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The Sino-Tibetan Languages (Routledge Language Family Series) (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 17. April 2007

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There are more native speakers of Sino-Tibetan languages than of any other language family in the world. Our records of these languages are among the oldest for any human language, and the amount of active research on them, both diachronic and synchronic, has multiplied in the last few decades. This volume includes overview articles as well as descriptions of individual languages and comments on the subgroups in which they occur. In addition to a number of modern languages, there are descriptions of several ancient languages.

Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende

Graham Thurgood is Professor in the Department of English at Chico, California State University. Randy J. LaPolla is Professor in the Department of Linguistics at La Trobe University.


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Amazon.com: HASH(0x9b0b6480) von 5 Sternen 2 Rezensionen
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HASH(0x9ad5cbe8) von 5 Sternen Entertaining and informative for this linguist (though admittedly it's outside my own field) 20. März 2009
Von Christopher Culver - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
THE SINO-TIBETAN LANGUAGES, edited by Graham Thurgood and Randy J. LaPolla, is part of the Routledge Language Family Series. Like all volumes, this one contains mainly synchronic descriptions of all the languages in a recognized family, with some extra chapters on the family as a whole and writing systems. While I am trained in linguistics, my own research focuses on the the Indo-European, Finno-Ugrian/Uralic, and Turkic languages. I read THE SINO-TIBETAN LANGUAGES only for pleasure, and so my review will attempt to merely describe it rather than critique it.

The chapters on the family in general are three. Graham Thurgood contributes "A subgrouping of the Sino-Tibetan languages", where he describes the interaction between language contact, change, and inheritance. From Randy J. LaPolla we have an "Overview of Sino-Tibetan Morphosyntax", which lists the derivational prefixes and suffixes reconstructed for the proto-language and then shows how Sinitic and Tibeto-Burman may have innovated from this. Matthew S. Dryer writes on "Word order in Sino-Tibetan languages from a typological and geographical perspective". It is a pity that there is no chapter here which describes the reconstructed lexicon of the proto-language, which might give us a glimpse of the life some millennia back of the common ancestor of all these languages.

For Sinitic, we get several informative and entertaining chapters, though the authors chose to embrace to some degree the appelation "dialect" for them, meaning not every form of Chinese speech gets its own chapter. Derek Herforth contributes "A sketch of late Zhou Chinese grammar". Zhou Chinese is late, but it is the first Chinese language we have abundant information on. Unfortunately, he completely neglects the reconstructed phonology of Zhou Chinese. Jerry Norman write "The Chinese dialects: phonology", which sketches the ways that the sound system of these languages have grown apart. There's a great chart here of cognates across languages with the reconstructed proto-form. From Anne O. Yue comes the complementary "Chinese dialects: grammar". There then follow individual chapters on Mandarian dialects (Dah-an Ho), Shanghai (Eric Zee and Liejiong Xu), and Cantonese (Robert S. Bauer and Stephan Matthews). Finally, there's a chapter on Chinese writing.

The bulk of the book, however, is dedicated to the Tibeto-Burman languages and dialects, of which 32 are described in individual chapters. Unfortunately, there may not be room in this review to list them all. Some of these are sure to pique your interest. For me, it was some of the smallest of the languages, holding on in some remote village, where the chapter's author had to do the fieldwork himself to describe the language here.

The Routledge Language Family Series is mostly now available in paperback, which with Routledge is still rather pricey, but hundreds less than the original hardcover. If you enjoy reading about the Sino-Tibetan languages, this may be a volume worth picking up.
HASH(0x9b1d0fc0) von 5 Sternen Quite a good book. 14. September 2013
Von Thomas Martin - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
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First there is an excellent chapter about Sino-Tibetan subgrouping, showing where each Sino-Tibetan language likely belongs. Though it has the surprising claim that among Lolo-Burmese loans from Mon-Khmer is the word 'eat'. But according to another source, this is from Proto-Tibeto-Burman word for 'eat', and maybe even related to the Old Chinese word. Though the word for 'eat' in Mon-Khmer languages is also similar, but that could be a coincidence. Then a good chapter on morphosyntax, showing several reconstructed proto-Sino-Tibetan affixes, and showing some later developments. But nothing about the sound changes in the various branches of Sino-Tibetan. There is a chapter on the word order in the various ST languages, very good chapter. Then chapters on the various major and some more minor ST languages, giving the phonology and grammar summary, generally very well done. Though the chapter on Late Zhou Chinese grammar gives the words in modern Mandarin form, not in reconstructed Zhou Chinese form. Though at least the table comparing some words in several Chinese languages also gives the reconstructed Common Chinese form, though in a form that is not ancient enough to show for example the voiced stop finals. There is unfortunately no chapter on Dzongkha, even though it is an important language, being the official language of Bhutan. But it is somewhat similar to Lhasa Tibetan, which has its own good chapter. At the end there is an index, which has mainly the languages, not their grammar.
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