The main strong point of the Chinese characters is that they can bridge time and space. The huge treasury of 3,000 years of Chinese literature can be read by those proficient in the use of Chinese characters. Furthermore, people from whole China can understand the meaning of characters, even if they do not know the national language but only speak a topolect. The pronunciation of Han-period Chinese was very different from the Mandarin language of today, and the phonetic range of most topolects – and even that of Mandarin dialects – is broader than that for the Mandarin language. A transcription of the latter is therefore, in spite of Mandarin being the national language, is not very convenient to serve as a tool for a transcription for many other idoms in China. The use of the national standard language Mandarin in the many provinces of China is only passive, and the population is not actively using it.


Because it covers so many fields, the whole lexicon of the Chinese language is tremendously vast. The words of the modern Chinese lexicon are composed of many monosyllabic words, but the largest amount is made of disyllabic words. There are, of course, also words with more syllables (like Mao Zedong sixiang 毛澤東思想 "Mao Zedong thoughts"). Polysyllabic words are always composed of other, monosyllabic words. This fact makes the creation of new words very easy, a feature in common with some Western languages like Greek or German. "Fire" is huo 火, "car" is che 車, and huoche 火車 "fire car" is train; zhan 站 is "station", and huochezhan 火車站 is "train station". Many disyllabic words are composed of two words of similar meaning, like shengchan 產生 "to produce", composed of chan 產 "to fabricate", and sheng 生 "to give birth to sth.".
The amount of "prepositions" was relatively small in Classical Chinese, the most important are yu 於 "in, on, at", yi 以 "with", wei 為 "for" and yu 與 "to, with". Yu 於 is in modern Chinese superseded by the words zai 在, xiang 向 and gei 給; yi 以 is superseded by yong 用 and ba 把; wei 為 is superseded by bei 被, dui 對 and ti 替; and yu 與 is superseded by he 和, gen 跟 and tong 同. The history of these words can be very interesing. Bei 被, for instance, originally meant (and still means, as beizi 被子) "cover". During the Han period it was used with the meaning of "to be subjected to, to be treated with", and soon became a particle expressing a passive clause. The original meaning of ba 把 was "to control, to handle, to hold" (like modern bawo 把握), but later on it became a particle expressing an object shifted in front of the verb (ba ta sha si 把他殺死 instead of sha si ta 殺死他). Most of these particles have lost their original function as verbs, but there are also others that can also be used as full verbs, like zai 在 "to be present", dui 對 "to be right", gei 給 "to give" or bi 比 "to compare".

Traditionally, Tonghua occupied a railhub position in a region of China noted for trade in only three agricultural commodities. These were ginseng, marten furs and deer antler products. In the 1980s Tonghua had some success with a wine distillery producing sweet, sticky red wines that proved popular with local consumers. From 1987 onwards a bienniel wine festival was inaugurated, but this and the industry it promoted ultimately failed commercially owing to competition with joint-venture wine companies such as Dragon, who were able to produce a product that was marketable overseas. Following this failure, Tonghua industry was thrown back on its traditional agricultural products - and a few small but viable factories, including one specialising in artificial furs.
The differences, in phonology, lexicon, and also in grammar, between the topolects and the Mandarin language are very great, so that it would indeed be appropriate to treat them as languages and not only as dialects. Min is divided into several sub-topolects (Minnanhua 閩南話, Minzhonghua 閩中話, Minbeihua 閩北話, and some more) that are so different from each other that the idoms of neighbouring villages can mutually not be understood.
Huiyuan began studying the Zhuangzi and Laozi at a young age, as well as the teachings of Confucius. However, at the age of 21 he was converted in Hebei Province by the Buddhist Dao An, who was a Chinese disciple of a Kuchan missionary. Hearing the sermons of Dao An convinced Huiyuan to "leave the family" and embark on a life of Buddhist teachings.[1] Later, he became a patriarch of Donglin Temple (East Forest Temple) at Mount Lushan. His teachings were various, including the vinaya (戒律), meditation (禪法), abhidharma and Prajna or wisdom. Although Huiyuan did not take the initiative in establishing the relations with the secular world, he had contacts with court and gentry families. Huiyuan was on two occasions invited by the dictator Huan Xuan to take part in the discussions about the status of the clergy and Huiyuan defended the independence of the clergy. Members of the cultured classes came to live on Mount Lu as Huiyuan's lay disciples to take part in the religious life. Besides his teaching and interaction with lay followers of the Buddhist faith, he also upheld a learned correspondence with the monk Kumarajiva.[2]
Land disputes have become a major tension between officials and villagers (around China). It’s not the case in those three villages because villagers share the benefits. There are no middlemen. There are no real estate developers colluding with cadres to enrich their own pockets. There’s no such thing because villagers are shareholders in those cooperatives.

Shang-period texts written in what is called Early Archaic Chinese, incised into animal bones serving for divination purposes, are highly specialized and have a consequently a quite narrow lexicon. A large part of the texts is made out by calendric dates and names of persons, places, or polities. The texts also includes words for the parts of the body, social activities, tools and instruments, animals and plants, and, most important for the aspect of religion, designations for family relations and social and political functions (shamans, diviners, ministers, craftsmen, slaves).
There is no consensus about the plosives [b], [d] and [g]. In the Hanyu pinyin transcription they are written like presented here (b p, d t, g k). Yet there were originally three different series of plosives, namely voiced (zhuoyin 濁音), voiceless (qingyin 清音) and semi-voiced (qingzhuoyin 清濁音). In some Mandarin dialects in the lower Yangtze area, the voiced plosives are still existing. Many linguists interprete the plosives of Mandarin as semi-voiced and as voiceless, and therefore write [p][pʰ], [t][tʰ] and [k][kʰ]. I think that although this might be correct it is yet misleading for most laypersons, and therefore I will consistently use the symbols indicated in the listing above.

... Anthropologists have conducted ethnographic research on the shopping activities and on the use of light bulbs to learn how people act in stores and how they use bulbs in their homes. A study of electricity use in China (Wu, 2008) showed that men, rather than women, typically purchase light bulbs, but that electric light is more important for women's economic activities (such as sewing clothes) than for men's, so that men and women might have different priorities in selecting bulbs. This study also showed that more expensive electric items are often purchased in stores, while less expensive ones are purchased in street markets. ...
The tone pitches were one criterion for the arrangement of the rhyme groups in Middle Chinese. The Qieyun, and all later rhyme dictionaries, discerns the four tones pitches of level tone (pingsheng 平聲), falling-raising tone (shangsheng 上聲), falling tone (qusheng 去聲) and entering tone (rusheng 入聲, syllables with consonant finals [-p], [-t] and [-k]). The yangsheng syllables (endings [-m] [n] [-ŋ]) with the rhymes [-uŋ], [-ĭuŋ], [-uk], and [-ĭuk], for example, are divided into the four rhyme groups 東 [tuŋ˥˩], 董 [tuŋ˥], 送 [suŋ˩˥] and 屋 [ʔuk], each bearing a different tone pitch. The yinsheng syllables (without final consonant) with the rhyme of [-ĭo], are divided into the three rhyme groups 魚 [ŋĭo˩], 語 [ŋĭo˥] and 御 [ŋĭo˩˥] because there is no word with the entering tone pitch among these syllables.
Through what kind of inaugural scenes is the moral self born? And what are the practices, within that scene, through which one tries to become a moral person, or a different sort of moral self, a person one is not but wishes to be? These questions are at the heart of the recent ethical turn in anthropology and sociocultural studies more broadly. In this paper, I explore three moral imaginaries: ... [Show full abstract]Read more
A fledgling tourist trade sought to highlight Tonghua attractions such as some impressive ski slopes, the tomb of the local hero General Yang (a resister to the Japanese occupation of Manchukuo in the 1930s) and the beautiful Changbai Shan Nature Reserve for which Tonghua serves as a connecting railway station from the major population centres to the north and west.
On 3 September 2008, Atlantic Industries, a wholly owned subsidiary of The Coca-Cola Company, agreed to buy China Huiyuan Juice for HK$17.9 billion at HK$12.20 per share, three times more than its closing price of HK$4.14 on the previous day. Its shares closed at HK$10.94 on that day.[4] The proposed takeover was subject to anti-monopoly review by the Chinese Ministry of Commerce, which was scheduled to finish on 20 March 2009.[5] On 17 March, it was reported that Coca-Cola was considering abandoning the deal, as Chinese authorities insisted on relinquishing the Huiyuan brand name after acquisition.[6] On 18 March, the Ministry of Commerce disallowed the bid, citing market competition concerns.[7][8]
This article spells out the methodological considerations and various procedural and methodological subtleties developed over the author's quarter century of sociological field studies of Russia's peasant worlds. Particular attention is paid to “voices from below”—peasant discursive formats that capture, in natural and undiluted form, the evolution of peasant practices constituting the core of ... [Show full abstract]Read more
Directional verbs (quxiang dongci 趨向動詞) are normal verbs that can also be used as complements of result at the end of other verbs or adjectives, like na lai 拿來 "to take here", ji chu 寄出 "to send out", re qi lai 熱起來 "to become hot". Auxiliary verbs are used as in other languages, and they are places before the main verb. "Prepositions" (jieci 介詞) can be seen as auxiliary verbs, as they, too, are placed before the main verb and originally were full verbs themselves.
Middle Chinese is much easier to reconstruct because contemporary Chinese strated investigating the sounds of their own language. The most important of these researches is Lu Fayan's 陸法言 (fl. 601) rhyme dictionary Qieyun 切韻 from the Tang period 唐 (618-907). Based on this book, the Song period 宋 (960-1279) scholar Chen Pengnian 陳彭年 (961-1017) compiled the rhyme dictionary Guangyun 廣韻. In the Qieyun, 193 rhyme groups were used, in the Guangyun, 206 rhyme groups (called the Guangyun rhymes). It is not known upon which idiom these books are based as a standard language. Yet about half of the the 206 rhyme groups are syllables with different tone pitches, and not syllables with different rhymes. There were, therefore, only 90 real rhyme groups.
The classical language has still an influence on newspapers, government reports, legal texts, official documents, business contracts, and even on private letters. This influence can be seen in the language style, the lexicon, and certain expressions. The reason for this is in first place tradition (for example, forms of address or ceremoniousness, but also the more concise character of the classical language). In books and magazins, Classical Chinese is rarely used in the People's Republic of China, but it is to be found in many films picturizing the popular classical Chinese novels.
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