CHIN 253: Chinese Language and Society
This course surveys various aspect of Chinese language. Topics that will be studied include: (i) Linguistic features of Chinese: typological characteristics, grammatical and phonological structures, etc. (ii) Historical overview: how do modern forms of the language relate to older forms of the language such as Old Chinese? What did Old Chinese sound like? Where do Chinese tones come from? (ii) Chinese dialects: what are the major dialects? How are they related to each other? (iv) Structure and history of Chinese writing. (v) Minority languages and languages policies. (vi) Socio-linguistics: what role does standard Mandarin Chinese play vis-à-vis the dialects in everyday life? (vii) Myths about Chinese: are Chinese characters ideograms? Is it true that Chinese lacks grammar? SS, BN.