Minority Languages in the PRC: Identification and Classification
(1,990 words)

China has been a country with many ethnic groups and languages since ancient times. The earliest extant Chinese texts, the oracle bone inscriptions dating to about 3,000 years ago, record events such as wars, sacrifices, and burials involving various ethnic groups. There are many textual records documenting their languages throughout history. The earliest Chinese record of languages is from the Hàn dynasty, the Yóuxuān shǐzhě juédài yǔ shì biéguó fāngyán 輶軒使者絕代語釋別國方言 [Local speeches of other countries in times immemorial explained by the Light-Carriage Messenger]…

Cite this page
Hongkai SUN, “Minority Languages in the PRC: Identification and Classification”, in: Encyclopedia of Chinese Language and Linguistics, General Editor Rint Sybesma. Consulted online on 17 February 2019 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2210-7363_ecll_COM_00000268>
First published online: 2015

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