Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies - Chapter 16 "How China Became Chinese" Summary & Analysis

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In his second chapter on particular states, Diamond examines China. He argues that while we tend to take for granted China's political, cultural, and linguistic unity, parts of China and in particular, North and South China, are very different. Their climates and environments differ, as one example. Thus, it is likely that China was once much more diverse than it is now. Diamond questions how its "unity" came to be through looking at the linguistic patterns.

China has eight "big" languages, including Mandarin and its seven close "relatives," but it also turns out that China has over 130 "little" languages. These all fall into one of four linguistic families. One family, containing Mandarin and its relatives, is the Sino-Tibetan family, which is distributed from North to South China. The other families are found in little pockets...

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Buy the Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies Study Guide
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