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History of Chinese Language

Chinese is actually a language having a rich history that dates back to 1122 BCE (prior to the Common Era). Although right now more than one billion individuals globally speak some variation of Chinese, the background of this language stems from a more primitive, simpler language known as Proto-Sino-Tibetan. Modern linguists classify Chinese as part of the Sino-Tibetan group of languages.
 
Interestingly, the history of the Chinese language can be a contentious topic among linguists, as numerous have conflicting notions of how the evolution of this language should be classified.
 
However, regardless of the ongoing scholarly debate, several experts depend on the historical classification system created by the Swedish linguist Bernhard Karlgren in the early 20th century. Karlgren distinguished the history of the Chinese language into the following eras: Old Chinese, Middle Chinese, Contemporary Chinese.
 
 Old Chinese
Also referred as "Archaic Chinese," Old Chinese was an early version of the language that was mainly spoken through the Zhou Dynasty (1122 BCE to 256 BCE).
 
Whilst this early kind of Chinese incorporated a number of wealthy sounds (which had been primarily derived from rough aspirations throughout pronunciation), it lacked any tonal elements -which means that there were no certain notes or specific pitches around which the language was centered.
 
Our current understanding of the sounds and characters of Old Chinese comes from different artifacts of the Zhou Dynasty. Moreover, the inscriptions on bronze plates and sculptures, linguists have properly reconstructed Old Chinese by way of the translation of Shūjīng, a compilation of ancient documents recording the history of the early Chinese. Shūjīng literally translates to Classic of History.
 
Middle Chinese
 
In the 6th Century, the Suí, Táng, and Sòng dynasties started the era of Middle Chinese. The difference between Old and Middle Chinese was that the language had drastically evolved and started taking on different types within the identical way that the growth and movement of the population triggered the development of early Chinese dialects.
 
Due to the fact that archeologists have uncovered more artifacts from this time period, linguists are far more confident in their reconstruction of Middle Chinese than of Old Chinese. A few experts even sub-classify this era of Chinese language history according to two texts:
 
The Qièyùn rhyme table (601 CE) was an ancient text that employed rhymes to dictate the appropriate pronunciations of Middle Chinese, as it was initially spoken.
The Guangyùn rhyme table (1007 CE) was a related instructional manual that mapped out appropriate pronunciations for any a lot more evolved form of Middle Chinese. This far more in-depth text integrated outlines for how and when to use distinct tones, which - up till this point - weren't a part of the early versions of the Chinese language.
 
Contemporary Chinese
 
As a lot more centuries passed and Chinese populations continued to grow and spread across the continent, a growing number of distinct Chinese dialects were formed. Dialects are variations of a language that consist of precise vocabulary and/or pronunciation nuances related to the distinct region and culture.
 
This developing number of dialects has led to the need for a "Standard Mandarin," which, by the mid-1900s, had become a compulsory part of the educational method.
 
Nowadays, Chinese has been becoming the most widely spoken language around the world.