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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
6 Chinese Language and the Brain
Chinese Language and the Brain
Although the Chinese language does not have any special relationship with the brain that is not shared with any other languages, sometimes that relationship is emphasized because of two factors that seem to make the Chinese relationship with the brain more intimate. Those two factors are tone and Chinese character orthography. The relationship is there for tone because of brain hemisphere lat-erality phenomena and how they manifest with linguistic tone as in Chinese and non-linguistic tone as in music.
Music and musical tone are usually found to be processed in the right cerebral hemisphere, and so the natural question to ask is whether linguistic tone as in Chinese is processed in the right hemisphere like musical tone or whether it is processed in the left hemisphere as with most other linguistic information. Chinese tone was found to be processed in the left hemisphere like other linguistic stimuli in studies of aphasic speech in the 1980s.1 But while Chinese lexical tone processing in native Chinese speakers primarily employs language-dominant left-hemisphere cortical areas, non-native processing involves more right hemisphere or bilateral participation, similar to the processing of L1 prosodic or non-speech F0 information.2
Musical experience does seem to facilitate the perception of more linguistically-relevant acoustic dimensions of Chinese tone. For example, while both American musicians and non-musicians perceive tone height in Taiwanese equally well, musicians can better track the F0 contour.3 Other research reveals that native English musicians...
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