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Diversity in Sinitic Languages$
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Hilary M. Chappell

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780198723790

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198723790.001.0001

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Language contact in Nanning: Nanning Pinghua and Nanning Cantonese

Language contact in Nanning: Nanning Pinghua and Nanning Cantonese

(p.157) 7 Language contact in Nanning: Nanning Pinghua and Nanning Cantonese
Diversity in Sinitic Languages

Hilário de Sousa

Oxford University Press

Five languages/dialects are traditionally spoken in the Nanning area: the Sinitic languages of Nanning Pinghua, Nanning Cantonese, and Old Nanning Mandarin, and the indigenous Tai languages of Northern Zhuang and Southern Zhuang. They have all influenced each other in various ways, and have also remained distinct in a number of ways. This chapter discusses aspects of this complex language contact situation from the viewpoint of Nanning Pinghua and Nanning Cantonese. A selection of similarities and differences in their phonology, lexicon, and grammar will be presented. Curiously, Nanning Cantonese, which has been spoken in the area for about 150 years, in some respects resembles the indigenous Zhuang languages more in its phonology and grammar than does Nanning Pinghua, which has been spoken in the area for a millennium. The last section discusses some of the possible sociolinguistic factors that might have caused this unusual outcome for language contact.

Keywords:   language contact, Nanning Pinghua, Nanning Cantonese, Zhuang, Tai language

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