Currency depends on your shipping address
- New York, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Oxford, Wien, 2021. XXIV, 206 pp., 25 b/w ill., 3 color ill., 71 tables.
- About the author
- About the book
- This eBook can be cited
- List of Figures
- List of Tables
- List of Abbreviations
- 1 Introduction
- 2 Chinese Language Origins
- The Origins of Human Language
- Out of Africa into Asia
- The Traditional Chinese Language Historical Periods
- Old Chinese
- Middle Chinese
- Early Mandarin to Modern Mandarin
- From Proto-Chinese to Old Chinese
- The Origin of Chinese Tones
- Mandarin Reflexes of Derivation in Old Chinese
- The Linguistic Affiliation of Chinese
- Chinese Is Not Related to Japanese
- 3 Chinese Regionalects
- The Regionalects
- Mandarin (Putonghua, Guoyu, Huayu)
- Sound System
- Chinese Morphemes
- Chinese Words
- SVO Word Order and ‘Second Position’
- The Verb Phrase
- The Noun Phrase
- Question Formation
- Topic, Focus and Old Information
- Aspect versus Tense
- The Left Periphery
- Discourse Analysis
- Beijing Mandarin Slang—Beijing tuhua ‘北京土话’
- Wu (e.g., Shanghainese)
- Yue (e.g., Cantonese)
- Min (e.g., Taiwanese)
- Kejia (Hakka)
- Which Regionalect Is the ‘Most Difficult’?
- Why Is Mandarin the ‘Standard’ Regionalect?
- How Different Are the Regionalects?
- 4 Chinese Writing and Reading
- Chinese Writing: Origins and Development
- What Are Characters Like Now?
- Simple versus Complex Characters
- The Six Traditional Character Types—The liu shu (六书)
- Phonetic-Semantic Compounds: Phonetic and Semantic Radicals
- How Many Characters Are There?
- How Many Characters Do People Know?
- Simplified versus Traditional Characters
- Which Are Easier to Learn, Simplified or Traditional Characters?
- Reading Chinese—Psychological Aspects
- 5 Learning Chinese
- Chinese Children Learning to Read and Write
- Chinese Children Learning to Speak
- Speaking Chinese Affects Children Learning to Count
- Adults Learning to Read and Write
- Adults Learning to Speak
- 6 Chinese Language and the Brain
- Dyslexia (Reading Deficit) in Chinese
- Factor Analytic Dyslexia (‘Cognitive’ Dyslexia) in Chinese
- Aphasia (Language Loss) in Chinese
- 7 Chinese Language and Culture
- Chinese Phonetic Loan Translations and Culture
- Chinese Naming Conventions
- Chinese Language and Thought
- Chinese Language and Society
- The Speech Characteristics of Social Groups in China
- The Simplification of Chinese Kinship Terms—China’s One- Child Policy
- Chinese Language and Chinese Food
- 8 What Can We Expect for the Chinese Language?
- Chinese Regionalects
- Chinese Writing
- Chinese Syllables and Sounds
- Chinese Words and Linguistic Typology
2 Chinese Language Origins
Chinese Language Origins
The Origins of Human Language
Human language is thought to have first appeared as early as 1 million years ago in Africa in the hominin species Homo erectus.1 Our earlier ancestors, such as Homo habilis, may have been adept at making and using tools, but according to the fossil evidence they may not have possessed the cranial capacity to accommodate the larger brain needed for advanced cognition. But it is thought that H. ergaster and H. erectus did possess the advanced thinking skills that eventually gave rise to talking. H. ergaster and erectus may have been the first species of homo that were able to speak aloud, or, ‘externalize’ their thoughts—an ability made possible by their larger brains and the need for them to share thoughts with their fellow group members. It is for this reason that Homo erectus descendants such as floresiensis, denisova, neanderthalis, heidelbergensis and rudolfensis—who inhabited different Eurasian sites after Out of Africa II2—most likely already possessed the capacity for human spoken language.
Scientists are able to infer the migration patterns of these early hominins based on DNA3 obtained from ancient human remains and present-day populations. When taken together with historical, anthropological, archaeological and linguistic evidence, this genetic information helps us deduce the characteristics of human populations and their movements over time.4 There is general agreement that most of the populations that now occupy East Asia descend directly from a large group...
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
This site requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals.
Do you have any questions? Contact us.Or login to access all content.