Jun 10, 2013

A Grammar of Mandarin Chinese


Mandarin Chinese is the official language in China, Taiwan and Singapore, and the language with the largest number of native speakers. In recent years, Mandarin usage has spread even further: it is now taught in most schools in Hong Kong, and with the influx of immigrants to the West from China and Taiwan, many parts of the world including Canada, the United States, Australia, and Europe have seen a steady increase in the number of speakers. Mandarin is not a homogeneous language; any grammar that tries to describe it needs to select one region as its focus. In this book, the focus will be on Mandarin as is spoken in its motherland of Northern China, especially the Chinese capital of Beijing. The book will begin by an introduction to the geographic characteristics, dialects and historical development of the language. This will be followed by Mandarin phonetics and phonology. Topics covered include the syllable, tones, the consonants, the vowels, the glides and, more importantly, how these interact to create the sound structure of the language. A description of the morphology will follow, addressing special features of the language in terms of compounding, reduplication, word stress, and disyllabicity. The remainder of the book will be devoted to Mandarin syntax. It will first outline the major parts of speech and the major types of phrases; then it will focus on some salient syntactic features, including the topic-comment structure, the serial-verb construction, and the de construction. The book will end with two sample texts, each accompanied by interlinear translation and free translation.
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