Cantonese: A Comprehensive Grammar: 2nd Edition (e-Book) book cover

Cantonese: A Comprehensive Grammar

2nd Edition

By Stephen Matthews, Virginia Yip


544 pages

Purchasing Options:$ = USD
Paperback: 9780415471312
pub: 2010-12-13
Hardback: 9780415471305
pub: 2010-12-14
eBook (VitalSource) : 9780203835012
pub: 2013-05-24
from $44.98

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Cantonese: A Comprehensive Grammar is a complete reference guide to Cantonese as spoken by native speakers in Hong Kong. It presents a fresh and accessible description of the language, concentrating on the real patterns of use in current Cantonese. This makes it the ideal reference source for all learners and users of Cantonese, irrespective of level, in schools, colleges, universities and adult classes of all types. Moreover, it will provide a lasting and reliable resource for all fluent speakers of the language.

The book is organized to promote a thorough understanding of Cantonese grammar. Arranged by both syntactic categories and language functions, the Grammar provides an in-depth treatment of structures and pays special attention to idiom and speech registers. Explanations are full, clear and free of jargon. An extensive index, numbered paragraphs and generous use of headings and cross-references provide readers with easy access to the information they require.

Features include:

Comprehensive pronunciation section

Full use of examples from films, advertising and authentic conversations

Cantonese-English parallels highlighted throughout the book

All examples given in characters as well as pinyin


Reviews of the first edition:

'It is fortunate that the long-felt need for a Cantonese grammar should have been so competently met at the first attempt. This is an excellent book, down to earth, up-to-date, full of insights, replete with well-selected and illuminating examples, and written with minimal reliance on jargon, so that it is accessible to all who are interested in Cantonese.' - Professor Hugh Baker, Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies

'Cantonese: A Comprehensive Grammar represents the latest effort in writing a dialectal grammar, a grammar that aims to serve language students, teachers, and linguists alike with both challenge and elegance.' - Professor Samuel H.N. Cheung, International Review of Chinese Linguistics

'A cover-to-cover reading leaves the impression that Matthews and Yip's work is undoubtably the reference grammar of Cantonese that we have been waiting for.' - Professor Alain Peyraube, International Review of Chinese Linguistics

'Matthews and Yip make a formidable team in putting together what is, in essence, the first full-length treatment in English to date of the grammar of modern spoken Cantonese.' - Professor Marjorie Chan, Journal of the Chinese Language Teachers Association

'The lack of a comprehensive reference grammar of Cantonese has long been a curious and embarrassing situation. Matthews and Yip's work therefore constitutes a landmark in Chinese linguistics.' - Professor Jeroen Wiedenhof, Glot International

'Matthews and Yip have indeed written a comprehensive grammar, which addresses the needs of Western learners of Cantonese and of general linguists in a thorough and detailed way… the authors have given the Cantonese language a long overdue, rightful place and a proper prominence within the descriptions of Chinese.' - Professor Gisela Bruche-Schulz, Cahiers de Linguistique Asie Orientale

Table of Contents

Introduction 1. Phonology 2. Word Structure 3. Syntactic Categories 4. Sentence Structure 5. Pronouns 6. The Noun Phrase 7. Prepositions and expressions of location 8. The Verb Phrase 9. Adjectival Constructions 10. Adverbial Constructions 11. Aspect and Verbal Particles 12. Modality 13. Negation 14. Quantification 15. Relative and noun-modifying clauses 16. Coordination and Subordinate Clauses 17. Questions 18. Sentence Particles and Interjections 19. Imperative Sentences 20. Cantonese Speech Conventions 21. Numberals and Times Appendiz: Romanization. System. Notes. Glossary of Grammatical Terms. References. Index

About the Series

Routledge Comprehensive Grammars

Comprehensive Grammars are clear guides to the entire grammar system of each language. They are suitable for intermediate to advanced learners and a must for every language reference library.

All Comprehensive Grammars are available as inspection copies.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Grammar & Punctuation