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