“Altaicization” or Simplification?
This chapter shows that while Altaic languages had a decisive effect upon Mandarin, transfer was a relatively minor factor, while reduction due to non-native competence was comprehensively transformative. The evidence also suggests that the crucial locus of transformation was not the occupations by Genghis Khan (13th through 14th centuries) or the Manchus (1644-1911), but the widespread resettlement of conquered and dispossessed peoples amid Han Chinese on the northern Chinese frontier from the 600s through the 800s under the Tang dynasty. A comparison of Mandarin with its sister languages in nine aspects of grammar is presented.
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