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Title: The origins of Sinitic
Contributor(s): Delancey, Scott  (author)
Publication Date: 2013
DOI: 10.1075/scld.2
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Abstract: A persistent problem in Sino-Tibetan linguistics is that Chinese is characterized by a mix of lexical, phonological, and syntactic features, some of which link it to the Tibeto-Burman languages, others to the Tai-Kadai, Hmong-Mien, and Mon-Khmer families of Southeast Asia. It has always been recognized that this must reflect intense language contact. This paper develops a hypothesis about the nature of that contact. The language of Shang was a highly-creolized lingua franca based on languages of the Southeast Asian type. Sinitic is a result of the imposition of the Sino-Tibetan language of the Zhou on a population speaking this lingua franca, resulting in a language with substantially Sino-Tibetan lexicon and relict morphology, but Southeast Asian basic syntax.
Publication Type: Book Chapter
Source of Publication: Increased Empiricism: Recent advances in Chinese Linguistics, p. 73-99
Publisher: John Benjamins Publishing Company
Place of Publication: The Netherlands
ISBN: 9789027201812
Field of Research (FOR): 200406 Language in Time and Space (incl Historical Linguistics, Dialectology)
Socio-Economic Outcome Codes: 950201 Communication Across Languages and Culture
HERDC Category Description: B1 Chapter in a Scholarly Book
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Series Name: Studies in Chinese Language and Discourse
Series Number : 2
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