Typological Change In Chinese Syntax

Hardcover | September 30, 2006

byDan Xu

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This new interpretation of the early history of Chinese argues that Old Chinese was typologically a 'mixed' language. It shows that, though its dominant word order was subject-verb-object, this coexisted with subject-object-verb. Professor Xu demonstrates that Old Chinese was not the analyticlanguage it has usually been assumed to be, and that it employed morphological and lexical devices as well as syntactic means. She describes the typological changes that have taken place since the Han period and shows how Chinese evolved into a more analytic language, supporting her exposition withabundant examples. She draws where possible on archaeological findings in order to distinguish between versions of texts transmitted and sometimes modified through the hands of generations of copyists.The author focusses on syntactic issues, including word order, verbs, causative structures, resultative compounds, and negation, but also pays close attention to what she demonstrates are closely related changes in phonology and the writing system.The book will interest scholars and graduate students of Chinese linguistics, philology, classical literature as well as general linguists interested in word-order typology and language universals. It may be also be used as a text for advanced courses in Classical Chinese and Chinese diachronicsyntax.

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This new interpretation of the early history of Chinese argues that Old Chinese was typologically a 'mixed' language. It shows that, though its dominant word order was subject-verb-object, this coexisted with subject-object-verb. Professor Xu demonstrates that Old Chinese was not the analyticlanguage it has usually been assumed to be, ...

Dan Xu is at Institute of Oriental Languages and Civilizations, Paris (INALCO).

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:272 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.83 inPublished:September 30, 2006Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199297568

ISBN - 13:9780199297566

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Table of Contents

1. From Old Chinese to Middle Chinese: Word order and word order change2. Orientation of Verbs in Old Chinese3. Causative Structures in Old Chinese4. The Rise of Resultative Compounds5. Negation in Old ChineseonclusionReferencesSources of ExamplesAppendix: Chinese ChronologyIndexes