By Keith Slater
This booklet is a grammar of Mangghuer, a Mongolic language spoken by means of nearly 25,000 humans in China's northwestern Qinghai Province. Mangghuer is almost unknown outdoors China, and no grammar of Mangghuer has ever been released in any language. The book's basic value is therefore as a scientific grammatical description of a little-known language. The publication additionally makes an important contribution to comparative Mongolic experiences. as well as the synchronic description of Mangghuer, wide comparability with different Mongolic languages is integrated, demonstrating the genetic courting of Mangghuer inside of that kin. during describing Mangghuer linguistic constructions, the publication additionally examines problems with curiosity to linguistic typologists.
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Extra info for Grammar of Mangghuer: A Mongolic Language of China's Qinghai-Gansu Sprachbund (Curzon Asian Linguistics)
However, a systematic study of the varieties of Mangghuer phonological systems will have to await further study. The chapter is organized as follows. 1 deals with segmental phonology. 2 adopts a combinatorial perspective, outlining the features of Mangghuer syllable structure. 3, the suprasegmental feature of stress is examined. This section discusses the phonological evidence for word boundaries, as well as the status of clitics. 4 considers the Mangghuer historical data in light of the perspective of Thurgood (1996), who discusses the role of external factors in phonological drift.
This is what I aim for, and thus, the perspective of this book may be said to be both functional and historical in terms of its attempts to explain the linguistic structures of Mangghuer. I cannot claim, of course, to be able to provide an adequate account of most Mangghuer structures, if adequacy is held to the standard just outlined. The data available for this study allows only preliminary suggestions as to the full range of uses of Mangghuer linguistic structures, and of the factors which led to the synchronic state of the language.
For example, my colleagues Dr. Wang Xianzhen and Mr. Zhu Yongzhong attended colleges in Xining, where they spoke Standard Mandarin. Dr. Wang continues to practice medicine in this setting. Mr. Qing Yongzhang, another Mangghuer speaker with whom I consulted, was then a full-time instructor at the Qinghai Minorities Institute, also in Xining, where Mandarin is also the mode of interaction. 2 ETHNICITY, POPULATION, AND LANGUAGE USE IN QINGHAI Z. Chen et al. (forthcoming) give brief ethnographic sketches of the contributors to this volume.