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A Social View on the Chinese Language

Jerome L. Packard

A Social View on the Chinese Language is intended to be a general linguistic introduction to the Chinese language for the general reader and can be used in beginning-level Chinese linguistics courses. It is different from other Chinese linguistics surveys because, in addition to the usual areas of interest (such as the Chinese dialects, the history of the language, the characters and the grammar), it offers a view into linguistic phenomena that are also related to human behavior and society, such as how Chinese children and US college students learn Chinese, how the brain processes Chinese, the genetic origins of Chinese, language disorders and language loss in Chinese, differences in Chinese language use in different social groups, studies of Chinese reading and psycholinguistic aspects of Chinese language use.
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List of Tables



Table 1.1Cross-language syllable rate, syllable inventory, syllable complexity and information density parameters

Table 2.1Historical Chinese language periods

Table 2.2Modern Mandarin reflexes of the ‘departing tone’ derivational morphology process in Old Chinese

Table 3.1Numbers of Chinese regionalect speakers

Table 3.2Mandarin initial consonants, IPA and pinyin

Table 3.3Mandarin vowels

Table 3.4The syllable ‘mi’ pronounced with each of the four tones

Table 3.5Some phonetic features in a selection of Mandarin dialects

Table 3.6Mandarin syllable structure

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