1st Edition

Understanding the Chinese Language A Comprehensive Linguistic Introduction

By Chris Shei Copyright 2014
    394 Pages
    by Routledge

    394 Pages
    by Routledge

    Understanding the Chinese Language provides a vibrant and comprehensive introduction to contemporary Chinese linguistics. Combining an accessible style with an in-depth treatment of the topics at hand, it uses clear, full descriptions and vivid, modern examples to systematically take students through the phonology, vocabulary, grammar, discourse structures and pragmatics of modern Chinese. No prior knowledge of Chinese or linguistics is required.

    Features include:

    • Six detailed chapters covering the core linguistic aspects of the modern Chinese language, such as words, content units, sentences, speech acts, sentence-final particles and neologisms
    • User-friendly comparisons and contrasts between English and Chinese throughout the text, helping to clearly explain important complexities and nuances of the Chinese language
    • Clear, accessible explanations and insightful analysis of topics and linguistic devices, supported by many helpful examples, diagrams and tables 
    • Vivid and relevant examples drawn from real-life contemporary sources such as internet news reports, social networks like Sino Weibo, online forums and TV reality shows, offering fascinating perspectives on modern Chinese media, culture and society
    • Pioneering coverage of Chinese new words and the social phenomena they reveal
    • Additional exercises and four supplementary chapters covering Chinese syllables, idioms, discourse and culture available for free download at http://www.routledge.com/books/details/9780415634885/ 

    Written by a highly experienced instructor, researcher and linguist, Understanding the Chinese Language will be essential reading for undergraduate and postgraduate students taking courses in Chinese linguistics. It will also be of interest to anyone interested in learning more about Chinese language and culture.

    Forward.  Introduction  1.Chinese sounds  2. Chinese words   3. Chinese sentences  4. Speech acts  5. Sentence final particles  6. Chinese neologisms on the web


    Chris Shei is Associate Professor at Swansea University, UK.

    "Understanding the Chinese Language is an excellent introductory textbook for Chinese linguistics. This book provides a systematic, in-depth, and seminal explanation of Chinese linguistics and its efforts in comparing English and Chinese and using vivid and authentic examples make it very accessible." Han Luo, Northwestern University, USA

    "Teaching Chinese linguistics can be very challenging but this book has made the task a lot easier. Dr Shei’s use of authentic data (language used on TV reality shows and messages on social networks) to illustrate how the Chinese language really works is highly effective. He skilfully adopts various linguistic frameworks to examine Chinese sentence types. He also proposes new approaches, which include using concepts to define Chinese lexical items (i.e. words). Anybody who is interested in understanding how the Chinese language works will benefit from reading this book." Kan Qian, The Open University, UK.