Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Manju Tacire: Learning Manchu, an Introduction to the Manchus and Their Language
by Autry, Robert, M.A., The University of Arizona, 2019, 211; 22619996
Abstract (Summary)

This work provides a brief introduction to the Manchu language, with an emphasis on teaching spoken Manchu rather than written Manchu. However, while this comprises the majority of the work, there are an additional two sections provided; a chapter introducing the Manchu and their language, as well as an appendix providing organized vocabulary lists.

Most works covering the learning of the Manchu language are concerned with the written language for reading documents, rather than the spoken language for daily communication. Works that do teach Manchu for spoken and written use often place emphasis on learning the orthography over learning the living language, and present material in a manner that is overwhelming for the learner while using written Manchu examples and standards as mediums through which they teach the natural spoken language. Additionally, few teaching materials, regardless of their focus, are interactive – providing the reader with avenues through which they can test their new knowledge. Thus, this Manchu language material focuses on the spoken language of the Manchus, rather than the written language and historical texts, while additionally attempting to provide simple, interactive learning that is easily interpretable for new learners.

Below I will describe each chapter and section of the material in brief, as well as my reasons behind certain decisions regarding its’ organization and its’ content. 1. The Introduction: The Introductory chapter, titled “Manju Takabun: Introduction to the Manchu people, their history, and language” is organized into two distinct sections: Manchu History and Manchu Language. These sections are self-explanatory in their contents. 2. The Teaching Portion: The Teaching chapter, titled “Manju Tacire” meaning ‘Learning Manchu’ or ‘Learn Manchu’ comprises of 23 distinct sections, each focusing on a different basic concept, or building block of the Manchu language. These concepts range from pronouns, to colors, numbers, and directions, to developing verbs and adjectives and describing the structure of a traditional Manchu name. The primary purpose of this chapter is to provide the reader with the necessary tools to interpret basic Manchu phrases and words when spoken, as well as to be able to develop their own sentences in Manchu. Important to note is that while most Manchu language provided in this chapter derives from the “Standard” Manchu (SM henceforth) which is the most commonly learned, and spoken, variety of Manchu by Manchus today – and was used to record notes during the Qing Dynasty (1636-1912), as a speaker, I additionally provide words, phrases, and concepts that I use that may not have an SM equivalent, or may just be an ‘alternative’ to the SM itself. I will always provide SM forms of a word or phrase first, however where dialectal or idiolectal differences may exist I will mention these as well. I do not adhere to rigorous standardization of Manchu based on the written language itself, and therein promote modern day speakers – with a good understanding of the Manchu language – to experiment with their Manchu, and to both develop and use new phrases and terms, as well as the old. 3. The Appendix: The Appendix portion of this work is purely “FYI” – providing additional Manchu language information for any interested readers. This portion is comprised entirely of organized ‘word lists’ – with categories such as elements, household, topographical features, and cooking – that aim to provide the reader with additional ‘basic’ vocabulary to experiment with, while not dedicating a whole new teaching section for each word list.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: De Lima Silva, Wilson, Zepeda, Ofelia
Commitee: Fountain, Amy
School: The University of Arizona
Department: Linguistics
School Location: United States -- Arizona
Source: MAI 81/4(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Linguistics, Foreign language education
Keywords: Introduction, Language, Learning, Manchu, People, Takabun
Publication Number: 22619996
ISBN: 9781687925800
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