Chinese is primarily a group of related language varieties but most lingos are mutually intelligible. Han majority and many ethnic groups of China speak these dialects. And it is estimated that there are approximately 1.2 billion Chinese speakers that is around 16% of the world’s population.
Local varieties of Chinese
In addition to these, there are unclassified varieties – Danzhou, Waxianghua and Shaozhou Tuhua.
Each syllable is structure around a nucleus that has a vowel preceded by an onset and followed by a coda consonant. But exception to this rule is also found in Chinese.
Tones are used to distinguish words and all varieties of Chinese language have tones depending on their uses. For example, some varieties have 3 tones while others have up to 6 or 12 tones.
Chinese is often called monosyllabic language but it is true only about Classical and Middle Chinese. In Classical Chinese, over 90% words are found to be monosyllabic that is pointing towards a single syllable. But in Modern Chinese, it is found in the case of a morpheme.
Some South China varieties of Modern Chinese language are considered conservative because of more monosyllabic words. But in modern Mandarin, most nouns, adjectives and verbs are disyllabic.
All varieties of Chinese language are analytical because they rely on syntax to define word’s function in a sentence. In other words, Chinese language has no tense, voice or numbers. And only a few articles are found in Chinese.
Chinese has over 20,000 characters but only half the characters are commonly used. Here it is necessary to mention that the characters shouldn’t be taken as words because a word is made of two or more characters. Also, Chinese has a sizeable number of words borrowed from other languages.
Chinese being a group of languages requires a few extra efforts for which you need an experienced tutor that can simplify complex terms for quick learning. A seasoned Chinese teacher can prepare a detailed syllabus for your convenience. He will teach Chinese according to syllabus and also monitor progress at regular intervals.
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