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Samurai Archives Japanese History Podcast


Apr 5, 2011

For the next podcast in our conference series, your hosts Nate and Chris come to you again live from the AAS/ICAS (The Association for Asian Studies and the International Convention of Asia Scholars) Conference held in Honolulu. They finish up the rundown of the Zen Buddhism and the Muromachi Shogunate seminar, and then give their comments and reactions to a Linguistics seminar and seminar on the digital archives of the Japan Center for Asian Historical Records.

Links mentioned in this podcast:

Japan Center for Asian Historical Records:

The Pritzker Military Library:

two and a half years ago

Linguists don't have a definition of the difference between a dialect and a language. It is not the conference presenter's fault. Chinese people, and many Chinese linguists, consider Chinese as a language with numerous dialects (and sub-dialects); linguists outside of China typically consider 'Chinese' as a family of languages like the Romance or Germanic language families, with Cantonese, Mandarin, Shanghainese, etc. as languages just as the Romance family has Italian, French, Spanish, etc. and the Germanic family has Dutch, Danish, Swedish, etc. I think both camps have their merits . . .

In China, one can also have the problem you discussed of expecting an Asian face to speak (in this case) Chinese (Mandarin being the default). I found this true when hanging out with an American friend of Chinese descent who spoke no Chinese (I am fluent). Even though I was going 100% of the talking, many folks would talk to her. As we left one store, the guy yelled after us, to her really, "And tell him [me!] such and such [I forget what]."

Enjoying the series! Thanks : )