East Asian Languages & Cultures | Introduction to Chinese Linguistics
C421 | 1600 | Yan


The aims of this course are to give students an overview of the
characteristics of Mandarin Chinese (the national language of China) and to
familiarize them with some basic structures that are Chinese-specific.  It
investigates Chinese phonology, morphology, and syntax within the current
linguistic models.  Emphasis will be on examining the phonological and
syntactic structures from a contrastive, functional, and cognitive
perspective. Other topics, such as the classification and distribution of
Chinese dialects, a brief history of the linguistic studies of Chinese, and
linguistic studies of Chinese in Mainland China, Taiwan, and the United
States will be also included.

Assignments for students who intend to be language teachers are basically
in the form of field work and contrastive/error analysis.  Students will be
required to record "real spoken data" from Chinese language students, to
compare the students' speech with the Standard Mandarin, and to find out:
(1) what kind of errors the students made in their pronunciations,
character reproductions and grammatical structures,  (2) why they made
those errors, and (3) what kind of factors affected their learning process.
For students who intend to be linguists, linguistic analysis exercises and
essays which involve discussions and arguments on linguistic issues will be
assigned.