FINAL_PAPER_BRUCE CECIL

FINAL_PAPER_BRUCE CECIL - Bruce Cecil LING 115 Section...

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Bruce Cecil LING 115 Section 50419 FINAL PAPER Throughout its long history, the world has ebbed and flowed through periods of harmony and conflict punctuated by people’s migration, diffusion, and infiltration (Ostler 19). Civilizations transport their culture, beliefs, and language as they seek riches, territory, or fertile land in the hope that they can build a new home for themselves or expand their existing empires (Ostler). This paper will explore several such societies focusing on their major accomplishments and limitations. In addition, I will share some of the personal history of my interracial marriage of 21 years; providing insight into the experiences we have enjoyed as we navigate our differences in culture and language. Our journey begins with the Chinese people who have a long, prestigious history of over 3,000 years. Not unlike the Egyptians, the Chinese people have remained united in both language and culture even in the face of extreme diversity and repeated attempts at conquest by foreign invaders (Ostler 134). The Chinese language originates some time before 500 BC where it is first found in the Yellow River valley, also known as the Huang-He River valley (Ostler 134). Although the people spread in all directions from this valley, their primary track was south toward the Yangtze River where they sought more fertile lands with a warmer, wetter climate providing and environment to cultivate their staple rice crops. The terrain of this area fostered linguistic and 1
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cultural unity, as the only reasonable means of transportation was the river waterways (Ostler 136-137). Seen as a distinct arm of the Sino-Tibetan language family, the Chinese language possesses no direct relation with any of the other major languages within the family including Burmese, Karen, Tibetan, Yi, Jingpo, and Lisu. The language is characterized as a monosyllabic, tonal language with no inflection on verbs, adjectives, or nouns (Ostler 134). In their early history, the Chinese people were ruled by feudal lords who retained oversight of state-like areas. One of the most notable of these lords is Shi Huang Di (‘First Emperor’) who reigned over the Qin state for thirty seven years prior to his eventual rise as the supreme overlord in 221 BC (Ostler 137-138). Proclaiming himself as the First Emperor on 221 BC, Shi Huang Di successfully united all of known China. Although his leadership was short lived at 11 years (221 BC to 210 BC), he accomplished many great feats to include completion of the Great Wall, banishment of the other feudal lords to the outskirts of China, adoption of the Qin pictorial scripts, and creation of the great Terracotta Army, which was buried with him in his funerary chamber at Chang-an (Ostler 138). During its long history, China was plagued by multiple invasions from nomadic
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This note was uploaded on 07/01/2011 for the course LING 115 taught by Professor Professor during the Fall '11 term at CSU Fresno.

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FINAL_PAPER_BRUCE CECIL - Bruce Cecil LING 115 Section...

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