AN ENCYCLOPEDIA OF THE 140 LANGUAGES OF CHINA: Speakers, Dialects, Linguistic Elements, Script and Distribution

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This 3 volume set of encyclopedias provides an up-to-date, comprehensive and detailed overview of these languages, which are spoken by an important portion of the world’s population and include language families of significant interest to the science of linguistics. It fills a major gap in the global linguistic knowledge available in English.


"This magnum opus – about 1200 manuscript pages (excluding bibliography and indexes) – is a major contribution to our understanding of the linguistic diversity of contemporary China. On the basis of the most recent field research and census results, it identities 140 languages (including Chinese itself) spoken in China. It provides information on the genetic classification of each language, on its dialects, on number of speakers and recent demographic trends, and the basic structural features."
Professor Bernard Comrie,
University of California, Santa Barbara

“This book is magnificent compressive treatment of the languages and dialects in China, based on an earlier work accomplished in collaboration between Shearer and Sun (2002). A volume like this is long overdue and its significant contribution to linguistic studies of languages like China cannot be overemphasized. The current volume presents languages in China in [three] volumes in the English language, making it easily accessible to a large number of scholars around the world. This work is truly impressive.”
Professor Frank Li,
California State University, Chico

Table of Contents

Volume 1




The Problem of Language and Dialect Boundaries

The Languages and Dialects of China

Sino-Tibetan (Han-Zang) Language Phylum

Tibeto-Burman (Zang-Mian) Language Family

Qiang-Jiangpo Sub-family

Burmese-Lolo (Yi-Mian) Sub family

Volume 2

Maio-Yao (Hmong-Mien) Language Family

Kam-Tai (Dong-Tai) or Zhuang-Dong (Chuang-Kam)

Austro-Asiatic (Nanya) Language Phylum

Viet-Muong (Yue-Mang) Language Family

Austronesian (Nandao) Language Phylum

Malayo-Polynesian (Yinduonixiya ) Language Family

Volume 3

Korean (Choaxian) Isolate

Altaic (A'ertai) Language Phylum

Mongolic (Menggu) Language Family

Turkic (Tujue) Language Family

Indo-European (Yin-Ou) Language

Mixed (Hunhe) Languages

Annexes: Translations of Relevant Articles of Sun Hongkai



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