TV courses of English and French -- there was no foreign language education for pre-teen school children in Germany yet in those days. Read more



Donate Now | Visit the Fund Drive Homepage

Amount Raised:

$34513

Still Needed:

$40487

Can anyone overtake Syntax in the Subfield Challenge ?

Grad School Challenge Leader: University of Washington


Publishing Partner: Cambridge University Press CUP Extra Publisher Login
amazon logo
More Info


New from Oxford University Press!

ad

What is English? And Why Should We Care?

By: Tim William Machan

To find some answers Tim Machan explores the language's present and past, and looks ahead to its futures among the one and a half billion people who speak it. His search is fascinating and important, for definitions of English have influenced education and law in many countries and helped shape the identities of those who live in them.


New from Cambridge University Press!

ad

Medical Writing in Early Modern English

Edited by Irma Taavitsainen and Paivi Pahta

This volume provides a new perspective on the evolution of the special language of medicine, based on the electronic corpus of Early Modern English Medical Texts, containing over two million words of medical writing from 1500 to 1700.


Summary Details


Query:   Chinese Historical Syntax
Author:  Keith Slater
Submitter Email:  click here to access email
Linguistic LingField(s):   Historical Linguistics
Syntax

Language Family:   Chinese Subgroup

Summary:   Regarding query: http://linguistlist.org/issues/16/16-2294.html#1

Thanks to those who answered my query (LinguistList 16.2294) about the
diachronic stability of literary Chinese grammar. Here is a summary of the
responses:

QUESTION: Is there any sort of relative stability in classical literary
Chinese (lexically, syntactically, or general stylistics). Is there a 600
year period from c.400 BC to c.1912 which exhibits this type of stability?

ANSWERS: The following grammars and textbooks on ''Old Chinese'' would be a
good starting point (there are others which would also be helpful):

W.A.C.H. Dobson - Early Archaic Chinese
W.A.C.H. Dobson - Late Archaic Chinese
Edwin G. Pulleyblank - Outline of Classical Chinese Grammar
Ulrich Unger - Einf├╝hrung in das Klassische Chinesisch

The introductory chapters of these (and other) works all present some
justification as to why language periods like ''Classical Chinese'' or
''Late Archaic Chinese'' have been established and how they can be
distinguished from earlier or later periods. Needless to say, different
authors put the borderline(s) at different places in time.

With regard to ''literary'' stability, the phenomenon of ''Literary
Chinese'' might be of interest. The Wikipedia entry on ''Classical
Chinese'' (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Classical_Chinese) has some very
good remarks on this particular variety of Chinese which played a role
similar to that of Latin in Europe during the Middle Ages.

Richard Kunst wrote a paper 30 years or so ago, ''Literary Chinese Viewed
in the Light of Literary Latin.'' This might have something relevant to the
topic of stability and change in literary Chinese:

http://www.humancomp.org/ftp/yijing/litchinese_in_light_of_litlatin.html
(HTML, ca. 500KB)

http://www.humancomp.org/ftp/yijing/litchinese_in_light_of_litlatin.pdf
(Adobe Acrobat PDF, ca. 13655KB)

LL Issue: 16.2536
Date Posted: 01-Sep-2005
Original Query: Read original query


Back

Sums main page