John DeFrancis, *The Chinese. Language: Fact and Fantasy*. (Honolulu: University of Hawaii. Press, ). Page 2. Page 3. Page 4. Page 5. Page 6. Page 7. The Chinese Language has 65 ratings and 11 reviews. Christopher said: THE CHINESE LANGUAGE: Fact and Fantasy, by the legendary pedagogue of. title: The Chinese Language: Fact and Fantasy author: DeFrancis, John. publisher: University of Hawaii Press isbn10 | asin: print isbn

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The equivalents of our relative chlnese occur before nouns as modifying elements, as in German. The marks on paper that are usually recognized as peculiar to the writing systems developed in China, Korea, Fach, and Viet Nam have been given a variety of names, some neutral and noncommittal, others explicit but more controversial. If we examine the characters with respect to their phonetic value, we find that they would be rendered in present-day Mandarin as follows: In The Singlish Affair I have indulged in a number of puns and word games that in some cases are perhaps impenetrable private jokes.

This approach is rejected defracis many scholars who consider that it has been unduly influenced by the character-based writing system. When the same element occurs in different positions the basically identical strokes are modified in some way, as in length or thickness of stroke, though the latter goes by the board when beautiful brushwritten characters are replaced by those written with an ordinary ballpoint pen.

Thompson, Anatole Lyovin, and Albert J.

The Chinese language : fact and fantasy

This is by far the tge category of Chinese characters. Chao goes so far as to speak of “dialects or languages, if you like ” and to languave to them as “practically different languages” The belief that both the semantic and phonetic aspects should be taken into account in the naming of Chinese characters has led to terms like “phonosemantic” Pelliot This important plus for the Chinese transcription system is frequently overlooked by those who approach it with the ethnocentric idea that fantash should conform to their notions of the value of certain letters.

Such things, and much more, must be taken into account for a fully detailed description of spoken Chinese. I am also indebted to Professor Zhou for making the seal design on the half-title page and for finding another expert calligrapher to write the characters for the cover. But confused and careless writers, and careless readers of such writers and of xhinese authors as wellcan create a cloud of misunderstanding.

Such a procedure would have the advantage of enabling us to derive our information by observing the speech of a specific individual and checking our conclusions by testing them against what that speaker actually says. The Vietnamese member pressed for the creation, Vietnamese style, of new characters not already existing in Chinese to represent peculiarly American concepts. Such terseness presents difficulties for foreign students laguage the language who lack the native speaker’s intuitive grasp of what might be called contextual rules as well as of such neglected features as stress, juncture, and intonation.


Explorations in historical Jewish interlinguistics. University of Chicago Press,p. Create lists, bibliographies and reviews: Refresh and try again. Although the other committee members sympathized with this crude but subtle way of mocking aand despised Westerners, they all finally agreed favt from a long-range point of view it was better to adopt characters with auspicious or at least neutral meanings, as in the name Anna, which was already well established in Chinese in the form cited.

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In the following examples the top character is the early pictographic version of the second millennium B. Page 53 3 Idiolects, Dialects, Regionalects, and Languages In round figures there are about a billion people who are considered to be speakers of Chinese. It is superimposed on the basic phonological elementsthat is, on the consonants, vowels, and tones. The two are related, but by no means identical, and the areas where they coincide or differ need to be carefully noted. Language reform in modern Turkey.

Now the eternal law of history has intervened.

Chinese language–Social aspects, Chinese language– Psychological aspects. This comment evokes a picture of our “well-educated man” parading about like a comic strip figure with character-filled balloons coming out of his mouth. The task of learning to speak Chinese is greatly facilitated by the excellence of the Pinyin system.

The Chinese Language: Fact and Fantasy

This fundamental issue is so clouded by confusion and error that considerable effort is needed to separate fact from fantasy in order to arrive at a clear understanding about Chinese. In thinking about the Chinese language we must avoid this confusion by clearly specifying what we have in mind. The road he took was the very road of China’s new national culture. This realization has led me to present the material in a way that may prove useful to several kinds of readers.

These are not fixed notes on a scale but relative sounds or contours that vary according to the normal voice range of individual speakers. It must be remembered that if these parallels are to be seasoned with a large pinch of salt, we must pour a whole shaker-full over the uncritical practice of designating as “dialects” such divergent forms of speech as those of Peking, Shanghai, and Canton. Thanks for telling us about the problem.

As far as the latter is concerned, Chinese writing is not the oldest in the world in the sense of its being the first to be created. Electronic books Additional Physical Format: To call Chinese a family of languages is to suggest extralinguistic differences that in fact do not exist and to overlook the unique linguistic situation that exists in China.


The idea that Chinese is monosyllabic is shown as a myth, since the spoken language has and depends upon polysyllabic constructions to avoid redundacy and only in the thoroughly artificial written language could one see monosyllabism. Both in popular usage and in general linguistic application the term designates kinds of speech in which the differences are relatively minor in the specific sense that they are not great enough to impair intelligibility.

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The Chinese Language: Fact and Fantasy by John DeFrancis

When Korea, Japan, and Viet Nam first came in contact factt China, they had no writing, whereas China had a highly developed system of writing that was already some two thousand years old. This technical problem can be easily overcome, however; in fact, even a small portable typewriter can be inexpensively modified to allow for tone representation by arranging for two dead keys with two tone marks each.

It consists of phonemes or basic units of sound that determine differences in meaningfor example, the sounds represented by the letters b and p in English “bat” and “pat. Such borrowings, however important from a cultural point of view, do not basically alter the nature of the borrowing languages. Within the Putonghua speech community there are some relatively minor differencesminor compared to those among the regionalectswhich like those in the English-speaking community are not great enough to cause any chijese problem of communication.

Rationale for Singlish Although information is lacking on how this grandiose idea originated, the rationale for it was most clearly stated by the Vietnamese member of the committee, the venerable Phi De Giua, who at nearly eighty years of age was apparently the oldest, though only by a decade or so, of this group of hoary academicians.

Pekingese jkhn has a distinctive fanrasy r sound which has a somewhat uncertain status in the national standard Barnes It suggests a steady progession of differences lanbuage some sort of numerical equivalence among the groups represented by the letters A to Z.

From Pictographs to What? There are three general categories of strokes: A general feature of the Yangzi River region is the confusion of initial l and n. The name field is required.