The Chinese Language: Fact and Fantasy

by John DeFrancis

Honolulu: University of Hawai`i Press, 1984.

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  • Preface
  • Introduction: The Singlish Affair
  1. Rethinking "The Chinese Language"
    • On Defining "Chinese" and "Language"
    • A Sketch of Spoken Chinese
    • Idiolects, Dialects, Regionalects, and Languages
  2. Rethinking Chinese Characters
    • What's in a Name?
    • From Pictographs to What?
    • How Do Chinese Characters Represent Sound?
    • How Do Chinese Characters Convey?
  3. Demythifying Chinese Characters
    • The Ideographic Myth sample chapter
    • The Universality Myth
    • The Emulatability Myth
    • The Monosyllabic Myth
    • The Indispensability Myth
    • The Successfulness Myth
  4. Chinese Language Reform
    • Speech Reform
    • Writing Reform
  • Notes
  • Glossary
  • Suggested Reading
  • References
  • Index
  • errata (not found in published edition)