Signup date: 05 May 2008 at 6:11pm
Last login: 18 Dec 2008 at 9:08pm
Post count: 446
IMO the basic distinction between languages and dialects is that dialects tend to generally be mutually comprehensible (bavarian german/austrian german/standard german), whilst languages are not (german/english/french etc). there are special cases (dialect continuums) where there is a language at each end of the continuum (such as german and dutch which are mutually incomprehensible), but where the continuum inbetween these languages is filled up with dialects from both languages (for example low german/plattdeutsch) which are mutually comprehensible with their "neighbours" in the continuum.
there is a saying: a language is a dialect with an army (which could be applied to the serbian/croat situation...).
i am worried that once i move to england in september i will stuff myself with chocolate oranges, scones, muffins, steak and kidney pies, cornish pasties, yorkshire pudding, indian food etc - all the stuff i have learned to live without abroad - aaargh! i'm on a diet and i don't want to put on weight again!
i am very bad at saying no.
i read that due to chinese politicians who wish to stress that china is all one big nation and one happy family the propaganda machine propagates the myth that all languages in china are actually just "dialects" of a standard language. this myth is also propagated by chinese linguists and linguists living in china (who probably don't want to get into trouble with the authorities). people outside of china don't normally agree with the chinese dialects theory.
i have the same problem with my paper library.
i just sorted everything in alphabetical order (had it sorted thematically in chronological order before) and put it into folders. i use endnote and pop abstracts and keywords into that so i can search for certain topics. whenever i read something new i put the reference into endnote straightaway and on a heap of articles on my desk. when the heap gets large enough i sort it into my paper library. i also have pdfs of all the stuff i read (scanned) and keep them in a folder on my harddrive so i can send stuff to my sups.
don't worry, hairui. just read those wikipedia articles and take it from there. follow the links to explanations of bilingualism, second language acquisition etc. they are a good introduction. everyone has to start somewhere and wikipedia is not a bad place.
i think you are chinese, aren't you? in that case, you will have to really watch out when talking about dialects/language in the chinese context because chinese national politics has its own reason for classing them as dialects (national cohesion) when linguists outside of china actually do not. after all, you probably want to make your thesis internationally accessible, don't you?
my parents were here over the weekend and picked up a carload of my stuff to take to my sister in england (digital piano and immense amounts of unused kitchen utensils and machines - oh and loads of tupperware) which i'm donating to her as i won't be able to fit much of my stuff into my student hall room (assuming i manage to meet UCL's conditional offer). so of course i didn't manage to get too much done on the weekend.
i am really looking forward to a week or two off at christmas!
my philosophy paper supervisor/oral examiner is moving to canada beginning of august, so i've got to get all the final philosophy stuff (one of my minor subjects) over with by the end of july.
so i need to write a term paper in philosophy till sunday and then send it in. i've been reading for it the past 4 weeks. it's on altruism.
then 3 weeks later an oral exam in philosophy (different topic - grrr!)...*sigh*
i'm really wishing i had done all of this earlier, like last year could totally kick myself for procrastinating for so long! i hope i've learned my lesson.
i am also irritated that my minor subject is consuming so much time that i might not be able to prepare properly for my major subject (linguistics) which is coming up after that.
tomorrow i've got my usual weekly deadline for my thesis supervisors and haven't done anything for that because i've been reading for philosophy - so tomorrow it's going to be rushrushrush and panic!!!
how about the handbook of bilingualism? i'm not quite sure if you are looking at bilingualism or second language acquisition, there are two handbooks of second language acquisition, both very good and state of the art.
or wei's bilingualism reader (2000).
or ellis's 2nd language acquisition (2008).
pick up any introductory book to linguistics... it's all in there.
you might also want to look into some stuff on sociolinguistics too, the language/dialect controversy (especially in china) is strongly linked to that area.
the wikipedia article on "dialect" is actually rather good, you could check that out, there's a link to a wikipedia article on the chinese language situation there which looks rather good too.
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