Volume 10, No 1
The language and dialects of China present a complicated linguistic picture. In this article these languages are systematically classified into families and branches according to their characteristics. The simplified picture looks thus: 1.Indo-Chinese: a) Chinese, b) Kam-Tai, c) Miao-Yao, d) Tibeto-Burman; 2.Austro-Asiatic: Mon-Khmer; 3.Altaic: a) Turkish, b) Mongolian, c) Tungus 4.Indo-European: Tokharian (extinct).
"热热地喝一碗茶" —— 笔记一则, 问题一束
C.P. Sobelman; Chi-yu Ho
Usually it is held that certain derived forms of SV can occur before a VP and that their scope of modification is indicated by what follows it – in this case the complete VP. However, this study shows that there are different syntactical relationships underlying the surface structure: ‘modifier-Verb Phrase’, as illustrated by ‘rere de he yi wan cha’. The modification function of the modifier in this structure may be related to the following elements in the structure: (1) the following verb only, (2) the NP which serves as the object of the following verb only, (3) the following Verb, or the NP, alone, and, (4) neither the Verb nor the NP alone, but rather the combined VP (=V+N). Furthermore, as to the NP, the modification function may be related to: (A) the Nu-M construction only, or (B) either the Nu-M construction or the Noun individually. These differences indicate the need for the further refinement of grammatical statements concerning (a) the order of occurrence of modifier and modified, (b) the scope of modification function, and (c) the layering of modification process. Perhaps most important of all, this study points out the vital role of semantic considerations in the study of modification in Chinese Mandarin.
Shuanfan Huang 黄宣范
Concepts of spirit, mind, and body as embodied in the Chinese language are examined. It is claimed that if Chinese is taken as a guide to an account and understanding of the nature of things, the Chinese concept of a person seems to point to a gradient ontology with the entities posited to exist forming a continuum in which properties attributed to these entities overlap with each other. Reasons for the gradient character of the metaphysics of a person are pragmatic and historical, reflecting the reasonableness, naturalness, and simplicity of the expression of the concept of a person evolved over a long period philosophical experience.
This glossary is an appendix to Professor Yuan’s article “English words of Chinese Origin”, which appeared in JCL v.9.2.
书评：说中文. Raymond Chang, Margaret Scrogin Chang 合著. 1978
Cornelius C. Kubler 顾百里
书评：说中文. Raymond Chang, Margaret Scrogin Chang 合著. 纽约: W.W. Norton & Company, Inc. 1978. x + 197 页. $10.95
Cornelius C. Kubler 顾百里
New Publication 新书
Volume 10, No 2
Zhang Jialu, Lü Shinan, Qi Shiqian, 张家騄, 吕士楠 ，齐士钤
A cluster analysis of perceptual features of Chinese speech sounds has been carried out to verify the phonological system of Chinese. The psychological similarity of speech sounds defined by Shepard (1972) was used as the distance of cluster analysis. It is shown that 1) The perceptual importance of distinctive features of speech sounds is different for different languages, and depends on the syllable construction, 2) The traditional phonological system of Chinese which divides a Chinese syllable into three constituents–initial, final and tone is good for perceptual features of Chinese, 3) The ending of finals is the most important cue both in rhyme class and speech perception. The hierarchical clustering diagrams of initials and finals are compared with that of English consonants.
Robert G. Henricks
At the end of my first article on the Mawangdui texts of Lao Zi I called for compilation of a complete list of the character variants in these texts as one of the things that needed to be done. I have now chosen to do that to my own satisfaction, and I here present the results. These variants are checked against the standard Wang Bi Text (SPPY ed.)
The present research presents statistical information about Mandarin and Chinese characters, which was obtained based on a frequency analysis of a corpus of 1,177,984 Chinese characters of natural-language text. The results suggested that (a) only about 40% (4,583 characters) of Chinese characters are used in present-day Chinese, (b) the frequency of Chinese words tends to be distributed lognormally, whereas that of Chinese characters does not show a lognormal distribution, (c) there are in total 401 frequently-used Mandarin sounds, consisting of 20 monograms, 219 digrams, and 162 trigrams, (d) frequently-used consonants of Chinese syllables are unaspirated stops, fricatives, dentals, and retroflexes, (e) a large proportion of frequently-used vowels are produced by closing the oral cavity, with the highest portion of the tongue in either the front or back part of the mouth, (f) there are several patterns of combination of consonants and vowels, primarily conditioned by the place of articulation of the initial and the medial of the final, and (g) syllables with the 4th tone occupy 40% of the total count.
关于汉语声调发展的几个问题 -- 读王士元先生的 “声调发展笔记”
Wuyun Pan 潘悟云
1) The tone shape-merge hypothesis proposed by Prof. William S-Y Wang can be demonstrated in two ways. One is from philological sources beginning from the Tang and Song era, while the other is historical comparison of literary and colloquial tones along with sandhi and citation tones. We do this because literary tones and some synchronic phenomena are a record of diachronic processes of tone merging. 2) The paper proposes that Chinese tone sandhi is of two types. The first type is contextual change, in which if there is difficulty in pronouncing the tones on two contiguous syllables, the tone in one of the syllables is changed. The second type is that found in Xiamen dialects, where so-called changed tones in syllables are not determined by the tones of contiguous syllables. In fact, it is the second syllable in a pair that reflects more recent historical change than in the citation tone; the tone in the preceding syllable conserves older values. Only by recognizing the difference between these two kinds of sandhi is it possible to systematically and scientifically study the complications of sandhi phenomena. 3) Inference from the tone merging hypothesis: Chinese tones should be understood to include both suprasegmental and segmental features, and the historical development of Chinese tones has moved from the segmental to the suprasegmental. 4) The paper uses the concepts of tone stem, tone head, and tone tail. Some changes in tone shapes are generated by tone head and tone tail.