• Offered by School of Literature, Languages and Linguistics
  • ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
  • Course subject Linguistics
  • Areas of interest Linguistics and Applied Linguistics

This course gives an introduction to linguistically interesting aspects, both historical and modern, of Modern Standard Chinese and Chinese dialects. The course will be of particular interest to students who wish to learn more about how the Chinese language is structured and functions, and especially to those who wish to teach English to Chinese speakers, and Chinese to English speakers. It will also be of value to students of Chinese societies in general.

1. Structure of Modern Standard Chinese: Phonology (Sounds), Morphology (Word Structure), Syntax (Sentence Structure), Semantics (Meanings).
2. Modern Dialectology: Main linguistic characteristics of three major groups (Wu, Min, Yue).
3. Historical Linguistics: Genetic affiliation. Reconstruction from the modern dialects. Ancient Chinese (Traditional yinyunxue: Rhyme books and tables). Archaic Chinese. The writing system.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

Depending on how well they satisfy the requirements of the course, students will be able to:

  1. Take any piece of Modern Standard Chinese and describe professionally its Sounds, Word Structure and Sentence Structure, applying the grammatical terminology and analytical techniques they have learned in the course.
  2. Identify three of the main non-Mandarin dialects (Wú; Min; Yuè) by their characteristic sounds and word-structure.
  3. Read descriptions of sound inventories in Chinese.
  4. Make sense of the layout and significance of traditional yÄ«nyùnxué source materials like Rhyme books (yùnshÅ«) & Rhyme tables (yùntú).

Indicative Assessment

Two assignments (50%), test (20%) and essay (30%).


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Two lectures and one tutorial

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must have successfully completed either LING1001 or LING2001 or LING6001 and either LING2010 or LING6010 or LING1003 or LING20003. Alternatively you may gain permission of the Course Convener to enrol in this course.

Prescribed Texts

Norman, Jerry: Chinese [10th printing], Cambridge University Press, 1988.





Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2015 $2604
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2015 $3576
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

Winter Session

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
6791 27 Jun 2016 27 Jun 2016 08 Jul 2016 29 Jul 2016 In Person N/A

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