Chinese Language: Its Nature and Development

Semester: Spring

Lecturer: Dr. JIN Dawei

Credit: 2

Course Description:

CHINESE LANGUAGE: ITS NATURE AND DEVELOPMENT is a two-credit lecture course, intended towards a broad stroke, linguistic oriented overview of the Chinese language, its current use and historical development (how Chinese, spoken and written, is to be described structurally and how it came to be the way it is). The course focuses on foundational issues such as historical grammar change, sound change and a bare-bone (descriptive) grammar. The course will also cover key aspects of properties in Chinese by which it sets itself apart from and resembles genealogically and geographically related languages. Lastly, the course will relate significantly with Chinese language learning — after all, the point of a linguistic description is to help us better understand the patterns of actual use we encounter in the real world.
No prerequisites are required coming into this class, but a modicum of exposure to written Chinese and the history of China is normally expected (or upon the permission of the instructor).


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