An areal typology of the languages of China
This book deals with how to ask questions in the languages of China. The syntactic, morphological, and lexical forms for distinguishing interrogatives take centre stage; intonation is also dealt with, but more peripherally than question particles, disjunctive and negative constructions, and word order. 140 languages spoken in China are covered coming from four major families: Sino-Tibetan, Altaic, Austronesian and Austro-Asiatic, accompanied by a few mixed languages. The approach is areal-typological, i.e. these focal languages are compared to the languages of the world as represented in typological samples, and within China areal patterns of the structural variables are examined.
The book will be an indispensable reference for future work on interrogatives in a typological context and for areal studies of the language situation in China and more generally East Asia.