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Zograph I.T. Middle Chinese. A Structural Typological Description [Среднекитайский язык (опыт структурно-типологического описания)]. St Petersburg, Nauka, 2005. 260 p.


The book gives a description of the Middle Chinese language — Baihua (the literary language of the 10th-15th centuries) following the approach applicable to the study of typologically and/or genetically different languages, in full agreement with the principles of the Institute for Linguistics, Russian Academy of Sciences, developed for their fundamental collective work Languages of the World. The book proposes a new insight into the facts of Chinese grammar as well as a systematic study of the features relevant to the language structure, that result in logically more consistent, compact and at the same time more informative presentation of Chinese grammar. In other words, the book is aimed at revealing the very essence of the language with its peculiarities and specific features rather than at merely listing some of the isolated pieces of linguistic information.

The research deals not only with structures and elements existing in the Middle Chinese language but also with those that are missing compared to languages of other families. The main attention is paid to describing how the Middle Chinese compensates its “absence of grammar”, i. e. how it expresses the grammatical relationships between words general for all languages and for Chinese in particular. This principle is extremely important for isolating languages whose structure makes the search of analogies and compensations far more difficult than in other language families.

The book covers not only the Standard Middle Chinese but also its rather specific variant — the language of the Mongol chancellery in China — which bears a deep imprint of Mongolian influence.


Аннотация, Несколько предварительных замечаний, Summary, Содержание


Middle Chinese
Mongolian influence

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