Tiger Event

Not so Insular: The Influence of Other Languages and Dialects on Mandarin

Presenter / Panelists

Neil Kubler, Stanfield Professor of Asian Studies, Department of Asian Studies, Williams College


Lisa Chang Ahnert, former Director of Asian Studies at Southern Methodist University and former Director of Chinese Studies at Hong Kong International School

We launch Tiger Talks for 2021 with a topic near and dear to Mrs. Lin – the Chinese language.

Neil  Kubler, who has devoted his career to Chinese language teaching and  learning, observes as a polyglot that all languages are subject to the  influence of other languages with which their speakers or readers come  into contact. English, for example, has borrowed numerous words and  expressions from French, Latin, and many other languages.

Neil notes Chinese, which for centuries flooded the vocabularies of  Korean, Japanese, and Vietnamese, while taking relatively little in  return, has also -- especially since the beginning of large scale  contact with the West-- been strongly influenced by foreign languages.

This Tiger Talk will explore, among other things, the influence of  European languages on Chinese grammar; the influence of Japanese on  Chinese vocabulary; and the influence of Sinitic languages like  Cantonese and Taiwanese on modern spoken Mandarin.

Registration for the talk is by email invitation only, and at this time participation is limited to members of our Tiger Community, including Helen Lin's students, colleagues, family, and invited guests. We welcome friends and colleagues of Tiger Community members to join us -- please have them send us their contact information, so we can send them an invitation. Email: HTL.Legacy@gmail.com


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