CHIN 431 Spring 2013 Introduction to Chinese Linguistics

Is Chinese--whose nouns "lack" number and whose verbs have no tense--a monosyllabic, "primitive" language? Are the Chinese characters a system of logical symbols or "ideographs," which indicate meaning directly without regard to sound? Should (and could) the characters be done away with and alphabetized? Are Cantonese, Hakka, and Taiwanese dialects or languages? And what is the relationship between Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Vietnamese? These are some of the questions we will be taking up in this one-semester introduction to the scientific study of the Chinese language. Topics to be covered include: the phonological, syntactical, and lexical structure of Modern Standard Chinese; the Chinese writing system; the modern Chinese dialects; the history of the Chinese language; sociolinguistic aspects of Chinese; and language and politics in the Chinese-speaking countries. Readings in English and Chinese, with class discussion in Mandarin and/or English depending on student proficiency levels in a given year.
Class Format: seminar
Requirements/Evaluation: evaluation will be based on classroom performance, homework, two short papers, and one longer paper
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Prerequisites: Chinese 302 or permission of instructor
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Divisional Attributes: Division I
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Class Number: 3057
CHIN431-01(S) LEC Intro to Chinese Linguistics Division 1: Languages and the Arts Cornelius C. Kubler
MW 11:00 AM-12:15 PM Schapiro Hall 241 3057
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