Based on a fine-grained description on Cantonese tones authored by the Chi-nese scholar Chan Sene Ch’an in 1900, this paper chiefly explores the origins and different forms of grammatical tone change in early Cantonese. This follows by a detailed comparison between the features of grammatical tone change in early Cantonese and those in contemporary Cantonese. The notion of “grammaticalization cycle” is used to conclude the development of Cantonese tone change in the last 100 years.
This paper analyzes the phonological system of The Gospel of Mark in Wenchow Colloquial (1902), a text that allows an historical investigation of the Wenzhou phonology. Sounds are reconstructed. Characters are listed in homophony sets.
This paper argues that the process-related durative phrase in Chinese should be analyzed as the numeral classifier phrase, and the syntax-semantics mismatch that is involved in this construction can be resolved by a scope parallelism that makes reference to the syntactic parallelism between the verbal and the nominal domains. The scope parallelism principle is dubbed the “Archimedes’ Principle” in linguistics. It is argued that the principle can also shed light on other instances of syntax-semantics mismatches in English. (This article is in English.)
The levels of civic engagement in terms of social services and civic activism in the Catholic churches of Hong Kong, Macau, Taipei, and Shanghai are very different. While the former three churches have a higher level of social services, Shanghai does not. Hong Kong has a higher level of civic activism than the other three dioceses. This paper explains the similarities and differences among these cities by using an analytical model of political, cultural, and individual opportunity structures. Our findings and analysis are derived from a collaborative research project on the Catholic Church’s civic engagement in the four cities using both quantitative and qualitative research methods. In a time of rapid political, economic, and social transformation in China, religion is beginning to play an increasingly important role. Our study sheds light on what roles Catholicism or other religions might play in this process, and it has important implications for church-state relations in greater China.
Little is known about the history of Chinese dialects. Major dialect groups were identified long ago using various traditional criteria, such as tonal and segmental development from their presumed common ancestor; however, scholarly agreement about their detailed development is largely lacking. At the core of the problem lies the role that language contact played in the history of Chinese. Unlike in the case of other language families, the Chinese dialects never really separated into distinct, independent languages, but kept evolving in close contact to each other. As a result, it is hard to tell whether traits shared among the dialects have been inherited or borrowed. Recent network approaches from a biological perspective could show a way out of this dilemma, since they were specifically designed to handle vertical and horizontal aspects in bacterial evolution, and the first pilot studies in historical linguistics have reported promising results. In this paper, a case study on the application of network approaches in Chinese historical linguistics is presented. Based on a dataset of 200 basic items translated into 23 Chinese dialect varieties, competing proposals for Chinese dialect classification are compared and tested for general plausibility. The results of the comparison show that network approaches are a useful supplement for quantitative and qualitative approaches in Chinese historical linguistics. In order to reach their full potential, however, the underlying evolutionary models need to be more closely adapted to linguistic needs, and additional evidence, like geographic information, needs to be taken into account. (This article is in English.)