Chinese Dialect Geography: Distinguishing Mandarin and Wu in Their Boundary Region 江淮官话与吴语边界的方言地理学研究.

Shanghai: Shanghai Education Press 上海教育出版社, 2006.

Richard VanNess Simmons, with Shi Rujie 石汝杰 and Gu Qian 顾黔.

04_Dialect_Geography_Book_CoverThis volume is an atlas and analysis of the findings of a multi-year project investigating the boundary between Wu and Jiang-Hwai Mandarin dialects that was supported by the Luce Foundation. It includes:

•           A village-by-village examination of the transition zone between Mandarin and Wú dialects in Jiāngsū Province.  This is the most finely detailed a picture of the boundary between dialects that has ever been drawn.

•           A clear and incontrovertible test and confirmation of the thesis that Mandarin and Wú dialects can be identified and defined by their adherence to their own common dialect systems.

•           Detailed data and descriptions of various transition zone types that characterize the boundary between Mandarin and Wú: gradual wave zones, abrupt boundary zones, mixed regions, and dialect islands.

•           Over 80 color maps that plot dialect data from over 400 sites and illustrate the transition zones across several counties from southeastern to southwestern Jiāngsū.

•           Delineation and description of the Chinese dialect transition zones through a detailed look at the isoglosses, isogloss bundles, vowel shifts, and lexical diffusion found within them.

•           A concrete illustration of, and phonological explanation for, the development of voiceless aspirated obstruents in Mandarin dialects from an historical voiced form.

•           A description and outline of the Common Southern Jiāng-Huái phonological system.