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Title: A Synchronic and Diachronic Study of the Grammar of the Chinese Xiang Dialects
Written By: Yunji Wu
Series Title: Trends in Linguistics. Studies and Monographs 162

This is the first book in Chinese linguistics which discusses the grammar
of a dialect group, in this case the Xiang dialect spoken in Hunan, from
both a synchronic and diachronic prespective. The author uses new data and
new frameworks to present her analysis. The synchronic part covers
contemporary grammar across localities within the Xiang-speaking area by
using the methods and theories of comparative and typological linguistics.
The diachronic analysis reconstructs earlier grammatical systems based
mainly on modern data but also on historical written records, and analyses
the development of the syntactic systems of the Xiang dialects, adopting
the methods and theories of historical linguistics and grammaticalization.
The discussions in this book raise new issues on dialect research which
have not yet been fully acknowledged by Chinese dialectologists. The author
shows, for example, how the earlier layers of grammar may be reconstructed
on the basis of modern data, and how the path of grammaticalization of
functional words may be traced. The discussions reveal that the Xiang
dialect group forms a transitional zone between northern and southern
dialects. The syntactic constructions in these two areas often co-exist or
are mingled in Xiang. Thus, the grammatical constructions in different
localities of the Xiang dialect group often provide a bridge connecting the
constructions of northern and southern Chinese, or Modern Chinese and
Chinese of earlier periods.

This book is of interest to scholars and students who are working on
grammar, dialectology, historical linguistics, comparative linguistics,
typological linguistics, and grammaticalization, as well as those
researchers focusing on language policy, language acquisition, and education.

Yunji Wu is Senior Lecturer at the Institute of Asian Languages and
Societies at the University of Melbourne, Australia.


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Publication Year: 2005
Publisher: De Gruyter Mouton
Review: Read the review
BibTex: View BibTex record
Linguistic Field(s): Historical Linguistics
Subject Language(s): Chinese, Xiang
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Format: Hardback
ISBN: 3110183668
ISBN-13: N/A
Pages: xxii, 438 pages
Prices: Europe EURO 128.00