John DeFrancis, *The Chinese. Language: Fact and Fantasy*. (Honolulu: University of Hawaii. Press, ). Page 2. Page 3. Page 4. Page 5. Page 6. Page 7. The Chinese Language has 65 ratings and 11 reviews. Christopher said: THE CHINESE LANGUAGE: Fact and Fantasy, by the legendary pedagogue of. title: The Chinese Language: Fact and Fantasy author: DeFrancis, John. publisher: University of Hawaii Press isbn10 | asin: print isbn

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On the other hand, Chinese has the reputation of having fixed word order, in contrast to highly inflected languages like Latin and Russian, where noun endings that indicate subject and object permit the reversal SVO to OVS to have exactly the same meaningin contrast to English, where “John loves Mary” is quite different in meaning from “Mary loves John. Nevertheless, although the terms used are subject to different interpretations, there is general agreement on referring to some things in Chinese as nouns, verbs, ,anguage other familiar names for parts of speech.

My ”semantic element” is variously designated as key, classifier, determinative, signific, or radical; the last term, unfortunately, is the most common but also the most misleading, since the semantic element is not the basic root but a later accretion to the really basic phonetic.

There are three general categories of strokes: In their origins Korean and Japanese are generally believed to lanugage distantly related to the large group of Altaic languages that include Mongolian, Manchu, and the Turkic languages of central and western Asia. Adjectives come before nouns and adverbs before verbs.

It is also due in part to the equally superficial tendency to bandy terms about without a precise understanding of what they mean. Lists with This Book.

Not much knowledge of the contrastive phonology of Chinese and English is needed to recognize this passage as “Four score and seven years ago. This page was last edited on 25 Septemberat For others, syllable and character represent at most not a word but rather a morpheme, the smallest unit of meaning. Once communication is mediated by computers, game over.

John DeFrancis Find more information about: Second is the “simple indicative principle. If we let a capital V stand for the vowel nucleus and a small v stand for an on-glide or off-glide, the vowel in a Chinese syllable can be represented by the following formula: He cited the fact that the Chinese characters had functioned successfully, for more centuries than the upstart nations of the West could boast in their histories, as the basis for the writing systems of such disparate languages as “isolating, 2 monosyllabic” Chinese and Vietnamese and “agglutinative, polysyllabic” Korean and Japanese.


The examples below show the sequence of strokes and also the direction in which each stroke in a character is written. In Chinese tradition there are said to be six such principles. Characters are said to contain such-and-such a number of strokes.

Though denouncing the idea, advanced especially by Koreans of communist persuasion, that the Chinese characters should be eliminated completely from the Korean orthography, which would then be written solely in the phonetic hangul alphabet, Kim Mun-yi nevertheless seemed open to the possibility that the English speakers might be permitted to eschew characters in Singlish if they would abandon their atrocious orthography for the superior hangul script.

Aug 12, Nick rated it liked it Shelves: The scholars agreed, on the basis of precedents in their own countries, that one of the first uses of English expressions written in Chinese characters would undoubtedly occur in rendering English words, including personal and place-names, in an otherwise wholly classical Chinese passage. A general feature of the Yangzi River region is the confusion of initial l and n. The 50 million or so Fanyasy comprise one such bloc. The latter term, however, actually comprises a dual aspect in that it includes a narrow and wide meaning.

Specialists, however, apply the designation only to the earliest characters in China. One of its outstanding characteristics, said to have been derived from earlier historical forms now lost in Putonghua, is the retention of voiced initials.

On only one thing were they fully agreed.

The Chinese Language: Fact and Fantasy

A really thorough presentation such as that contained in Y. These comments fach Serruys reveal the need to abandon the widespread myth that regional forms of speech are largely fanasy except for pronunciation.

As a rebus symbol it would be used to symbolize English words homophonous with “two,” namely “to” and “too. Zheng QiaoTong Zhi [Encyclopedic annals] This is a report on my discovery of material exposing what has since come to be called The Singlish Affair.


The Chinese Language: Fact and Fantasy – Wikipedia

Walton wrote that DeFrancis “admirably succeeded in” simultaneously dealing “with a language tradition stretching back over a millennium” and providing interest for specialists of Chinese, “and has provided some new and invigorating conceptual insights as well.

If Confucius could undergo a resurrection he would be quite unable to carry on a conversation with one of his descendants today. Within the Putonghua speech community there are some relatively minor differencesminor compared to those among the regionalectswhich like those in the English-speaking community are not great enough to cause any serious problem of communication.

He was aware even some of the most highly acclaimed Chinese programs in American universities had failed to give their students a modest command of spoken Chinese.

Vocabulary differences fall in between these extremes. They pointed out that poetry, even more than other forms of writing, is dependent for its beauty on how it sounds, and it is precisely with respect to pronunciation that foreigners are most seriously guilty of speaking broken Chinese. An important distinction within Mandarin is that between “sharp” and “round” sounds Chao Thanks for telling us about the problem.

The Monosyllabic Myth In any case, following Aymonier, he envisaged the eventual abandonment of their native language by the subject peoples; at best only a few vestigial words of English would be absorbed into Chinese. These are not fixed notes on a scale but relative sounds or contours that vary according to the normal voice range of individual speakers.

If differences between Chinese dialects were to be described in detail, it would have to be done for each of the socially and educationally conditioned variants separately. Nor would the two be able to communicate in writing unless the present-day descendant of the sage had received a more than average education comparable to cbinese of a modern European who has learned to read Latin.