The Chinese Language: Fact and Fantasy
"DeFrancis's book is first rate. It entertains. It teaches. It demystifies. It counteracts popular ignorance as well as sophisticated (cocktail party) ignorance. Who could ask for anything more? There is no other book like it. ... It is one of a kind, a first, and I would not only buy it but I would recommend it to friends and colleagues, many of whom are visiting China now and are adding 'two-week-expert' ignorance to the two kinds that existed before. This is a book for everyone." --Joshua A. Fishman, research professor of social sciences, Yeshiva University, New York "Professor De Francis has produced a work of great effectiveness that should appeal to a wide-ranging audience. It is at once instructive and entertaining. While being delighted by the flair of his novel approach, the reader will also be led to ponder on some of the most fundamental problems concerning the relations between written languages and spoken languages. Specifically, he will be served a variety of information on the languages of East Asia, not as dry pedantic facts, but as appealing tidbits that whet the intellectual appetite. The expert will find much to reflect on in this book, for Professor DeFrancis takes nothing for granted." --William S.Y. Wang, professor of linguistics, University of California at Berkeley
What people are saying - Write a review
On Defining Chinese and Language
A Sketch of Spoken Chinese
Idiolects Dialects Regionalects and Languages
Rethinking Chinese Characters
Whats in a Name?
From Pictographs to What?
How Do Chinese Characters Represent Sounds?
How Do Chinese Characters Convey Meaning?
The Monosyllabic Myth
The Indispensability Myth
The Successfulness Myth
Chinese Language Reform
alphabetic scripts alphabetic writing approach Baihua basic Cantonese chatac China Chinese characters Chinese Language Reform Chinese writing system classical Chinese communication complex considetable cottespondence DeFtancis dialects dictionary disagteement English example expressed fact forms of speech French guage hangul huang idea ideographic idiolects illiterate Japanese kana kanji Katlgten Korean Latin Latin alphabet letters linguistic literacy logogtaphic Lu Xun Mandarin Mao Zedong Matgoulies meaning monosyllabic morphemes Myth nese netic noted number of characters official orthography patticulatly Peking percent phonetic aspect phonetic compounds phonetic element phonological pictogtaphic Pinyin problem pronounced ptonunciation Putonghua radical readers represent schemes scholars semantic element Shang dynasty simplified Singlish sound speakers specific spoken Chinese standard style syllabaties syllables symbols system of writing tegionalects telationship teptesentation teptesenting term tets tion tone Viet Vietnamese vocabulary vowel Wang Wenzi words writing reform written wtiting Wu Yuzhang Xu Shen Xun's Y. R. Chao Zhou Youguang