Cantonese: A Comprehensive Grammar
Routledge – 2011 – 536 pages
Series: Routledge Comprehensive Grammars
Cantonese: A Comprehensive Grammar is a complete reference guide to Cantonese as spoken by native speakers in Hong Kong. It presents a fresh and accessible description of the language, concentrating on the real patterns of use in current Cantonese. This makes it the ideal reference source for all learners and users of Cantonese, irrespective of level, in schools, colleges, universities and adult classes of all types. Moreover, it will provide a lasting and reliable resource for all fluent speakers of the language.
The book is organized to promote a thorough understanding of Cantonese grammar. Arranged by both syntactic categories and language functions, the Grammar provides an in-depth treatment of structures and pays special attention to idiom and speech registers, including trendy language.
Explanations are full, clear and free of jargon. A glossary, extensive index and generous use of cross-references provide readers with easy access to the information they require.
Stephen Matthews is Associate Professor in Linguistics at the University of Hong Kong and Virginia Yip is Professor in the Department of Linguistics and Modern Languages at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. They are Directors of the Childhood Bilingualism Research Centre and have previously co-authored: Basic Cantonese: A Grammar and Workbook (Routledge, 1999) and Intermediate Cantonese: A Grammar and Workbook (Routledge, 2000).
Reviews of the first edition:
'It is fortunate that the long-felt need for a Cantonese grammar should have been so competently met at the first attempt. This is an excellent book, down to earth, up-to-date, full of insights, replete with well-selected and illuminating examples, and written with minimal reliance on jargon, so that it is accessible to all who are interested in Cantonese.' - Professor Hugh Baker, Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies
'Cantonese: A Comprehensive Grammar represents the latest effort in writing a dialectal grammar, a grammar that aims to serve language students, teachers, and linguists alike with both challenge and elegance.' - Professor Samuel H.N. Cheung, International Review of Chinese Linguistics
'A cover-to-cover reading leaves the impression that Matthews and Yip's work is undoubtably the reference grammar of Cantonese that we have been waiting for.' - Professor Alain Peyraube, International Review of Chinese Linguistics
'Matthews and Yip make a formidable team in putting together what is, in essence, the first full-length treatment in English to date of the grammar of modern spoken Cantonese.' - Professor Marjorie Chan, Journal of the Chinese Language Teachers Association
'The lack of a comprehensive reference grammar of Cantonese has long been a curious and embarrassing situation. Matthews and Yip's work therefore constitutes a landmark in Chinese linguistics.' - Professor Jeroen Wiedenhof, Glot International
'Matthews and Yip have indeed written a comprehensive grammar, which addresses the needs of Western learners of Cantonese and of general linguists in a thorough and detailed way… the authors have given the Cantonese language a long overdue, rightful place and a proper prominence within the descriptions of Chinese.' - Professor Gisela Bruche-Schulz, Cahiers de Linguistique Asie Orientale
Introduction 1. Phonology 2. Word Structure 3. Syntactic Categories 4. Sentence Structure 5. Pronouns 6. The Noun Phrase 7. Prepositions and expressions of location 8. The Verb Phrase 9. Adjectival Constructions 10. Adverbial Constructions 11. Aspect and Verbal Particles 12. Modality 13. Negation 14. Quantification 15. Relative and noun-modifying clauses 16. Coordination and Subordinate Clauses 17. Questions 18. Sentence Particles and Interjections 19. Imperative Sentences 20. Cantonese Speech Conventions 21. Numberals and Times Appendiz: Romanization. System. Notes. Glossary of Grammatical Terms. References. Index