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The Role of Geography in the Northwest China Linguistic Area

Abstract : The frontier regions between Gansu and Qinghai provinces in China form a linguistic area in which Sinitic languages and non-Sinitic languages share similar syntactic features. Geographic factors have undoubtedly played a significant role in causing these neighboring languages to develop parallel characteristics. A phonological feature attested in the Gansu-Qinghai area is the reduced tone system. However cities and surrounding regions show two distinctive patterns in tone evolution. Important cities in Northwestern China form a network which is not necessarily following the spread of tone simplification, while peripheral regions are undergoing a tone reduction process. Sociocultural factors work together with geospatial factors in forming linguistic areas.
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https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-01386246
Contributor : Dan Xu <>
Submitted on : Monday, October 31, 2016 - 4:41:03 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, December 9, 2020 - 3:38:25 AM

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Dan Xu. The Role of Geography in the Northwest China Linguistic Area. Dan Xu adn Jingqi Fu. New Studies of Space and Quantification in Languages of China, 2015. ⟨hal-01386246⟩

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