A Sketch of the Mandarin Language: Morphology and Syntax Introduction China has always been a land of many languages and dialects. The Mandarin language, however, emerged as the language of the ruling class during the latter part of the Mining Dynasty (1368-1644), and Is now the most widely-spoken language In the world. In the 200 census, China had a population of 840 million people, and 70% of that population spoke mandarin as their mother tongue. The Mandarin language Is part of the Sino-Tibetan language group.

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All Chinese engages tonal, which meaner that the way words are pronounced varies their meanings. The mandarin language itself only has 4 different tones, whereas the other Chinese languages can have up to 10 distinct tones. To learn about the morphology and syntax structure of the mandarin language, our field project group had contacted our consultant, Amy Chou. She is 21 years old and was born in Hong Kong, China. She had moved to San Francisco, California with her family when she was 10 years old and came to school here In Hawaii for college in 2010.

She is fluent in both Mandarin and Cantonese. She is fluent in English as well. But prefers to speak In her native tongue. Morphology From the data we had gathered from our meetings with the consultant, our group concluded that the Mandarin language is a polytheistic language and that the mandarin sentence structure Is quite similar to the English language. The reason we came to this conclusion is because the mandarin language is structurally the same as the English language. In the English language, when you are to make a word plural. You would normally put “-s” after a word.

However, in the mandarin language, there are no plural affixes seed. The only irregularity to this is the use of “men” which is normally used in a very formal setting to say “peoples. ” For example: 1. 3 “The babies” (Omitted) Wing re men 1. 4 “Some babies” You xii Wing re men The use of “men” is optional though. According to the consultant, most native speakerstend to leave “men” out In order to shorten the sentence when spoken. But when you describe how many of a certain thing there is, you would use counting numbers to make It a plural.

Page 2 Introductory Linguistics Essay

If it started with “What”, then the rod “sheen ma” would be inserted at theend of the sentence. However, if you were to describe when or what time something will happen, you would insert “sheen ma shih ho” at the beginning of the sentence. If you were to use “where” as a question, then you would insert “Aziza an II” at the end of the sentence. If you were to use “why’, then you would insert “wee she ma” in the beginning of the sentence. In these cases, you would not insert the question marker “ma” at the end of the sentence because the sentence is already asking a question. 3. 14 Who, “shut” Who Shut ate the fish?

Who (to) see (past tense) fish 3. 5 What, “sheen ma” What did the woman eat? This nu Rene eat woman sheen ma (past tense) what? 4. 18 When, “sheen ma shih ho” When did you go to work? In You sheen ma shih ho when quo go shank ban work 4. 12 Where, “Aziza an II” Where does the president live? Gong tong President GHz live 4. 8 Why, “wee she ma” Why is the sky blue? wee sheen ma titan Aziza an IL where is Why Conclusion sky Nan CE blue In conclusion, I have realized that there are similar patterns of sentence structures being formed in Chinese compared to the English language. However, there are also noticeable differences as well.

For example, there are some irregularities with the syntax of the Chinese language and they contain no verb conjugations and there are no definite markers for plurals. This linguistics project was a very fun and interesting way to gain insight on a completely new language for me. Thanks to this project, I am now set on learning more about the mandarin language through classes. Works Cited www. Crystal. Com: http://www. Cry tall. Com/landfalls_snootiness. HTML Lewis, M. Paul (De. ), 2009. Ethnology: Languages of the World, Sixteenth edition. Dallas, Tex. : SILL International. Online version: http://www. Ethnology. Com/ as

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