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- 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
5 Learning Chinese
Learning a language like Chinese is said to be notoriously difficult, but of course it must be recognized that Chinese children have no more difficulty learning their native language than do children who are native speakers of English. So how do we explain the belief that Chinese is so hard to learn? Spoken Chinese is not difficult to learn, but Chinese writing is another matter entirely, and people tend to conflate the learning of the written language with the learning of the spoken language. Two additional factors are that Chinese is a language with few cognates in English, and Chinese is a tone language in contrast with English which is a stress language.
Chinese Children Learning to Read and Write
Considering the stages of reading acquisition for children learning to read, there are posited to be three stages for a child learning an alphabetic writing system: the first stage is called the visual stage, the second stage is called the phonetic stage and the third stage is called the orthographic stage.
The first reading stage is called the visual stage, because the child visually recognizes a word and assigns a pronunciation to the word and they don’t assign a pronunciation to the individual letters of the word. This stage is like using brute force memorization because in essence learners are memorizing the shape of the whole word rather than decoding the sounds of the individual letters. So...
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