Francisco Varo's Grammar of the Mandarin Language, 1703: An English Translation of 'Arte de la Lengua Mandarina' /[edited By] W. South Coblin, Joseph A. Levi ; with an Introduction by Sandra Breitenbach

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John Benjamins Publishing, 2000 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 282 pages
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Francisco Varo's "Arte de la Lengua Mandarina," completed ca. 1680, is the earliest published grammar of any spoken form of Chinese and the fullest known description of the standard language of the seventeenth century. It establishes beyond doubt that this "Language of the Mandarins" was not Pekingese or Peking-based but had instead a Jiang-Huai or Nankingese-like phonology. It also provides important information about the nature and formation of pre-modern standard forms of Chinese and will lead to revisions of currently held views on Chinese koines and their relationship with regional speech forms and the received vernacular literature. Finally, it provides a wealth ot information on stylistic speech levels, honorific usage, and social customs of the elite during the early Qing period.The book provides a full translation of the 1703 text of the "Arte," an extensive introduction to the life and work of Varo, an index of Chinese characters inserted into the translation, and an index of linguistic terms and concepts. It should be of interest to a diverse readership of Chinese historical, comparative, and descriptive linguists, students of Qing history and literature, historiographers of linguistics, and specialists in early Western religious and cultural contact with China.
 

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Contents

Introduction by Sandra Breitenbach
xix
Frontispiece
3
A Few Monitions
17
On the Tones of this Language
33
On the Declension of the Noun and the Pronoun
53
On the Substantive Adjectival Comparative and Super
69
On the Abstract Verbal Nouns Diminutives Frequenta
83
On The Pronoun
91
On the Prepositions and Adverbs
131
On the Way of Forming Sentences
151
On the Numbers and Numerals
157
On Various Particles
175
On the Courteous Words of the Mandarin Language
183
On How to Name the Mandarins their Relatives
189
On Courteous Words inter loquendum and Courtesies
197
Concluding part Confessionarium of Basilic de Glemona
215

On the Interjection Conjunction Negation Interrogative
99
On the Verb and its Conjugations
113
On the Passive Verb and Passive Constructions
125
Chapter 1 Section 5 Library of Congress Manuscript
254
Index of Linguistic Terms and Concepts
281
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