Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.

Chinese (Cambridge Language Surveys) 0th Edition

4.1 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0521296533
ISBN-10: 0521296536
Why is ISBN important?
ISBN
This bar-code number lets you verify that you're getting exactly the right version or edition of a book. The 13-digit and 10-digit formats both work.
Scan an ISBN with your phone
Use the Amazon App to scan ISBNs and compare prices.
Sell yours for a Gift Card
We'll buy it for $11.00
Learn More
Trade in now
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Rent On clicking this link, a new layer will be open
$26.03 On clicking this link, a new layer will be open
Buy new On clicking this link, a new layer will be open
$57.48 On clicking this link, a new layer will be open
More Buying Choices
35 New from $44.95 37 Used from $18.70
Free Two-Day Shipping for College Students with Amazon Student Free%20Two-Day%20Shipping%20for%20College%20Students%20with%20Amazon%20Student


Books with Buzz
Discover the latest buzz-worthy books, from mysteries and romance to humor and nonfiction. Explore more
$57.48 FREE Shipping. In Stock. Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

Frequently Bought Together

  • Chinese (Cambridge Language Surveys)
  • +
  • The Languages of China
  • +
  • Chinese Language: Fact and Fantasy
Total price: $120.13
Buy the selected items together

Editorial Reviews

Review

"...Norman's Chinese fills a lacuna as a much-needed introduction to the Chinese language. It is useful for the scholar seeking some overall knowledge of the phonology, syntax, genetic relationship, writing system, and historical development of Chinese, as well as some understanding of China's language policies, past, present, and future." Journal of the Chinese Language Teachers Association

Book Description

A general introduction to the study of Chinese traces the language's history from the second millennium B.C. through the present and provides a contemporary view of its sociolinguistic status.
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE



Product Details

  • Series: Cambridge Language Surveys
  • Paperback: 306 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press (January 29, 1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521296536
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521296533
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #563,938 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
There is a surprising lack of general books on the Chinese languages aimed at students and amateur linguists, and Norman's book fills this lacuna admirably. Although coverage is uneven in parts, this book presents a survey of the language that is a tribute to the author's scholarship. More importantly, lucid language maintains the reader's interest and the book is a joy to read.
Many areas, including general typology, historical phonology, the writing system, the classical language, the modern language and dialectal variation, is covered to a greater or lesser extent, as are certain sociolinguistic issues relevant to the language. In particular, the historical linguistics and dialectology aspects of the language are well explained, the section on Modern Chinese being somewhat weaker.
The book, however, is not aimed at complete neophytes. A certain familiarity, albeit slight, with the Chinese language and history is presupposed, and the reader needs to be aware of, if not acquainted with, the basics of historical and comparative linguistics. Nonetheless, it is far from being an abstruse work understandable only by specialists in the field.
All in all, Norman has done a marvellous job in condensing the vast field of Chinese languages into a book of reasonable dimensions which is relatively error free. It will no doubt become a valuable general reference on the Chinese language.
1 Comment 33 of 34 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
Jerry Norman's overview of Chinese, part of the Cambridge Language Surveys series, is an admirably diachronic treatment. Not content to simply speak of features of the major modern dialects, Mandarin and Cantonese, Norman places very early an exploration of the historical phonology of Chinese (back to Old Chinese) and of the development of the script. His explanation of tonal development in Chinese, in which he uses the "s-hypothesis", is especially enlightening.

After this very necessary basis of historical linguistics, Norman devotes a chapter each to the literary language and written vernacular, two chapters to the modern standard language (i.e. Putonghua). He examines the dialects of North and Central China in one late chapter, and the dialects of the Southeast (including the difficulty of their classification) in another. The final chapter, "Language and society", discusses how the various languages coexist in daily life and what the future may hold.

As with all Cambridge Language Surveys volumes, readers must have some prior training in linguistics. Some knowledge of Mandarin at the very least will let the reader make good use of the information Norman provides. If you are looking for a general overview of Chinese and its dialects, this is a helpful resource.
Comment 12 of 12 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The other reviewers have fairly summarized this book. One must have some background in linguistics (or at least a good linguistics text or reference handy) since Norman uses standard linguistics terminology without any explanation; one should also speak at least basic modern Chinese to appreciate many of the examples. My only real complaint is that the book does not use Chinese characters, rather pinyin (with tone marks), throughout the explanations. The problem here is that one pinyin syllable can have many meanings, since Chinese is so homophonic, thus printing the character would have been more revealing for anyone who reads Chinese or can use a good Chinese dictionary. I suspect the problem was with typsetting in 1988 when the book was published. Indeed Norman wonders how the Chinese characters will survive the computer age!! With 20-20 hindsight we can see that in fact the computer age has revitalized not only Chinese but many non-Latin scripts (thank you Unicode!). It would be nice if the book were re-done with characters and some updating based on more recent scholarship. Still, I learned a tremendous amount here, it is a fascinating journey and it's hard to see how it could be much better done in the limited space of one volume.
Comment 11 of 11 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Probably the best volume out there on Chinese linguistics, and it is not showing its age. The text is still highly relevant and Norman's analyses are still quite incisive with a phenomenally clear writing style. In my view its greatest fault is its length and scope. Sadly it is much too short and could deal with topics in much greater depth. The section on dialects is one of the best around however some information he presents as rather matter of fact is actually quite hotly debated today.
Comment 1 of 1 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more
Chinese (Cambridge Language Surveys)
This item: Chinese (Cambridge Language Surveys)
Price: $57.48
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Want to discover more products? Check out these pages to see more: cambridge language surveys, tong ren