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Chinese Language Resources at Glossika.com

Back in September of 2003, I introduced my newsletter subscribers to the Chinese language resources as Glossika.com. As we quoted the site’s creator, James Campbell, then,

[The Introduction to Chinese Dialects at Glossika.com] is designed not just for serious researchers and linguists, but also for anybody interested in the field. However, the data presented here requires some previous knowledge of Chinese lingistics, phonology, or at least some elementary study of one of the languages. If you have no knowledge of this subject, you’re still welcome, but currently this site is not intended to teach you Chinese, Chinese characters, or any of the languages; it is provided as a reference.

In the past two years, this resource has grown to now covers 11 languages, including Mandarin, Jin, Huainan/Hui, Wu, Xiang, Gan, several languages in the Min Group, Hakka, Yue, Tuhua/Xianghua, and Pinghua.

The site now also groups and classifies over 2,500 dialect locations into about 200 dialects, using interactive Google Maps and Google Earth files Each dialect location (500 charted so far, and more are being added all the time) has its own overview page, with a map, some tones, phonology, and other data.

For the serious Chinese language researcher, this site is a godsend because, as the site notes,

Most data published on Chinese dialects / dialectology / linguistics is published in Chinese and distributed only domestically among linguistic circles. The goal of this site is to provide an accessible reference to non-Chinese speakers or those who have limited access to such data. None of the data on this site comes from second-rate sources or hearsay, but rather from well-known publications from both field-work and research-based authors in Chinese linguistic circles.

Even if you’re not into hardcore Chinese linguistic research, it’s interesting to browse the site and get some idea of how many Chinese dialects and language groups there are, and where they’re distributed. Check it out at Glossika.com.

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