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Chinese Studies: Linguistics

A guide to resources for the study of China

General Linguistics Encyclopedias and Handbooks

Recommended Databases for Finding Scholarship on Linguistics

Asian Studies Librarian

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Tim Davis
I am happy to meet with you in person or virtually to help you with any research questions.

Office: 5449 HBLL
Phone: 801-422-4061


Online Resources

Language Log University of Pennsylvania.

Posts filed by Victor Mair usually have a connection with Asia.

Chinese Specific Handbooks & Encyclopedias

TestWiley Blackwell Handbook of Chinese Linguistics

Publication Date: 2014 (eBook)

DeFrancis Book Cover

The Chinese Language: Fact and Fantasy

Ebook also available through catalog title search

Publication Date: 1984


International Journal of Chinese Linguistics (2018–present)

Journal of Chinese Linguistics  


Click the link for electronic access. The most recent 3 years are only available in print. For the most recent issues, visit the Periodicals Reading Room on Level 2. Call number: PL 1001 .J68 


Zhongguo yuwen


PL 1009 .c55x

(Chinese Periodicals, Level 4)


Foreign Language Annals (


 Taiwan Journal of Linguistics



 語言科學 Linguistic Sciences

You will need to register for an account with NSSD (National Social Sciences Database) to access this journal.

語言研究 Linguistics Research

PL 1004 .Y8 (4th Floor Stacks, Asian Collection)
The library has volumes from 1982–2017
(some issues missing)

当代语言学 Contemporary Linguistics

You will need to register for an account with NSSD (National Social Sciences Database) to access this journal.

Books on the Chinese Writing System

PRC Ministry of Education List of Standard Characters

In 2013, the Ministry of Education of the People's Republic of China published a table of 8,105 standard characters. 

Click here for access to the list:

通用規範漢字表 (Current Standard Chinese Character Chart) 

Here is a Wikisource copy of the chart

Click here to download a PDF of the list (100 MB)

The list is divided into three tiers, the first 3,500 characters comprise the most common characters.

After the list of 8,105 characters you will find a comprehensive list of standard simplified characters compared with their traditional (繁體) forms.

Finally, there is also a second list of all 8,105 characters organized by the number of strokes in each character.

Dictionary of Chinese Character Variants 

Enter a Chinese character to see the various ways the character has been written. You can also find a character by using the number of strokes in the "radical" to drill down to the appropriate graph.