LANGUAGE CONTACT ON THE BORDERS OF CHINA: THREE CASE STUDIES
Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Paris/
In light of the areal features of Mainland East and Southeast Asia, three case studies will be treated in this presentation, all located in frontier areas of China. These are the following:
(i) Hainan, an island province of the coast of Guangdong, where Huihui 回辉话 (Tsat), an Austronesian language of the Chamic branch has undergone radical change under the impact of Sinitic, from both Jun Mandarin 军话 and Southern Min 闽南话
(ii) Gansu-Qinghai in northwestern China where, on the contrary, an enclave of different Northwestern 兰银官话 and Central Plains Mandarin languages 中原官话 reveals striking developments in their typological profile due to contact with Mongolic, Tibetan and Turkic languages
(iii) Guangxi in the far south of China where Northern Zhuang (Tai-Kadai) languages intermingle with western dialects of Yue 粤语 (Cantonese) and the little explored Pinghua Chinese 平话.
It is only in recent decades that studies on contact-induced linguistic change have begun to be examined in China from the point of view of transferral from Sinitic into unrelated languages, let alone from non-Chinese languages into Sinitic. The purpose will be to describe the type of borrowing as well as the resultant clustering of shared features in these micro-areas, and ultimately the degree of linguistic impact, given the protracted periods of contact between the communities in question.