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A sample of eighteenth century spoken Mandarin from North China

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image of Cahiers de Linguistique Asie Orientale

The Chinese dialogues in the Qīngwén qĭméng, a Manchu textbook for Chinese readers, provide an extended sample of spoken northern Guānhuà from the mid-eighteenth century. And one version of this text, to be examined here, adds Manchu transcriptional forms for the Chinese text. In the present paper certain phonological, lexical and syntactic features of the form of Chinese underlying the text are examined with specific reference to the development of northern Guānhuà as a koine and to the relationship of this koine to its more prestigious counterpart, the southern Guānhuà of the Nanking area. The paper ends with some thoughts about the route followed by northern Guānhuà as it became the dominant koiné variety during the nineteenth century.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Asian, Languages & Literature


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