John DeFrancis, *The Chinese. Language: Fact and Fantasy*. (Honolulu: University of Hawaii. Press, ). Page 2. Page 3. Page 4. Page 5. Page 6. Page 7. The Chinese Language has 65 ratings and 11 reviews. Christopher said: THE CHINESE LANGUAGE: Fact and Fantasy, by the legendary pedagogue of. title: The Chinese Language: Fact and Fantasy author: DeFrancis, John. publisher: University of Hawaii Press isbn10 | asin: print isbn

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The four members of the committee who were his accomplices in this dastardly affair succeeded in remaining in complete obscurity, thus avoiding being brought before the bar of justice.

In the dialects that do not belong in the wide groups of Mandarin dialects, the case is even more severe. DeF, best known for his extremely popular series oftextbooks used by many students of the Chinese language in the US, has succeeded to a remarkable degree in rousing readers’ lanyuage and in challenging them to look at Chinese writing in a refreshingly new, often unconventional, and sometimes controversial fashion.

Examining the Standard Language as opposed to dialectal speech, the difference is much more than a difference in pronunciation. Epilogue When the foregoing essay was first presented to some colleagues several years laanguage, I assumed they would immediately catch on to what I was doing.

Page 12 Among the documents discovered in the Singlish file are two texts from which I cite the following opening passage: The kanji under the oracle bone are accompanied on the left by the katakana rendition of their go ‘on pronunciation and on the right by the hiragana rendition of their kan’on pronunciation.

An English syllable can contain a maximum of seven phonemes, as in the word “splints. It is in the traditional writing system that the greatest difficulty is encountered.

Again we must be careful not to confuse speech and writing.

The Chinese language : fact and fantasy (eBook, ) []

I can’t understand why my professor recommended this book for me. Very interesting book if you’re into Chinese and linguistic histories. Expressions equivalent to “and” or “if. Learning Chinese vocabulary requires more work than learning French vocabulary because the former is completely unrelated to English, whereas, thanks especially to the Norman conquest of England in the eleventh century, as well as an earlier ancestral affinity, there are many vocabulary items which are similar in the two languages.


The Chinese language : fact and fantasy

The third part, “Demythifying Chinese Characters” is the real meat of the book. Tone 1 jhon high level, tone 2 high rising, tone 3 low dipping, tone 4 high falling.

It would have been nice to have had an updated epilogue that outlined subsequent developments in Chinese language reform.

A Standardized Syllabary of Signs A syllabary standardized in from the thousands of centuries- old symbols used by the Yi or Lolo nationality in Southwest China. Page 28 Figure 6 Yi Writing: Defrxncis book discusses attempts to reform Chinese that occurred in the 20th century, as well as the development process of hanzi over time. From Yuwen Xiandaihua no.

Please create a tne list with a new name; move some items to a new or existing list; or delete some items. Specialists, however, apply the designation only to the earliest characters in China.

Chinese language — Writing.

Jonathan rated it it was amazing Jan 26, From what little additional information I have been able to glean about him he appears to have been a scholar of considerable erudition both in traditional Confucian learning and in Western, especially French, scholarship. Cover of the paperback edition.

Apart from those already named, I extend special thanks to the following scholars with whom I have had fruitful discussions: It is to avoid this fantasy that scholars such as Bloomfield have insisted on referring to the kinds of speech spoken in Shanghai and Canton as languages rather than dialects. Once we get beyond what might be called the Chao Idiolect, which was more or less the basis of the fxntasy of spoken Chinese presented in the preceding chapter, or any other specific idiolect, a problem arises: Consider beguiling examples such as these: This formula indicates that the vowel in a syllable must include a simple vowel nucleus and may also contain an on-glide or an off-glide or both, giving the following four vowel types: In both cases the languzge is English, not Chinese.

Even the term “Chinese” requires clarification. Third is the “compound indicative principle. The fourth and final part discusses historical steps for reform of the spoken and written languages.

Often a few scattered examples are used to illustrate a situation which would doubtless appear quite complex if treated in detail.

Neither group can converse with the other, and the speakers who can serve as linguistic intermediaries between the two represent a relatively insignificant number. Cancel Forgot your password? Page 29 Figure 7 Japanese Chinexe Chinese spelling based on the official Pinyin system, which I shall use throughout this book, is much more regular and hence a more reliable guide to pronunciation.


From this viewpoint, it is clear that in the vast regions langguage so-called Mandarin dialects are spoken the differences of the speech which exist among the masses are considerably more marked, not only in sound, but in vocabulary and structure, than is usually admitted.

Advanced Search Find a Library. In general the academic style adopted throughout the book is based on the belief that sound scholarship is not incompatible with having fun. Chinois langue — Aspect psychologique. But even if we are careful to specify that the language we are talking about is spoken language it may sometimes be necessary to explain what sort of oral communication we have in mind.

To counter the deeply entrenched mythology about Chinese requires not merely a presentation of dry facts.

The Chinese Language: Fact and Fantasy by John DeFrancis

The meaning of these figures when seen in isolation might be guessed at but could be known with assurance only by being learned. In a situation of geographic proximity it often happens that there is a continuum of speech with only minor differences between neighboring speakers but major differences between those at the extremities. Tones would undoubtedly be the first casualty, as they had been in Korea, Japan, and, to a lesser extent, Viet Nam, where the indigenous language was either tonal to begin with or became tonal in the course of its history.

Fan Zhen rated it liked it Nov 26, The term is therefore appropriate when applied in such expressions as Peking dialect, Nanking dialect, Sichuan dialect, and others of the innumerable mutually intelligible subdivisions of Mandarin. Please enter your name. Max rated it really liked it Apr 18, He pointed out that the Chinese had done just this in rendering foreign names into Chinese in their early contacts with Westerners before they were forced to abandon the practice in the nineteenth century in treaties imposed upon them by the imperialist powers.

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