New research on the adoption and transformation of Chinese writing

Norbert Francis

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


A major study has been released on the emergence in East Asia of the logographic, or logo-syllabic, writing systems inherited from Chinese writing, attending primarily to the adaptations and innovations implemented in Korea, Vietnam, Japan and by speakers of the Tai languages of Southern China and Northern Vietnam. It contributes to our understanding of the fundamental mechanisms, of how speakers of different languages transformed the character script. The book points to overarching research problems concerning the relationship between language and writing, how aspects of this relationship are based on universal principles of learning exemplified in bilingual literacy. The research questions presented by the author will ultimately help us better understand literacy learning and the nature of reading and writing ability in general.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)134-145
Number of pages12
JournalChinese Language and Discourse
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jun 3 2020


  • Linguistic typology
  • Literary Sinitic
  • Morpheme
  • Spoken vernacular
  • Syllable

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts
  • Linguistics and Language


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