CHIN 431
Introduction to Chinese Linguistics Spring 2017
Division I
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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? Could (and should) 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 various Chinese-speaking societies. Readings in English and Chinese, with class discussion in Mandarin
The Class: Format: lecture/discussion
Limit: 20
Expected: 12
Class#: 3835
Grading: no pass/fail option, no fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: evaluation will be based on classroom performance, homework, two short papers, and one longer paper
Extra Info: may not be taken on a pass/fail basis; not available for the fifth course option
Prerequisites: CHIN 302 or permission of instructor; no prior background in linguistics required
Enrollment Preferences: current or prospective Chinese or Asian Studies majors
Distributions: Division I

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