1887
Volume 30, Issue 1-2
  • ISSN 0957-6851
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9838
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Abstract

Abstract

Three contemporaneous descriptions of Guānhuà from the beginning of the 19th century collectively provide a rich and evocative representation that contains a trove of details regarding the nature of that koine and its relationship to Mandarin and local dialects in the urban linguistic milieu of the late Qīng. The descriptions are those of Gāo Jìngtíng (fl. 1800–1810), Lǐ Rǔzhēn (c. 1763–1830), and Robert Morrison (1782–1834). We find that all three note the existence of two forms of Guānhuà, a northern type, and a southern type. The three authors all present a mix of northern and southern types in their descriptions, though each also gives greater prominence to the southern type. This southern type has a close connection to the southern Jiāng-Huái Mandarin dialects, and takes the dialect of Nánjīng as a primary representative. In overall perspective, these three authors’ descriptions also reveal there was widespread acceptance of, and social accommodation for, linguistic diversity in Qīng China, within which Guānhuà served as the lingua franca that promoted easy communication across China’s vast territory.

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2020-06-30
2020-08-07
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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): Guānhuà , koine , northern Mandarin , Nánjīng dialect , southern Mandarin and zhèngyīn
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