Chinese Dialect Classification: A Comparative Approach to by Richard VanNess Simmons

By Richard VanNess Simmons

This quantity is an research and type of dialects alongside the Wu and Jiang-Hwai Mandarin border in China's jap Yangtze Valley. it's the first monograph-length learn to seriously query the conventional unmarried criterion of preliminary voicing for the class of Wu dialects and suggest a accomplished comparative framework as a extra winning replacement. Arguing that dialect association is healthier made up our minds via research of dialect correspondence to universal phonological platforms, the writer develops a taxonomic research that definitively distinguishes universal Northern Wu and Mandarin dialects. by means of clarifying dialect association within the Wu and Mandarin border sector, this quantity makes major contributions to our knowing of the real nature of the region's dialects and their history.
Using essentially facts drawn from the author's personal fieldwork, the quantity includes copious comparative examples and an in depth lexicon of the previous Jintarn dialect.

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Additional info for Chinese Dialect Classification: A Comparative Approach to Harngjou, Old Jintarn, and Common Northern Wu

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Common Northern Wu is outlined in detail in Chapter 3. The Hwujou forms in these sets are from my field notes, which also generally agree with Akamatsu (1991). The Middle Chinese forms are based on Baxter (1992). Roman numerals following the Chiehyunn rime names identify the division category number. 42 CHINESE DIALECT CLASSIFICATION complex and convoluted a task that is devoid of much real value or usefulness. Even rendering the Chiehyunn categories as reconstructed Middle Chinese forms fails to simplify the job or clarify the results.

Indeed, on all of Yu's other phonological criteria they come out on the Wu side. The absence of a distinction, especially where there is the possibility of a merger due, say, to outside influence, necessarily has a much weaker classificatory value than the presence of a distinction — which is much harder, if not impossible, to get through influence or borrowing. To weight the diagnostic value of lexical criteria as Yu has done is a valid approach. Yu's broad, somewhat statistical, survey is certainly the best way to perform the evaluation and refinement of lexical criteria that such an approach requires.

Among them, three are certainly due to Wu influence and clearly have left the Harngjou dialect looking more Wu-like: A) A redirection of the earlier inclination for a merger between and /ä/ toward a trend whereby the vowel in rises and there is a gradual loss of the nasal, prompting instead a drift of, ' toward a merger with Id. B) The reduction of the diphthong /ao/ to /c/ and possibly a parallel reduction of /ai/ to læ/. (1982); Shyujou forms are from Lii Shen (1985); Anshiang forms are from Ing Yeutyan (1990); Yih'u forms are from Fang Songshi (1988).

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