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Title: Rethinking Sino-Tibetan phylogeny from the perspective of North East Indian languages
Contributor(s): Blench, Roger (author); Post, Mark  (author)
Publication Date: 2014
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Abstract: Sino-Tibetan has more speakers than any other language phylum, and covers a major proportion of the land area of East Asia. Despite some two centuries of study and publication, the subclassification of Sino-Tibetan remains highly controversial, as does its external affiliation (van Driem 2008a; Blench 2008a,b; Handel 2008). Originating as 'Indo-Chinese' in the middle of the nineteenth century, it originally carried racial connotations (van Driem 2002). The first recognition of the phylum probably dates to Julius von Klaproth (1823) who recognised three parallel branches: Chinese, Burmese and Tibetan. Von Klaproth explicitly excluded Austro Asiatic and Daic, unlike many later classifications, which sequentially included all the regional phyla. Although such views still sometimes surface (primarily in Chinese publications), they have been fairly conclusively rejected by most scholars. Considering the importance of Sino-Tibetan and its history of scholarship, there is a striking lack of consensus as to its internal classification. Historically speaking, there have been two opposing camps: those who consider Sinitic (i.e. the several varieties of Chinese) as representing a primary branch of the family (Wolfenden 1927; Benedict 1972, 1976; Bodman 1980; Weidert 1987; Bradley 1997b, 2002; Matisoff 2003, 2008; Thurgood and LaPolla 2003; Handel 2008) and those who situate it within the remaining languages, consequently applying the name Tibeto-Burman to the whole phylum (Shafer 1955, 1966/67; van Driem 2002).
Publication Type: Book Chapter
Source of Publication: Trans-Himalayan Linguistics: Historical and Descriptive Linguistics of the Himalayan Area, p. 71-104
Publisher: De Gruyter Mouton
Place of Publication: Berlin, Germany
ISBN: 9783110310740
Field of Research (FOR): 210103 Archaeology of Asia, Africa and the Americas
200406 Language in Time and Space (incl Historical Linguistics, Dialectology)
200317 Other Asian Languages (excl South-East Asian)
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO): 970120 Expanding Knowledge in Language, Communication and Culture
950203 Languages and Literature
950502 Understanding Asias Past
HERDC Category Description: B1 Chapter in a Scholarly Book
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Series Name: Trends in Linguistics. Studies and Monographs (TiLSM)
Series Number : 266
Statistics to Oct 2018: Visitors: 454
Views: 492
Downloads: 1
Editor: Editor(s): Thomas Owen-Smith, Nathan W Hill
Appears in Collections:Book Chapter

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