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Supertech / Fraud and Delay in Possession

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Beware of Supertech. I bought a flat in 2006 in Emrald court Noida. They promised possession in Dec 2007. Its been over 2 years and every time I call, they keep giving some flimsy excuse. The company is totally unethical. I even flew to Delhi two times to check things out. But the work is not progressing at all. Before you decide to buy, please make sure you check out builders reputation. Also, any other folks who have flats in Emrald court and have delayed possession, I think we all should unite and file a legal complaint otherwise nothing will happen

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  • Ni
      30th of Nov, 2009
    0 Votes

    It seems what have been infomed by you is correct.
    I have purchased an appartment in recently launched project that is APEX.
    To my surprise, the projectl completion date is already delayed by 6 months.
    Moreover, the Project Sanction Plan is not yet there and these people are asking us to submit all the amount at one go.
    I am afraid and by your saying, will ensure to pay the amount only after their written commitment.

  • Go
      27th of Dec, 2009
    0 Votes

    Only God can save you, Nikhil. Even written commitments may not be honored, going by their past record. Since you have already invested, ask for a certified copy of approved plan and building drawings and keep it in your records.

    I do not think, Supertech will entertain your request for certified copies.

  • Li
      5th of Jan, 2010
    0 Votes

    I have a new Linksys router WRT54gs and a new Dell laptop.
    The router works well with the cable attached but when I go to wireless
    I get a strong signal but unable to get on the internet with WEP security.
    With security disabled the wireless works fine. But will not connect to the
    internet with WEP security on. I tried to use the CD install disk that comes
    with the router but ir does not help.
    Any help would be apreciated

  • Li
      5th of Jan, 2010
    0 Votes

    i Disagree

  • Li
      5th of Jan, 2010
    0 Votes

    Would you help me

  • Li
      5th of Jan, 2010
    0 Votes


  • Li
      5th of Jan, 2010
    0 Votes

    In a major international study involving 41, 000 patients in 16 countries, heart researchers yesterday said they have shown that an expensive American clot-busting drug called t-PA is better at saving lives than streptokinase, which is 10 times cheaper.

    Other heart specialists, however, cautioned that the new results, although important, have not been peer-reviewed by independent scientists, have not yet been published in a medical journal and, while statistically significant, may not be clinically significant

  • Li
      5th of Jan, 2010
    0 Votes

    Good Relations doesn't need any promises any terms or conditions.. it just need two wonderful people. One cool like me.. one sweet like u.


    Good Relations doesn't need any promises any terms or conditions.. it just need two wonderful people. One cool like me.. one sweet like u.


    Only the open heart receives
    Only the open mind receives
    Only the open hand receives
    Only the CUTE 1's receive


    Love yourself first
    everything else falls into line.
    You really have to love yourself
    to get anything done in this world.
    Good Luck


    A special smile a special face,
    A special someone no one can replace.
    I love you and always will,
    You've filled a space no one could fill.


    What is a Girl Friend?
    Ans: Addition of Problem, Substraction of Money, Multiplication of Enemy, Division of Friends... So be careful.


    3 dreame of man
    1-To be as handsom as his mother think
    2-To Be rich as his child think
    3-To Has many gf as his wife think he has


    The only thing we never get enough of is love; and the only thing we never give enough of is love.


    Wife: yesterday-night I saw a dream
    That u were sending me
    Jewelry and clothes!
    Husband: yeah, I saw the same, but
    your dad was paying the bill !!!


    It is a curious thought, but it is only when you see people looking ridiculous that you realize just how much you love them.


    CUTE people r like wind. You can only feel their presence & sincerity. Now dont look here n there to find them. Just luk at the name of the sender...!
    :-) gd mrng.

    Text: Mathematical joke:


    Think deeply

    Not getting


    Tera(13) tera(13) tera(13) = SUROOR.





    Date of birth:

    U cant live without:

    Ur Color:

    ßest Friend:


    Crazy aßt:

    Love is:

    Words aßt me:

    reply must


    Text: 2day is"Ask ME Anythin"day.M givin u da XcLuSVe ofer 2 ask me any1 ques u alwys wntd 2.No mattr hw it iz n i'l ans hnestly. But only1 ques


  • Li
      5th of Jan, 2010
    0 Votes

    Scientific method refers to a body of techniques for investigating phenomena, acquiring new knowledge, or correcting and integrating previous knowledge. To be termed scientific, a method of inquiry must be based on gathering observable, empirical and measurable evidence subject to specific principles of reasoning.[1] A scientific method consists of the collection of data through observation and experimentation, and the formulation and testing of hypotheses.[2]

    Although procedures vary from one field of inquiry to another, identifiable features distinguish scientific inquiry from other methodologies of knowledge. Scientific researchers propose hypotheses as explanations of phenomena, and design experimental studies to test these hypotheses. These steps must be repeatable in order to dependably predict any future results. Theories that encompass wider domains of inquiry may bind many independently-derived hypotheses together in a coherent, supportive structure. This in turn may help form new hypotheses or place groups of hypotheses into context.

    Among other facets shared by the various fields of inquiry is the conviction that the process be objective to reduce biased interpretations of the results. Another basic expectation is to document, archive and share all data and methodology so they are available for careful scrutiny by other scientists, thereby allowing other researchers the opportunity to verify results by attempting to reproduce them. This practice, called full disclosure, also allows statistical measures of the reliability of these data to be established.

    Contents [hide]
    1 Introduction to scientific method
    1.1 DNA example
    2 Truth and belief
    3 Elements of scientific method
    3.1 Characterizations
    3.1.1 Uncertainty
    3.1.2 Definition
    3.1.3 Example of characterizations DNA-characterizations Precession of Mercury
    3.2 Hypothesis development
    3.2.1 DNA-hypotheses
    3.3 Predictions from the hypothesis
    3.3.1 DNA-predictions
    3.3.2 General relativity
    3.4 Experiments
    3.4.1 DNA-experiments
    3.5 Evaluation and improvement
    3.5.1 DNA-iterations
    3.6 Confirmation
    4 Models of scientific inquiry
    4.1 Classical model
    4.2 Pragmatic model
    4.3 Computational approaches
    5 Communication, community, culture
    5.1 Peer review evaluation
    5.2 Documentation and replication
    5.2.1 Archiving
    5.2.2 Data sharing
    5.2.3 Limitations
    5.3 Dimensions of practice
    6 Philosophy and sociology of science
    7 History
    8 Relationship with mathematics
    9 See also
    9.1 Problems and issues
    9.2 History, philosophy, sociology
    10 Notes and references
    11 Further reading
    12 External links

    Introduction to scientific method
    See also: History of scientific method and Timeline of the history of scientific method

    Ibn al-Haytham (Alhazen), 965–1039, Basra.Since Ibn al-Haytham (Alhazen, 965–1039), one of the key figures in the development of scientific method, the emphasis has been on seeking truth:

    Truth is sought for its own sake. And those who are engaged upon the quest for anything for its own sake are not interested in other things. Finding the truth is difficult, and the road to it is rough.[3]
    How does light travel through transparent bodies? Light travels through transparent bodies in straight lines only... We have explained this exhaustively in our Book of Optics. But let us now mention something to prove this convincingly: the fact that light travels in straight lines is clearly observed in the lights which enter into dark rooms through holes... [T]he entering light will be clearly observable in the dust which fills the air.[4]

    "Light travels through transparent bodies in straight lines only" — Alhazen in Book of Optics (1021).The conjecture that "light travels through transparent bodies in straight lines only" was corroborated by Alhazen only after years of effort. His demonstration of the conjecture was to place a straight stick or a taut thread next to the light beam, [5] to prove that light travels in a straight line.

    Scientific methodology has been practiced in some form for at least one thousand years. There are difficulties in a formulaic statement of method, however. As William Whewell (1794–1866) noted in his History of Inductive Science (1837) and in Philosophy of Inductive Science (1840), "invention, sagacity, genius" are required at every step in scientific method. It is not enough to base scientific method on experience alone[6]; multiple steps are needed in scientific method, ranging from our experience to our imagination, back and forth.

    In the twentieth century, a hypothetico-deductive model for scientific method was formulated (for a more formal discussion, see below):

    1. Use your experience: Consider the problem and try to make sense of it. Look for previous explanations. If this is a new problem to you, then move to step 2.
    2. Form a conjecture: When nothing else is yet known, try to state an explanation, to someone else, or to your notebook.
    3. Deduce a prediction from that explanation: If you assume 2 is true, what consequences follow?
    4. Test: Look for the opposite of each consequence in order to disprove 2. It is a logical error to seek 3 directly as proof of 2. This error is called affirming the consequent.[7]
    This model underlies the scientific revolution. One thousand years ago, Alhazen demonstrated the importance of steps 1 and 4. Galileo (1638) also showed the importance of step 4 (also called Experiment) in Two New Sciences. One possible sequence in this model would be 1, 2, 3, 4. If the outcome of 4 holds, and 3 is not yet disproven, you may continue with 3, 4, 1, and so forth; but if the outcome of 4 shows 3 to be false, you will have go back to 2 and try to invent a new 2, deduce a new 3, look for 4, and so forth.

    Note that this method can never absolutely verify (prove the truth of) 2. It can only falsify 2.[8] (This is what Einstein meant when he said "No amount of experimentation can ever prove me right; a single experiment can prove me wrong."[9]) However, as pointed out by Carl Hempel (1905-1997) this simple Popperian view of scientific method is incomplete; the formulation of the conjecture might itself be the result of inductive reasoning. Thus the likelihood of the prior observation being true is statistical in nature [10] and would strictly require a Bayesian analysis. To overcome this uncertainty, experimental scientists must formulate a crucial experiment, in order for it to corroborate a more likely hypothesis.

    In the twentieth century, Ludwik Fleck (1896–1961) and others found that we need to consider our experiences more carefully, because our experience may be biased, and that we need to be more exact when describing our experiences.[11] These considerations are discussed below.

    DNA example
    The Keystones of Science project, sponsored by the journal Science, has selected a number of scientific articles from that journal and annotated them, illustrating how different parts of each article embody scientific method. Here is an annotated example of this scientific method example titled "Microbial Genes in the Human Genome: Lateral Transfer or Gene Loss?".

    Four basic elements of scientific method are illustrated below, by example from the discovery of the structure of DNA:
    DNA-characterizations: in this case, although the significance of the gene had been established, the mechanism was unclear to anyone, as of 1950.
    DNA-hypotheses: Crick and Watson hypothesized that the gene had a physical basis - it was helical.[12]
    DNA-predictions: from earlier work on tobacco mosaic virus, [13] Watson was aware of the significance of Crick's formulation of the transform of a helix.[14] Thus he was primed for the significance of the X-shape in photo 51.
    DNA-experiments: Watson sees photo 51.[15]
    The examples are continued in "Evaluations and iterations" with DNA-iterations.[16]

    Truth and belief
    Main article: Truth

    Flying horse depiction: disproven; see below.Belief can alter observations; those with a particular belief will often see things as reinforcing their belief, even if to another observer they would appear not to do so. Even researchers admit that the first observation may have been a little imprecise, whereas the second and third were "adjusted to the facts, " until tradition, education, and familiarity produce a readiness for new perception. [17]

    Eadweard Muybridge's studies of a horse gallopingNeedham's Science and Civilization in China uses the 'flying horse' image as an example of observation: in it, the legs of a galloping horse are depicted as splayed, when the stop-action pictures of a horse's gallop by Eadweard Muybridge shows otherwise. Note that at the moment that no hoof is touching the ground, the horse's legs are gathered together and are not splayed, in a gallop. Earlier paintings depict the incorrect flying horse observation (this is an example of observer bias).

    This demonstrates Ludwik Fleck's caution that people observe what they expect to observe, until shown otherwise; our beliefs will affect our observations (and therefore our subsequent actions). The purpose of a scientific method is to test a hypothesis, a proposed explanation about how things are, via repeatable experimental observations which can definitively contradict the hypothesis.

    Elements of scientific method
    There are different ways of outlining the basic method used for scientific inquiry. The scientific community and philosophers of science generally agree on the following classification of method components. These methodological elements and organization of procedures tend to be more characteristic of natural sciences than social sciences. Nonetheless, the cycle of formulating hypotheses, testing and analyzing the results, and formulating new hypotheses, will resemble the cycle described below.

    Four essential elements[18][19][20] of a scientific method[21] are iterations, [22][23] recursions, [24] interleavings, and orderings of the following:
    Characterizations (observations, [25] definitions, and measurements of the subject of inquiry)
    Hypotheses[26][27] (theoretical, hypothetical explanations of observations and measurements of the subject)[28]
    Predictions (reasoning including logical deduction[29] from the hypothesis or theory)
    Experiments[30] (tests of all of the above)
    Each element of a scientific method is subject to peer review for possible mistakes. These activities do not describe all that scientists do (see below) but apply mostly to experimental sciences (e.g., physics, chemistry). The elements above are often taught in the educational system.[31]

    Scientific method is not a recipe: it requires intelligence, imagination, and creativity.[32] It is also an ongoing cycle, constantly developing more useful, accurate and comprehensive models and methods. For example, when Einstein developed the Special and General Theories of Relativity, he did not in any way refute or discount Newton's Principia. On the contrary, if the astronomically large, the vanishingly small, and the extremely fast are reduced out from Einstein's theories — all phenomena that Newton could not have observed — Newton's equations remain. Einstein's theories are expansions and refinements of Newton's theories and, thus, increase our confidence in Newton's work.

    A linearized, pragmatic scheme of the four points above is sometimes offered as a guideline for proceeding:[33]

    Define the question
    Gather information and resources (observe)
    Form hypothesis
    Perform experiment and collect data
    Analyze data
    Interpret data and draw conclusions that serve as a starting point for new hypothesis
    Publish results
    Retest (frequently done by other scientists)
    The iterative cycle inherent in this step-by-step methodology goes from point 3 to 6 back to 3 again.

    While this schema outlines a typical hypothesis/testing method, [34] it should also be noted that a number of philosophers, historians and sociologists of science (perhaps most notably Paul Feyerabend) claim that such descriptions of scientific method have little relation to the ways science is actually practiced.

    The "operational" paradigm combines the concepts of operational definition, instrumentalism, and utility:

    The essential elements of a scientific method are operations, observations, models, and a utility function for evaluating models.[35][not in citation given]

    Operation - Some action done to the system being investigated
    Observation - What happens when the operation is done to the system
    Model - A fact, hypothesis, theory, or the phenomenon itself at a certain moment
    Utility Function - A measure of the usefulness of the model to explain, predict, and control, and of the cost of use of it. One of the elements of any scientific utility function is the refutability of the model. Another is its simplicity, on the Principle of Parsimony also known as Occam's Razor.
    Scientific method depends upon increasingly more sophisticated characterizations of the subjects of investigation. (The subjects can also be called unsolved problems or the unknowns.) For example, Benjamin Franklin correctly characterized St. Elmo's fire as electrical in nature, but it has taken a long series of experiments and theory to establish this. While seeking the pertinent properties of the subjects, this careful thought may also entail some definitions and observations; the observations often demand careful measurements and/or counting.

    The systematic, careful collection of measurements or counts of relevant quantities is often the critical difference between pseudo-sciences, such as alchemy, and a science, such as chemistry or biology. Scientific measurements taken are usually tabulated, graphed, or mapped, and statistical manipulations, such as correlation and regression, performed on them. The measurements might be made in a controlled setting, such as a laboratory, or made on more or less inaccessible or unmanipulatable objects such as stars or human populations. The measurements often require specialized scientific instruments such as thermometers, spectroscopes, or voltmeters, and the progress of a scientific field is usually intimately tied to their invention and development.

    "I am not accustomed to saying anything with certainty after only one or two observations."—Andreas Vesalius (1546) [36]

    Measurements in scientific work are also usually accompanied by estimates of their uncertainty. The uncertainty is often estimated by making repeated measurements of the desired quantity. Uncertainties may also be calculated by consideration of the uncertainties of the individual underlying quantities that are used. Counts of things, such as the number of people in a nation at a particular time, may also have an uncertainty due to limitations of the method used. Counts may only represent a sample of desired quantities, with an uncertainty that depends upon the sampling method used and the number of samples taken.

    Measurements demand the use of operational definitions of relevant quantities. That is, a scientific quantity is described or defined by how it is measured, as opposed to some more vague, inexact or "idealized" definition. For example, electrical current, measured in amperes, may be operationally defined in terms of the mass of silver deposited in a certain time on an electrode in an electrochemical device that is described in some detail. The operational definition of a thing often relies on comparisons with standards: the operational definition of "mass" ultimately relies on the use of an artifact, such as a certain kilogram of platinum-iridium kept in a laboratory in France.

    The scientific definition of a term sometimes differs substantially from its natural language usage. For example, mass and weight overlap in meaning in common discourse, but have distinct meanings in mechanics. Scientific quantities are often characterized by their units of measure which can later be described in terms of conventional physical units when communicating the work.

    New theories sometimes arise upon realizing that certain terms had not previously been sufficiently clearly defined. For example, Albert Einstein's first paper on relativity begins by defining simultaneity and the means for determining length. These ideas were skipped over by Isaac Newton with, "I do not define time, space, place and motion, as being well known to all." Einstein's paper then demonstrates that they (viz., absolute time and length independent of motion) were approximations. Francis Crick cautions us that when characterizing a subject, however, it can be premature to define something when it remains ill-understood.[37] In Crick's study of consciousness, he actually found it easier to study awareness in the visual system, rather than to study free will, for example. His cautionary example was the gene; the gene was much more poorly understood before Watson and Crick's pioneering discovery of the structure of DNA; it would have been counterproductive to spend much time on the definition of the gene, before them.

    Example of characterizations
    The history of the discovery of the structure of DNA is a classic example of the elements of scientific method: in 1950 it was known that genetic inheritance had a mathematical description, starting with the studies of Gregor Mendel. But the mechanism of the gene was unclear. Researchers in Bragg's laboratory at Cambridge University made X-ray diffraction pictures of various molecules, starting with crystals of salt, and proceeding to more complicated substances. Using clues which were painstakingly assembled over the course of decades, beginning with its chemical composition, it was determined that it should be possible to characterize the physical structure of DNA, and the X-ray images would be the vehicle. ..2. DNA-hypotheses

    Precession of Mercury

    Precession of the perihelion (exaggerated)The characterization element can require extended and extensive study, even centuries. It took thousands of years of measurements, from the Chaldean, Indian, Persian, Greek, Arabic and European astronomers, to record the motion of planet Earth. Newton was able to condense these measurements into consequences of his laws of motion. But the perihelion of the planet Mercury's orbit exhibits a precession that is not fully explained by Newton's laws of motion. The observed difference for Mercury's precession between Newtonian theory and relativistic theory (approximately 43 arc-seconds per century), was one of the things that occurred to Einstein as a possible early test of his theory of General Relativity.

    Hypothesis development
    A hypothesis is a suggested explanation of a phenomenon, or alternately a reasoned proposal suggesting a possible correlation between or among a set of phenomena.

    Normally hypotheses have the form of a mathematical model. Sometimes, but not always, they can also be formulated as existential statements, stating that some particular instance of the phenomenon being studied has some characteristic and causal explanations, which have the general form of universal statements, stating that every instance of the phenomenon has a particular characteristic.

    Scientists are free to use whatever resources they have — their own creativity, ideas from other fields, induction, Bayesian inference, and so on — to imagine possible explanations for a phenomenon under study. Charles Sanders Peirce, borrowing a page from Aristotle (Prior Analytics, 2.25) described the incipient stages of inquiry, instigated by the "irritation of doubt" to venture a plausible guess, as abductive reasoning. The history of science is filled with stories of scientists claiming a "flash of inspiration", or a hunch, which then motivated them to look for evidence to support or refute their idea. Michael Polanyi made such creativity the centerpiece of his discussion of methodology.

    William Glen observes that

    the success of a hypothesis, or its service to science, lies not simply in its perceived "truth", or power to displace, subsume or reduce a predecessor idea, but perhaps more in its ability to stimulate the research that will illuminate … bald suppositions and areas of vagueness.[38]
    In general scientists tend to look for theories that are "elegant" or "beautiful". In contrast to the usual English use of these terms, they here refer to a theory in accordance with the known facts, which is nevertheless relatively simple and easy to handle. Occam's Razor serves as a rule of thumb for making these determinations.

    Linus Pauling proposed that DNA might be a triple helix.[39] This hypothesis was also considered by Francis Crick and James Watson but discarded. When Watson and Crick learned of Pauling's hypothesis, they understood from existing data that Pauling was wrong[40] and that Pauling would soon admit his difficulties with that structure. So, the race was on to figure out the correct structure (except that Pauling did not realize at the time that he was in a race—see section on "DNA-predictions" below)

    Predictions from the hypothesis
    Any useful hypothesis will enable predictions, by reasoning including deductive reasoning. It might predict the outcome of an experiment in a laboratory setting or the observation of a phenomenon in nature. The prediction can also be statistical and only talk about probabilities.

    It is essential that the outcome be currently unknown. Only in this case does the eventuation increase the probability that the hypothesis be true. If the outcome is already known, it's called a consequence and should have already been considered while formulating the hypothesis.

    If the predictions are not accessible by observation or experience, the hypothesis is not yet useful for the method, and must wait for others who might come afterward, and perhaps rekindle its line of reasoning. For example, a new technology or theory might make the necessary experiments feasible.

    James Watson, Francis Crick, and others hypothesized that DNA had a helical structure. This implied that DNA's X-ray diffraction pattern would be 'x shaped'.[41][42] This prediction followed from the work of Cochran, Crick and Vand[14] (and independently by Stokes). The Cochran-Crick-Vand-Stokes theorem provided a mathematical explanation for the empirical observation that diffraction from helical structures produces x shaped patterns.

    Also in their first paper, Watson and Crick predicted that the double helix structure provided a simple mechanism for DNA replication, writing "It has not escaped our notice that the specific pairing we have postulated immediately suggests a possible copying mechanism for the genetic material". ..4. DNA-experiments

    General relativity

    Einstein's prediction (1907): Light bends in a gravitational fieldEinstein's theory of General Relativity makes several specific predictions about the observable structure of space-time, such as a prediction that light bends in a gravitational field and that the amount of bending depends in a precise way on the strength of that gravitational field. Arthur Eddington's observations made during a 1919 solar eclipse supported General Relativity rather than Newtonian gravitation.

    Main article: Experiments
    Once predictions are made, they can be tested by experiments. If test results contradict predictions, then the hypotheses are called into question and explanations may be sought. Sometimes experiments are conducted incorrectly and are at fault. If the results confirm the predictions, then the hypotheses are considered likely to be correct but might still be wrong and are subject to further testing. The experimental control is a technique for dealing with observational error. This technique uses the contrast between multiple samples (or observations) under differing conditions, to see what varies or what remains the same. We vary the conditions for each measurement, to help isolate what has changed. Mill's canons can then help us figure out what the important factor is. Factor analysis is one technique for discovering the important factor in an effect.

    Depending on the predictions, the experiments can have different shapes. It could be a classical experiment in a laboratory setting, a double-blind study or an archaeological excavation. Even taking a plane from New York to Paris is an experiment which tests the aerodynamical hypotheses used for constructing the plane.

    Scientists assume an attitude of openness and accountability on the part of those conducting an experiment. Detailed record keeping is essential, to aid in recording and reporting on the experimental results, and providing evidence of the effectiveness and integrity of the procedure. They will also assist in reproducing the experimental results. Traces of this tradition can be seen in the work of Hipparchus (190-120 BCE), when determining a value for the precession of the Earth, while controlled experiments can be seen in the works of Muslim scientists such as Geber (721-815 CE), al-Battani (853–929) and Alhacen (965-1039).

    Watson and Crick showed an initial (and incorrect) proposal for the structure of DNA to a team from Kings College - Rosalind Franklin, Maurice Wilkins, and Raymond Gosling. Franklin immediately spotted the flaws which concerned the water content. Later Watson saw Franklin's detailed X-ray diffraction images which showed an X-shape and confirmed that the structure was helical.[15][43] This rekindled Watson and Crick's model building and led to the correct structure. ..1. DNA-characterizations

    Evaluation and improvement
    The scientific process is iterative. At any stage it is possible that some consideration will lead the scientist to repeat an earlier part of the process. Failure to develop an interesting hypothesis may lead a scientist to re-define the subject they are considering. Failure of a hypothesis to produce interesting and testable predictions may lead to reconsideration of the hypothesis or of the definition of the subject. Failure of the experiment to produce interesting results may lead the scientist to reconsidering the experimental method, the hypothesis or the definition of the subject.

    Other scientists may start their own research and enter the process at any stage. They might adopt the characterization and formulate their own hypothesis, or they might adopt the hypothesis and deduce their own predictions. Often the experiment is not done by the person who made the prediction and the characterization is based on experiments done by someone else. Published results of experiments can also serve as a hypothesis predicting their own reproducibility.

    After considerable fruitless experimentation, being discouraged by their superior from continuing, and numerous false starts, Watson and Crick were able to infer the essential structure of DNA by concrete modeling of the physical shapes of the nucleotides which comprise it.[16][44] They were guided by the bond lengths which had been deduced by Linus Pauling and by Rosalind Franklin's X-ray diffraction images. ..DNA Example

    Science is a social enterprise, and scientific work tends to be accepted by the community when it has been confirmed. Crucially, experimental and theoretical results must be reproduced by others within the science community. Researchers have given their lives for this vision; Georg Wilhelm Richmann was killed by ball lightning (1753) when attempting to replicate the 1752 kite-flying experiment of Benjamin Franklin.[45]

    To protect against bad science and fraudulent data, government research granting agencies like NSF and science journals like Nature and Science have a policy that researchers must archive their data and methods so other researchers can access it, test the data and methods and build on the research that has gone before. Scientific data archiving can be done at a number of national archives in the U.S. or in the World Data Center.

    Models of scientific inquiry
    Main article: Models of scientific inquiry
    Classical model
    The classical model of scientific inquiry derives from Aristotle[46], who distinguished the forms of approximate and exact reasoning, set out the threefold scheme of abductive, deductive, and inductive inference, and also treated the compound forms such as reasoning by analogy.

    Pragmatic model
    Main article: Pragmatic theory of truth
    Charles Sanders Peirce (pronounced /ˈpɜrs/ purse) (1839-1914) considered scientific inquiry to be a species of the genus inquiry, which he defined as any means of fixing belief, that is, any means of arriving at a settled opinion on a matter in serious question. He observed that inquiry in general begins with a state of uncertainty and struggles toward a state of certainty sufficient at least to terminate the inquiry for the time being. In 1877[47], he outlined four methods for the settlement of doubt, graded by their success in achieving a sound fixation of belief:

    The method of tenacity (persistence in that which one is inclined to think) — which leads to irreconcilable disagreements.
    The method of authority — which overcomes disagreements but sometimes brutally.
    The method of congruity or the a priori or the dilettante or "what is agreeable to reason" — which promotes conformity less brutally but leads to sterile argumentation and, like the others, gets finally nowhere.
    The scientific method — the method wherein inquiry regards itself as fallible and actually tests itself and criticizes, corrects, and improves itself.
    Peirce held that slow and stumbling ratiocination can be dangerously inferior to instinct, sentiment, and tradition in practical matters, and that the scientific method is best suited to theoretical research, [48] which in turn should not be trammeled by the other methods and practical ends; reason's "first rule" is that, in order to learn, one must desire to learn and, as a corollary, must not block the way of inquiry.[49] What recommends the scientific method of inquiry above all others is that it is deliberately designed to arrive, eventually, at the most secure beliefs, upon which the most successful actions can eventually be based.[50]

    In Peirce's view, the conception of inquiry depends on, but also informs, the conceptions of truth and the real; to reason is to presuppose (and at least to hope), as a principle of the reasoner's self-regulation, that the truth is discoverable and independent of our vagaries of opinion. He defined truth as the correspondence of a sign (in particular, a proposition) to its object and, pragmatically, not as any actual consensus of any finite community (i.e., such that to inquire would be to poll the experts), but instead as that ideal final opinion which all reasonable scientific intelligences would reach sooner or later but still inevitably if they were to push investigation far enough[51]. In tandem he defined the real as a true sign's object (be that object a possibility or quality, or an actuality or brute fact, or a necessity or norm or law), which is what it is independently of any finite community's opinion and, pragmatically, has dependence only on the ideal final opinion. That is an opinion as far or near as the truth itself to you or me or any finite community of minds. Thus his theory of inquiry boils down to "do the science." At the same time those conceptions of truth and the real involve the idea of a community, both without definite limits and capable of definite increase of knowledge.[52] As inference, "logic is rooted in the social principle".[53]

    Paying special attention to the generation of explanations, Peirce outlined scientific method as a collaboration of kinds of inference in a purposeful cycle aimed at settling doubts, as follows[54]:

    1. Abduction (or retroduction). Guessing, inference to the best explanation, generation of explanatory hypothesis. From abduction, Peirce distinguishes induction as inferring, on the basis of tests, the proportion of truth in the hypothesis. Every inquiry, whether into ideas, brute facts, or norms and laws, arises as a result of surprising observations in the given realm or realms (for example at any stage of an inquiry already underway) and the pondering of the phenomenon in all its aspects in the attempt to resolve the wonder. All explanatory content of theories is reached by way of abduction, the most insecure among modes of inference. One can hope to discover only that which time would reveal sooner or later anyway, so the point is to expedite it, for which the economics of research demands and even governs the inferential "leap" of abduction[55], whose modicum of success depends on one's being somehow attuned to nature by instincts developed and likely inborn. Abduction has general justification inductively in that it works often enough and that nothing else works[56], at least not quickly enough when science is already properly rather slow, the work of indefinitely many generations. Peirce calls his pragmatism "the logic of abduction"[57]. His Pragmatic Maxim is: "Consider what effects that might conceivably have practical bearings you conceive the objects of your conception to have. Then, your conception of those effects is the whole of your conception of the object"[51]. His pragmatism is a method of sorting out conceptual confusions by equating the meaning of any concept with the conceivable practical consequences of whatever it is which the concept portrays. It is a method of experimentational mental reflection arriving at conceptions in terms of conceivable confirmatory and disconfirmatory circumstances — a method hospitable to the generation of explanatory hypotheses, and conducive to the employment and improvement of verification to test the truth of putative knowledge. Given abduction's dependence on instinctive attunement to nature and its aim to economize inquiry, its explanatory hypotheses should have a simplicity optimal in terms of the "facile and natural" (for which Peirce cites Galileo and which Peirce distinguishes from "logical simplicity"). Given abduction's insecurity, it should imply consequences with conceivable practical bearing leading at least to mental tests, and, in science, lending themselves to scientific testing.

    2. Deduction. Analysis of hypothesis and deduction of its consequences in order to test the hypothesis. Two stages:

    i. Explication. Logical analysis of the hypothesis in order to render it as distinct as possible.
    ii. Demonstration (or deductive argumentation). Deduction of hypothesis's consequence. Corollarial or, if needed, Theorematic.
    3. Induction. The long-run validity of the rule of induction is deducible from the principle (presuppositional to reasoning in general[51]) that the real is only the object of the final opinion to which adequate investigation would lead[58] In other words, if there were something to which an inductive process involving ongoing tests or observations would never lead, then that thing would not be real. Three stages:

    i. Classification. Classing objects of experience under general ideas.
    ii. Probation (or direct Inductive Argumentation): Crude (the enumeration of instances) or Gradual (new estimate of proportion of truth in the hypothesis after each test). Gradual Induction is Qualitative or Quantitative; if Quantitative, then dependent on measurements, or on statistics, or on countings.
    iii. Sentential Induction. "...which, by Inductive reasonings, appraises the different Probations singly, then their combinations, then makes self-appraisal of these very appraisals themselves, and passes final judgment on the whole result"[54].
    Computational approaches
    Many subspecialties of applied logic and computer science, such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, computational learning theory, inferential statistics, and knowledge representation, are concerned with setting out computational, logical, and statistical frameworks for the various types of inference involved in scientific inquiry. In particular, they contribute hypothesis formation, logical deduction, and empirical testing. Some of these applications draw on measures of complexity from algorithmic information theory to guide the making of predictions from prior distributions of experience, for example, see the complexity measure called the speed prior from which a computable strategy for optimal inductive reasoning can be derived.

    Communication, community, culture
    Frequently a scientific method is employed not only by a single person, but also by several people cooperating directly or indirectly. Such cooperation can be regarded as one of the defining elements of a scientific community. Various techniques have been developed to ensure the integrity of that scientific method within such an environment.

    Peer review evaluation
    Scientific journals use a process of peer review, in which scientists' manuscripts are submitted by editors of scientific journals to (usually one to three) fellow (usually anonymous) scientists familiar with the field for evaluation. The referees may or may not recommend publication, publication with suggested modifications, or, sometimes, publication in another journal. This serves to keep the scientific literature free of unscientific or crackpot work, helps to cut down on obvious errors, and generally otherwise improve the quality of the scientific literature.

    Documentation and replication
    Main article: Reproducibility
    Sometimes experimenters may make systematic errors during their experiments, unconsciously veer from a scientific method (Pathological science) for various reasons, or, in rare cases, deliberately falsify their results. Consequently, it is a common practice for other scientists to attempt to repeat the experiments in order to duplicate the results, thus further validating the hypothesis.

    As a result, researchers are expected to practice scientific data archiving in compliance with the policies of government funding agencies and scientific journals. Detailed records of their experimental procedures, raw data, statistical analyses and source code are preserved in order to provide evidence of the effectiveness and integrity of the procedure and assist in reproduction. These procedural records may also assist in the conception of new experiments to test the hypothesis, and may prove useful to engineers who might examine the potential practical applications of a discovery.

    Data sharing
    When additional information is needed before a study can be reproduced, the author of the study is expected to provide it promptly - although a small charge may apply. If the author refuses to share data, appeals can be made to the journal editors who published the study or to the institution which funded the research.

    Note that it is not possible for a scientist to record everything that took place in an experiment. He must select the facts he believes to be relevant to the experiment and report them. This may lead, unavoidably, to problems later if some supposedly irrelevant feature is questioned. For example, Heinrich Hertz did not report the size of the room used to test Maxwell's equations, which later turned out to account for a small deviation in the results. The problem is that parts of the theory itself need to be assumed in order to select and report the experimental conditions. The observations are hence sometimes described as being 'theory-laden'.

    Dimensions of practice
    Further information: Rhetoric of science
    The primary constraints on contemporary western science are:

    Publication, i.e. Peer review
    Resources (mostly funding)
    It has not always been like this: in the old days of the "gentleman scientist" funding (and to a lesser extent publication) were far weaker constraints.

    Both of these constraints indirectly bring in a scientific method — work that too obviously violates the constraints will be difficult to publish and difficult to get funded. Journals do not require submitted papers to conform to anything more specific than "good scientific practice" and this is mostly enforced by peer review. Originality, importance and interest are more important - see for example the author guidelines for Nature.

    Criticisms (see Critical theory) of these restraints are that they are so nebulous in definition (e.g. "good scientific practice") and open to ideological, or even political, manipulation apart from a rigorous practice of a scientific method, that they often serve to censor rather than promote scientific discovery.[citation needed] Apparent censorship through refusal to publish ideas unpopular with mainstream scientists (unpopular because of ideological reasons and/or because they seem to contradict long held scientific theories) has soured the popular perception of scientists as being neutral or seekers of truth and often denigrated popular perception of science as a whole.

    Philosophy and sociology of science
    Main articles: Philosophy of science and Sociology of science
    Philosophy of science looks at the underpinning logic of the scientific method, at what separates science from non-science, and the ethic that is implicit in science. There are basic assumptions derived from philosophy that form the base of the scientific method - namely, that reality is objective and consistent, that humans have the capacity to perceive reality accurately, and that rational explanations exist for elements of the real world. These assumptions from methodological naturalism form the basis on which science is grounded. Logical Positivist, empiricist, falsificationist, and other theories have claimed to give a definitive account of the logic of science, but each has in turn been criticized.

    Thomas Samuel Kuhn examined the history of science in his The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, and found that the actual method used by scientists differed dramatically from the then-espoused method. His observations of science practice are essentially sociological and do not speak to how science is or can be practiced in other times and other cultures.

    Imre Lakatos and Thomas Kuhn have done extensive work on the "theory laden" character of observation. Kuhn (1961) said the scientist generally has a theory in mind before designing and undertaking experiments so as to make empirical observations, and that the "route from theory to measurement can almost never be traveled backward". This implies that the way in which theory is tested is dictated by the nature of the theory itself, which led Kuhn (1961, p. 166) to argue that "once it has been adopted by a profession ... no theory is recognized to be testable by any quantitative tests that it has not already passed".

    Paul Feyerabend similarly examined the history of science, and was led to deny that science is genuinely a methodological process. In his book Against Method he argues that scientific progress is not the result of applying any particular method. In essence, he says that "anything goes", by which he meant that for any specific methodology or norm of science, successful science has been done in violation of it. Criticisms such as his led to the strong programme, a radical approach to the sociology of science.

    In his 1958 book, Personal Knowledge, chemist and philosopher Michael Polanyi (1891-1976) criticized the common view that the scientific method is purely objective and generates objective knowledge. Polanyi cast this view as a misunderstanding of the scientific method and of the nature of scientific inquiry, generally. He argued that scientists do and must follow personal passions in appraising facts and in determining which scientific questions to investigate. He concluded that a structure of liberty is essential for the advancement of science - that the freedom to pursue science for its own sake is a prerequisite for the production of knowledge through peer review and the scientific method.

    The postmodernist critiques of science have themselves been the subject of intense controversy. This ongoing debate, known as the science wars, is the result of conflicting values and assumptions between the postmodernist and realist camps. Whereas postmodernists assert that scientific knowledge is simply another discourse (note that this term has special meaning in this context) and not representative of any form of fundamental truth, realists in the scientific community maintain that scientific knowledge does reveal real and fundamental truths about reality. Many books have been written by scientists which take on this problem and challenge the assertions of the postmodernists while defending science as a legitimate method of deriving truth.[59]

    Main article: History of scientific method
    See also: Timeline of the history of scientific method
    The development of the scientific method is inseparable from the history of science itself. Ancient Egyptian documents describe empirical methods in astronomy, [60] mathematics, [61] and medicine.[62] The Greeks observed and then described the method of empiricism used by the Egyptians thousands of years before them.[63][64] The first experimental scientific method was developed by Muslim scientists, who introduced the use of experimentation and quantification to distinguish between competing scientific theories set within a generally empirical orientation, which emerged with Alhazen's optical experiments in his Book of Optics (1021).[65][66] The modern scientific method crystallized no later than in the 17th and 18th centuries. In his work Novum Organum (1620) — a reference to Aristotle's Organon — Francis Bacon outlined a new system of logic to improve upon the old philosophical process of syllogism. Then, in 1637, René Descartes established the framework for a scientific method's guiding principles in his treatise, Discourse on Method. The writings of Alhazen, Bacon and Descartes are considered critical in the historical development of the modern scientific method, as are those of John Stuart Mill.[67]

    In the late 19th century, Charles Sanders Peirce proposed a schema that would turn out to have considerable influence in the development of current scientific method generally. Peirce accelerated the progress on several fronts. Firstly, speaking in broader context in "How to Make Our Ideas Clear" (1878), Peirce outlined an objectively verifiable method to test the truth of putative knowledge on a way that goes beyond mere foundational alternatives, focusing upon both deduction and induction. He thus placed induction and deduction in a complementary rather than competitive context (the latter of which had been the primary trend at least since David Hume, who wrote in the mid-to-late 18th century). Secondly, and of more direct importance to modern method, Peirce put forth the basic schema for hypothesis/testing that continues to prevail today. Extracting the theory of inquiry from its raw materials in classical logic, he refined it in parallel with the early development of symbolic logic to address the then-current problems in scientific reasoning. Peirce examined and articulated the three fundamental modes of reasoning that, as discussed above in this article, play a role in inquiry today, the processes that are currently known as abductive, deductive, and inductive inference. Thirdly, he played a major role in the progress of symbolic logic itself — indeed this was his primary specialty.

    Karl Popper denied the existence of evidence[68] and of scientific method.[69] Popper holds that there is only one universal method, the negative method of trial and error. It covers not only all products of the human mind, including science, mathematics, philosophy, art and so on, but also the evolution of life. Beginning in the 1930s and with increased vigor after World War II, he argued that a hypothesis must be falsifiable and, following Peirce and others, that science would best progress using deductive reasoning as its primary emphasis, known as critical rationalism. [70] His formulations of logical procedure helped to rein in excessive use of inductive speculation upon inductive speculation, and also strengthened the conceptual foundation for today's peer review procedures.

    Relationship with mathematics
    Science is the process of gathering, comparing, and evaluating proposed models against observables. A model can be a simulation, mathematical or chemical formula, or set of proposed steps. Science is like mathematics in that researchers in both disciplines can clearly distinguish what is known from what is unknown at each stage of discovery. Models, in both science and mathematics, need to be internally consistent and also ought to be falsifiable (capable of disproof). In mathematics, a statement need not yet be proven; at such a stage, that statement would be called a conjecture. But when a statement has attained mathematical proof, that statement gains a kind of immortality which is highly prized by mathematicians, and for which some mathematicians devote their lives[71].

    Mathematical work and scientific work can inspire each other[72]. For example, the technical concept of time arose in science, and timelessness was a hallmark of a mathematical topic. But today, the Poincaré conjecture has been proven using time as a mathematical concept in which objects can flow (see Ricci flow).

    Nevertheless, the connection between mathematics and reality (and so science to the extent it describes reality) remains obscure. Eugene Wigner's paper, The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Mathematics in the Natural Sciences, is a very well-known account of the issue from a Nobel Prize physicist. In fact, some observers (including some well known mathematicians such as Gregory Chaitin, and others such as Lakoff and Nunez) have suggested that mathematics is the result of practitioner bias and human limitation (including cultural ones), somewhat like the post-modernist view of science.

    George Pólya's work on problem solving[73], the construction of mathematical proofs, and heuristic[74][75] show that mathematical method and scientific method differ in detail, while nevertheless resembling each other in using iterative or recursive steps.

    Mathematical method Scientific method
    1 Understanding Characterization from experience and observation
    2 Analysis Hypothesis: a proposed explanation
    3 Synthesis Deduction: prediction from the hypothesis
    4 Review/Extend Test and experiment

    In Pólya's view, understanding involves restating unfamiliar definitions in your own words, resorting to geometrical figures, and questioning what we know and do not know already; analysis, which Pólya takes from Pappus[76], involves free and heuristic construction of plausible arguments, working backward from the goal, and devising a plan for constructing the proof; synthesis is the strict Euclidean exposition of step-by-step details[77] of the proof; review involves reconsidering and re-examining the result and the path taken to it.

    Gauss, when asked how he came about his theorems, once replied

    durch planmässiges Tattonieren (through systematic palpable experimentation). —Carl Friedrich Gauss[78]
    See also
    Hypothesis testing
    Information theory
    Abductive reasoning
    Deductive reasoning
    Inductive reasoning
    Strong inference
    Baconian method
    Empirical method
    Historical method
    Philosophical method
    Scholarly method
    Quantitative research
    Social research
    Verification and Validation

    Problems and issues
    Occam's razor
    Skeptical hypotheses
    Poverty of the stimulus
    Reference class problem
    Demarcation problem
    Holistic science
    Junk science
    Scientific misconduct

    History, philosophy, sociology
    Epistemic truth
    History of science
    History of scientific method
    Mertonian norms (Cudos)
    Philosophy of science
    Science studies
    Sociology of scientific knowledge
    Timeline of scientific method

    Notes and references
    ^ "[4] Rules for the study of natural philosophy", Newton 1999, pp. 794-6, from Book 3, The System of the World.
    ^ scientific method, Merriam-Webster Dictionary.
    ^ Alhazen (Ibn Al-Haytham) Critique of Ptolemy, translated by S. Pines, Actes X Congrès internationale d'histoire des sciences, Vol I Ithaca 1962, as quoted in Sambursky 1974, p. 139
    ^ Alhazen, translated into English from German by M. Schwarz, from "Abhandlung über das Licht", J. Baarmann (ed. 1882) Zeitschrift der Deutschen Morgenländischen Gesellschaft Vol 36 as quoted in Sambursky 1974, p. 136
    ^ as quoted in Sambursky 1974, p. 136
    ^ "...the statement of a law—A depends on B—always transcends experience." —Born 1949, p. 6
    ^ Taleb 2007 e.g., p. 58, devotes his chapter 5 to the error of confirmation.
    ^ "I believe that we do not know anything for certain, but everything probably." —Christiaan Huygens, Letter to Pierre Perrault, 'Sur la préface de M. Perrault de son traité del'Origine des fontaines' [1763], Oeuvres Complétes de Christiaan Huygens (1897), Vol. 7, 298. Quoted in Jacques Roger, The Life Sciences in Eighteenth-Century French Thought, ed. Keith R. Benson and trans. Robert Ellrich (1997), 163. Quotation selected by Bynum & Porter 2005, p. 317 Huygens 317#4.
    ^ As noted by Alice Calaprice (ed. 2005) The New Quotable Einstein Princeton University Press and Hebrew University of Jerusalem, ISBN 0-691-12074-9 p. 291. Calaprice denotes this not as an exact quotation, but as a paraphrase of a translation of A. Einstein's "Induction and Deduction". Collected Papers of Albert Einstein 7 Document 28. Volume 7 is The Berlin Years: Writings, 1918-1921. A. Einstein; M. Janssen, R. Schulmann, et al., eds.
    ^ Fleck 1975, pp. xxvii-xxviii
    ^ October, 1951. as noted in McElheny 2004, p. 40:"That's what a helix should look like!" Crick exclaimed in delight (This is the Cochran-Crick-Vand&Stokes theory of the transform of a helix).
    ^ June, 1952. as noted in McElheny 2004, p. 43: Watson had succeeded in getting X-ray pictures of TMV showing a helical pattern.
    ^ a b Cochran W, Crick FHC and Vand V. (1952) "The Structure of Synthetic Polypeptides. I. The Transform of Atoms on a Helix", Acta Cryst., 5, 581-586.
    ^ a b Friday, January 30, 1953. Tea time. as noted in McElheny 2004, p. 52: Franklin confronts Watson and his paper - "Of course it [Pauling's pre-print] is wrong. DNA is not a helix." Watson runs away from Franklin and runs into Wilkins; they retreat to Wilkins' office, where Wilkins shows Watson photo 51. Watson immediately recognizes the diffraction pattern of a helix.
    ^ a b Saturday, February 28, 1953, as noted in McElheny 2004, pp. 57-59: Watson finds the base pairing which explains Chargaff's rules using his cardboard models.
    ^ "Observation and experiment are subject to a very popular myth. ... The knower is seen as a ... Julius Caesar winning his battles according to ... formula. Even research workers will admit that the first observation may have been a little imprecise, whereas the second and third were 'adjusted to the facts' ... until tradition, education, and familiarity have produced a readiness for stylized (that is directed and restricted) perception and action; until an answer becomes largely pre-formed in the question, and a decision confined merely to 'yes' or 'no' or perhaps to a numerical determination; until methods and apparatus automatically carry out the greatest part of the mental work for us." Ludwik Fleck labels this thought style(Denkstil). Fleck 1975, p. 84.
    ^ See the hypothethico-deductive method, for example, Godfrey-Smith 2003, p. 236.
    ^ Jevons 1874, pp. 265-6.
    ^ pp.65, 73, 92, 398 —Andrew J. Galambos, Sic Itur ad Astra ISBN 0-88078-004-5(AJG learned scientific method from Felix Ehrenhaft
    ^ Galilei 1638, pp. v-xii, 1-300
    ^ Brody 1993, pp. 10-24 calls this the "epistemic cycle": "The epistemic cycle starts from an initial model; iterations of the cycle then improve the model until an adequate fit is achieved."
    ^ Iteration example: Chaldean astronomers such as Kidinnu compiled astronomical data. Hipparchus was to use this data to calculate the precession of the Earth's axis. Fifteen hundred years after Kidinnu, Al-Batani, born in what is now Turkey, would use the collected data and improve Hipparchus' value for the precession of the Earth's axis. Al-Batani's value, 54.5 arc-seconds per year, compares well to the current value of 49.8 arc-seconds per year (26, 000 years for Earth's axis to round the circle of nutation).
    ^ Recursion example: the Earth is itself a magnet, with its own North and South PolesWilliam Gilbert (in Latin 1600) De Magnete, or On Magnetism and Magnetic Bodies. Translated from Latin to English, selection byMoulton & Schifferes 1960, pp. 113-117.
    ^ "The foundation of general physics ... is experience. These ... everyday experiences we do not discover without deliberately directing our attention to them. Collecting information about these is observation." —Hans Christian Ørsted("First Introduction to General Physics" ¶13, part of a series of public lectures at the University of Copenhagen. Copenhagen 1811, in Danish, printed by Johan Frederik Schulz. In Kirstine Meyer's 1920 edition of Ørsted's works, vol.III pp. 151-190. ) "First Introduction to Physics: the Spirit, Meaning, and Goal of Natural Science". Reprinted in German in 1822, Schweigger's Journal für Chemie und Physik 36, pp.458-488, as translated in Ørsted 1997, p. 292
    ^ "When it is not clear under which law of nature an effect or class of effect belongs, we try to fill this gap by means of a guess. Such guesses have been given the name conjectures or hypotheses." —Hans Christian Ørsted(1811) "First Introduction to General Physics" as translated in Ørsted 1997, p. 297.
    ^ "In general we look for a new law by the following process. First we guess it. ...", —Feynman 1965, p. 156
    ^ "... the statement of a law - A depends on B - always transcends experience."—Born 1949, p. 6
    ^ "The student of nature ... regards as his property the experiences which the mathematician can only borrow. This is why he deduces theorems directly from the nature of an effect while the mathematician only arrives at them circuitously." —Hans Christian Ørsted(1811) "First Introduction to General Physics" ¶17. as translated in Ørsted 1997, p. 297.
    ^ Salviati speaks: "I greatly doubt that Aristotle ever tested by experiment whether it be true that two stones, one weighing ten times as much as the other, if allowed to fall, at the same instant, from a height of, say, 100 cubits, would so differ in speed that when the heavier had reached the ground, the other would not have fallen more than 10 cubits." Two New Sciences (1638) —Galilei 1638, pp. 61-62. A more extended quotation is referenced by Moulton & Schifferes 1960, pp. 80-81.
    ^ In the inquiry-based education paradigm, the stage of "characterization, observation, definition, …" is more briefly summed up under the rubric of a Question
    ^ "To raise new questions, new possibilities, to regard old problems from a new angle, requires creative imagination and marks real advance in science." —Einstein & Infeld 1938, p. 92.
    ^ Crawford S, Stucki L (1990), "Peer review and the changing research record", "J Am Soc Info Science", vol. 41, pp 223-228
    ^ See, e.g., Gauch 2003, esp. chapters 5-8
    ^ Cartwright, Nancy (1983), How the Laws of Physics Lie. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0198247044
    ^ Andreas Vesalius, Epistola, Rationem, Modumque Propinandi Radicis Chynae Decocti (1546), 141. Quoted and translated in C.D. O'Malley, Andreas Vesalius of Brussels, (1964), 116. As quoted by Bynum & Porter 2005, p. 597: Andreas Vesalius, 597#1.
    ^ Crick, Francis (1994), The Astonishing Hypothesis ISBN 0-684-19431-7 p.20
    ^ Glen 1994, pp. 37-38.
    ^ "The structure that we propose is a three-chain structure, each chain being a helix" — Linus Pauling, as quoted on p. 157 by Horace Freeland Judson (1979), The Eighth Day of Creation ISBN 0-671-22540-5
    ^ McElheny 2004, pp. 49-50: January 28, 1953 - Watson read Pauling's pre-print, and realized that in Pauling's model, DNA's phosphate groups had to be un-ionized. But DNA is an acid, which contradicts Pauling's model.
    ^ June, 1952. as noted in McElheny 2004, p. 43: Watson had succeeded in getting X-ray pictures of TMV showing a diffraction pattern consistent with the transform of a helix.
    ^ Watson did enough work on Tobacco mosaic virus to produce the diffraction pattern for a helix, per Crick's work on the transform of a helix. pp. 137-138, Horace Freeland Judson (1979) The Eighth Day of Creation ISBN 0-671-22540-5
    ^ "The instant I saw the picture my mouth fell open and my pulse began to race." —Watson 1968, p. 167 Page 168 shows the X-shaped pattern of the B-form of DNA, clearly indi

  • Li
      5th of Jan, 2010
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    Real estate
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    For the American psychedelic pop band, see Real estate (band).

    Property law
    Part of the common law series
    Gift · Adverse possession · Deed
    Conquest · Discovery · Accession
    Lost, mislaid, and abandoned property
    Treasure trove · Bailment · License
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    Leasehold estate · Condominiums
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    Estoppel by deed · Quitclaim deed
    Mortgage · Equitable conversion
    Action to quiet title · Escheat
    Future use control
    Restraint on alienation
    Rule against perpetuities
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    Doctrine of worthier title
    Nonpossessory interest
    Easement · Profit
    Covenant running with the land
    Equitable servitude
    Related topics
    Fixtures · Waste · Partition
    Riparian water rights
    Lateral and subjacent support
    Assignment · Nemo dat
    Property and conflict of laws
    Other common law areas
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    Criminal law · Evidence
    v • d • e
    Real estate is a legal term (in some jurisdictions, such as the USA, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and The Bahamas) that encompasses land along with improvements to the land, such as buildings, fences, wells and other site improvements that are fixed in location -- immovable.[1] Real estate law is the body of regulations and legal codes which pertain to such matters under a particular jurisdiction and include things such as commercial and residential real property transactions. Real estate is often considered synonymous with real property (sometimes called realty), in contrast with personal property (sometimes called chattel or personalty under chattel law or personal property law).

    However, in some situations the term "real estate" refers to the land and fixtures together, as distinguished from "real property, " referring to ownership of land and appurtenances, including anything of a permanent nature such as structures, trees, minerals, and the interest, benefits, and inherent rights thereof. Real property is typically considered to be Immovable property[2] The terms real estate and real property are used primarily in common law, while civil law jurisdictions refer instead to immovable property.

    Contents [hide]
    1 Etymology
    2 Real estate terminology and practice outside the United States (around the world)
    2.1 Real estate as "real property" in the U.K.
    2.2 Real estate in Mexico and Central America
    3 Business sector
    4 Residential real estate
    5 Market sector value
    6 Mortgages in real estate
    7 See also
    8 References
    9 External links

    [edit] Etymology
    In law, the word real means relating to a thing (res/rei, thing, from O.Fr. reel, from L.L. realis "actual, " from Latin. res, "matter, thing"[3]), as distinguished from a person. Thus the law broadly distinguishes between "real" property (land and anything affixed to it) and "personal" property (everything else, e.g., clothing, furniture, money). The conceptual difference was between immovable property, which would transfer title along with the land, and movable property, which a person would retain title to. The oldest use of the term "Real Estate" that has been preserved in historical records was in 1666.[3] This use of "real" also reflects the ancient and feudal preference for land, and the ownership (and owners) thereof.

    Some have claimed that the word real in this sense is descended (like French royal and Spanish real) from the Latin word for 'king'. In the feudal system (which has left many traces in the common law) the king was the owner of all land, and everyone who occupied land paid him rent directly or indirectly (through lords who in turn paid the king), in cash, goods or services (including military service). Property tax, paid to the state, can be seen as a relic of that system, as is the term fee simple. However, this derivation of real is a misconception.[4]

    [edit] Real estate terminology and practice outside the United States (around the world)
    [edit] Real estate as "real property" in the U.K.
    In British usage, “real property”, often shortened to just “property”, generally refers to land and fixtures, while the term “real estate” is used mostly in the context of probate law, and means all interests in land held by a deceased person at death, excluding interests in money arising under a trust for sale of or charged on land.[5]

    See Real property for a definition and Estate agent for a description of the practice in the UK.

    [edit] Real estate in Mexico and Central America
    This section does not cite any references or sources.
    Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (September 2009)

    The real estate business in Mexico and Central America is different from the way that it is conducted in the United States.

    Some similarities include a variety of legal formalities (with professionals such as real estate agents generally employed to assist the buyer); taxes need to be paid (but typically less than those in U.S.); legal paperwork will ensure title; and a neutral party such as a title company will handle documentation and monies in order to make the smooth exchange between the parties. Increasingly, U.S. title companies are doing work for U.S. buyers in Mexico and Central America.

    Prices are often much cheaper than most areas of the U.S., but in many locations, prices of houses and lots are as expensive as the U.S., one example being Mexico City. U.S. banks have begun to give home loans for properties in Mexico, but, so far, not for other Latin American countries.

    One important difference from the United States is that each country has rules regarding where foreigners can buy. For example, in Mexico, foreigners cannot buy land or homes within 50 km of the coast or 100 km from a border unless they hold title in a Mexican Corporation or a Fideicomiso (a Mexican trust). In Honduras, however, they may buy beach front property directly in their name. There are different rules regarding certain types of property: ejidal land – communally held farm property – can only be sold after a lengthy entitlement process, but that does not prevent them from being offered for sale.

    In Costa Rica, real estate agents do not need a license to operate, but the transfer of property requires a lawyer.

    [edit] Business sector
    This section needs additional citations for verification.
    Please help improve this article by adding reliable references. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (September 2009)

    With the development of private property ownership, real estate has become a major area of business, commonly referred to as commercial real estate. Purchasing real estate requires a significant investment, and each parcel of land has unique characteristics, so the real estate industry has evolved into several distinct fields. Specialists are often called on to valuate real estate and facilitate transactions. Some kinds of real estate businesses include:

    Appraisal: Professional valuation services
    Brokerages: A fee charged by the mediator who facilitates a real estate transaction between the two parties.
    Development: Improving land for use by adding or replacing buildings
    Net lease: Sharing leased property amongst tenants [6]
    Property management: Managing a property for its owner(s)
    Real estate marketing: Managing the sales side of the property business
    Real estate investing: Managing the investment of real estate
    Relocation services: Relocating people or business to a different country
    Corporate Real Estate: Managing the real estate held by a corporation to support its core business—unlike managing the real estate held by an investor to generate income
    Within each field, a business may specialize in a particular type of real estate, such as residential, commercial, or industrial property. In addition, almost all construction business effectively has a connection to real estate.

    Professional university-level education in real estate is primarily focused at the graduate level. Focus in towards the commercial real estate sector, primarily real estate development or investment rather than residential real estate sales conducted by a REALTOR.

    See also graduate real estate education for a discussion and list of university-level real estate programs.

    "Internet real estate" is a term coined by the internet investment community relating to ownership of domain names and the similarities between high quality internet domain names and real-world, prime real estate.

    [edit] Residential real estate
    The legal arrangement for the right to occupy a dwelling is known as the housing tenure. Types of housing tenure include owner occupancy, Tenancy, housing cooperative, condominiums (individually parceled properties in a single building), public housing, squatting, and cohousing.

    When one or more tenants live together, they may choose to split the cost of residency through a net lease. To save money having a residence, tenants may have the option to have a net lease. The only cost of this would be having to share the residence with another tenant. Net leases come in many different forms including: single, double, and triple net leases; depending on how many tenants are sharing the net lease.[6]

    Residences can be classified by, if, and how they are connected to neighboring residences and land. Different types of housing tenure can be used for the same physical type. For example, connected residents might be owned by a single entity and leased out, or owned separately with an agreement covering the relationship between units and common areas and concerns.

    'Single-family detached home'Major physical categories in North America and Europe include:

    Attached / multi-unit dwellings
    Apartment - An individual unit in a multi-unit building. The boundaries of the apartment are generally defined by a perimeter of locked or lockable doors. Often seen in multi-story apartment buildings.
    Multi-family house - Often seen in multi-story detached buildings, where each floor is a separate apartment or unit.
    Terraced house (a.k.a. townhouse or rowhouse) - A number of single or multi-unit buildings in a continuous row with shared walls and no intervening space.
    Condominium - Building or complex, similar to apartments, owned by individuals. Common grounds are owned and shared jointly. There are townhouse or rowhouse style condominiums as well.
    Semi-detached dwellings
    Duplex - Two units with one shared wall.
    Single-family detached home
    Portable dwellings
    Mobile homes - Potentially a full-time residence which can be (might not in practice be) movable on wheels.
    Houseboats - A floating home
    Tents - Usually very temporary, with roof and walls consisting only of fabric-like material.
    The size of an apartment or house can be described in square feet or meters. In the United States, this includes the area of "living space", excluding the garage and other non-living spaces. The "square meters" figure of a house in Europe may report the total area of the walls enclosing the home, thus including any attached garage and non-living spaces, which makes it important to inquire what kind of surface definition has been used.

    It can be described more roughly by the number of rooms. A studio apartment has a single bedroom with no living room (possibly a separate kitchen). A one-bedroom apartment has a living or dining room separate from the bedroom. Two bedroom, three bedroom, and larger units are common. (A bedroom is defined as a room with a closet for clothes storage.)

    See List of house types for a complete listing of housing types and layouts, real estate trends for shifts in the market and house or home for more general information.

    [edit] Market sector value
    This section needs additional citations for verification.
    Please help improve this article by adding reliable references. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (September 2009)

    According to The Economist, "developed economies'" assets at the end of 2002 were the following:

    Residential property: $48 trillion;
    Commercial property: $14 trillion;
    Equities: $20 trillion;
    Government bonds: $20 trillion;
    Corporate bonds: $13 trillion;
    Total: $115 trillion.
    That makes real estate assets 54% and financial assets 46% of total stocks, bonds, and real estate assets. Assets not counted here are bank deposits, insurance "reserve" assets, natural resources, and human assets. It is not clear if all debt and equity investments are counted in the categories equities and bonds.

    [edit] Mortgages in real estate
    In recent years, many economists have recognized that the lack of effective real estate laws can be a significant barrier to investment in many developing countries. In most societies, rich and poor, a significant fraction of the total wealth is in the form of land and buildings.

    In most advanced economies, the main source of capital used by individuals and small companies to purchase and improve land and buildings is mortgage loans (or other instruments). These are loans for which the real property itself constitutes collateral. Banks are willing to make such loans at favorable rates in large part because, if the borrower does not make payments, the lender can foreclose by filing a court action which allows them to take back the property and sell it to get their money back. For investors, profitability can be enhanced by using an off plan or pre-construction strategy to purchase at a lower price which is often the case in the pre-construction phase of development.[citation needed]

    But in many developing countries there is no effective means by which a lender could foreclose, so the mortgage loan industry, as such, either does not exist at all or is only available to members of privileged social classes.

    [edit] See also
    1031 exchange
    Bahamas Real Estate
    Buyer brokerage (in the USA)
    Buying agent (in the UK)
    Estate (house)
    Estate agent (in the UK)
    Real estate broker (in the USA)
    Housing bubble
    International real estate
    Investment Rating for Real Estate
    List of real estate topics
    Net lease
    Private Equity Real Estate
    Property rights
    Real estate broker (in the USA)
    Estate agent (in the UK)
    Real estate appraisal
    Real estate broker
    Real estate economics
    Real estate developer
    Real estate investment trust
    Real estate pricing
    Real estate transaction
    Real estate transfer tax
    Real estate trends
    Real property
    Short sale (real estate)
    Subprime mortgage crisis
    Real estate owned

    [edit] References
    Look up real estate in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.
    ^ "Real estate" The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, 2004. Retrieved July 12, 2008
    ^ "Real Estate and Mortgage Glossary / Definitions - terms beginning with "R"" Real Estate ABC - Information on Buying and Selling A Home. Web. 10 Aug. 2009. .
    ^ a b "Real" – Online Etymological Dictionary Retrieved July 12, 2008
    ^ "Real" – The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, 2004. Retrieved July 12, 2008
    ^ Oxford Dictionary of Law (4th edition), New York: Oxford University Press, 1997; See also Estate in land
    ^ a b Hipp, Jonathan W. (2008-11-28). "What You Need to Know to Invest in Single-tenant, Net-leased Properties". Calkain Companies, Inc..
    [edit] External links
    FRB: Z.1 Release- Flow of Funds Accounts of the United States.
    Retrieved from ""
    Categories: Real estate
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  • Li
      5th of Jan, 2010
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    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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    For other uses, see Stock (disambiguation).
    This article has multiple issues. Please help improve the article or discuss these issues on the talk page.
    Its references would be clearer with a different or consistent style of citation, footnoting or external linking. Tagged since February 2008.
    It may not present a worldwide view of the subject. Tagged since November 2008.

    Financial markets


    Bond market

    Fixed income
    Corporate bond
    Government bond
    Municipal bond
    Bond valuation
    High-yield debt

    Stock market

    Preferred stock
    Common stock
    Registered share
    Voting share
    Stock exchange

    Foreign exchange market

    Derivatives market

    Credit derivative
    Hybrid security

    Other Markets

    Commodity market
    Money market
    OTC market
    Real estate market
    Spot market


    Finance series
    Financial market
    Financial market participants
    Corporate finance
    Personal finance
    Public finance
    Banks and Banking
    Financial regulation

    v • d • e
    The stock or capital stock of a business entity represents the original capital paid or invested into the business by its founders. It serves as a security for the creditors of a business since it cannot be withdrawn to the detriment of the creditors. Stock is distinct from the property and the assets of a business which may fluctuate in quantity and value.

    The stock of a business is divided into shares, the total of which must be stated at the time of business formation. Given the total amount of money invested into the business, a share has a certain declared face value, commonly known as the par value of a share. The par value is the de minimis (minimum) amount of money that a business may issue and sell shares for in many jurisdictions and it is the value represented as capital in the accounting of the business. In other jurisdictions, however, shares may not have an associated par value at all. Such stock is often called non-par stock. Shares represent a fraction of ownership in a business. A business may declare different types (classes) of shares, each having distinctive ownership rules, privileges, or share values.

    Ownership of shares is documented by issuance of a stock certificate. A stock certificate is a legal document that specifies the amount of shares owned by the shareholder, and other specifics of the shares, such as the par value, if any, or the class of the shares.

    Used in the plural, stocks is often used as a synonym for shares.[1] Traditionalist demands that the plural stocks be used only when referring to stock of more than one company are rarely heard nowadays.

    In the United Kingdom, South Africa, and Australia, stock can also refer to completely different financial instruments such as government bonds or, less commonly, to all kinds of marketable securities.[2]

    Contents [hide]
    1 Types of stock
    2 Stock derivatives
    3 History
    4 Shareholder
    5 Application
    5.1 Shareholder rights
    5.2 Means of financing
    6 Trading
    6.1 Buying
    6.2 Selling
    6.3 Stock price fluctuations
    6.4 Share price determination
    6.5 Arbitrage trading
    7 See also
    8 Notes
    9 External links

    [edit] Types of stock
    Stock typically takes the form of shares of either common stock or preferred stock. As a unit of ownership, common stock typically carries voting rights that can be exercised in corporate decisions. Preferred stock differs from common stock in that it typically does not carry voting rights but is legally entitled to receive a certain level of dividend payments before any dividends can be issued to other shareholders.[3][4] Convertible preferred stock is preferred stock that includes an option for the holder to convert the preferred shares into a fixed number of common shares, usually anytime after a predetermined date. Shares of such stock are called "convertible preferred shares" (or "convertible preference shares" in the UK)

    Although there is a great deal of commonality between the stocks of different companies, each new equity issue can have legal clauses attached to it that make it dynamically different from the more general cases. Some shares of common stock may be issued without the typical voting rights being included, for instance, or some shares may have special rights unique to them and issued only to certain parties. Note that not all equity shares are the same.[3][4]

    Preferred stock may be hybrid by having the qualities of bonds of fixed returns and common stock voting rights. They also have preference in the payment of dividends over preferred stock and also have been given preference at the time of liquidation over common stock. They have other features of accumulation in dividend.

    [edit] Stock derivatives
    For more details on this topic, see equity derivative.
    A stock derivative is any financial instrument which has a value that is dependent on the price of the underlying stock. Futures and options are the main types of derivatives on stocks. The underlying security may be a stock index or an individual firm's stock, e.g. single-stock futures.

    Stock futures are contracts where the buyer is long, i.e., takes on the obligation to buy on the contract maturity date, and the seller is short, i.e., takes on the obligation to sell. Stock index futures are generally not delivered in the usual manner, but by cash settlement.

    A stock option is a class of option. Specifically, a call option is the right (not obligation) to buy stock in the future at a fixed price and a put option is the right (not obligation) to sell stock in the future at a fixed price. Thus, the value of a stock option changes in reaction to the underlying stock of which it is a derivative. The most popular method of valuing stock options is the Black Scholes model.[5] Apart from call options granted to employees, most stock options are transferable.

    [edit] History
    This section needs additional citations for verification.
    Please help improve this article by adding reliable references. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (December 2008)

    During Roman times, the empire contracted out many of its services to private groups called publicani. Shares in publicani were called "socii" (for large cooperatives) and "particulae" which were analogous to today's Over-The-Counter shares of small companies. Though the records available for this time are incomplete, Edward Chancellor states in his book Devil Take the Hindmost that there is some evidence that a speculation in these shares became increasingly widespread and that perhaps the first ever speculative bubble in "stocks" occurred.[citation needed]

    The first company to issue shares of stock after the Middle Ages was the Dutch East India Company in 1606. The innovation of joint ownership made a great deal of Europe's economic growth possible following the Middle Ages. The technique of pooling capital to finance the building of ships, for example, made the Netherlands a maritime superpower. Before adoption of the joint-stock corporation, an expensive venture such as the building of a merchant ship could be undertaken only by governments or by very wealthy individuals or families.

    Economic historians find the Dutch stock market of the 1600s particularly interesting: there is clear documentation of the use of stock futures, stock options, short selling, the use of credit to purchase shares, a speculative bubble that crashed in 1695, and a change in fashion that unfolded and reverted in time with the market (in this case it was headdresses instead of hemlines). Dr. Edward Stringham also noted that the uses of practices such as short selling continued to occur during this time despite the government passing laws against it. This is unusual because it shows individual parties fulfilling contracts that were not legally enforceable and where the parties involved could incur a loss. Stringham argues that this shows that contracts can be created and enforced without state sanction or, in this case, in spite of laws to the contrary.[6][7]

    [edit] Shareholder

    Stock certificate for ten shares of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Company.Main article: Shareholder
    A shareholder (or stockholder) is an individual or company (including a corporation) that legally owns one or more shares of stock in a joint stock company. Both private and public traded companies have shareholders. Companies listed at the stock market are expected to strive to enhance shareholder value.

    Shareholders are granted special privileges depending on the class of stock, including the right to vote (usually one vote per share owned) on matters such as elections to the board of directors, the right to share in distributions of the company's income, the right to purchase new shares issued by the company, and the right to a company's assets during a liquidation of the company. However, shareholder's rights to a company's assets are subordinate to the rights of the company's creditors.

    Shareholders are considered by some to be a partial subset of stakeholders, which may include anyone who has a direct or indirect equity interest in the business entity or someone with even a non-pecuniary interest in a non-profit organization. Thus it might be common to call volunteer contributors to an association stakeholders, even though they are not shareholders.

    Although directors and officers of a company are bound by fiduciary duties to act in the best interest of the shareholders, the shareholders themselves normally do not have such duties towards each other.

    However, in a few unusual cases, some courts have been willing to imply such a duty between shareholders. For example, in California, USA, majority shareholders of closely held corporations have a duty to not destroy the value of the shares held by minority shareholders.[8][9]

    The largest shareholders (in terms of percentages of companies owned) are often mutual funds, and, especially, passively managed exchange-traded funds.

    [edit] Application
    The owners of a company may want additional capital to invest in new projects within the company. They may also simply wish to reduce their holding, freeing up capital for their own private use.

    By selling shares they can sell part or all of the company to many part-owners. The purchase of one share entitles the owner of that share to literally share in the ownership of the company, a fraction of the decision-making power, and potentially a fraction of the profits, which the company may issue as dividends.

    In the common case of a publicly traded corporation, where there may be thousands of shareholders, it is impractical to have all of them making the daily decisions required to run a company. Thus, the shareholders will use their shares as votes in the election of members of the board of directors of the company.

    In a typical case, each share constitutes one vote. Corporations may, however, issue different classes of shares, which may have different voting rights. Owning the majority of the shares allows other shareholders to be out-voted - effective control rests with the majority shareholder (or shareholders acting in concert). In this way the original owners of the company often still have control of the company.

    [edit] Shareholder rights
    Although ownership of 50% of shares does result in 50% ownership of a company, it does not give the shareholder the right to use a company's building, equipment, materials, or other property. This is because the company is considered a legal person, thus it owns all its assets itself. This is important in areas such as insurance, which must be in the name of the company and not the main shareholder.

    In most countries, including the United States, boards of directors and company managers have a fiduciary responsibility to run the company in the interests of its stockholders. Nonetheless, as Martin Whitman writes: can safely be stated that there does not exist any publicly traded company where management works exclusively in the best interests of OPMI [Outside Passive Minority Investor] stockholders. Instead, there are both "communities of interest" and "conflicts of interest" between stockholders (principal) and management (agent). This conflict is referred to as the principal/agent problem. It would be naive to think that any management would forgo management compensation, and management entrenchment, just because some of these management privileges might be perceived as giving rise to a conflict of interest with OPMIs.[10]
    Even though the board of directors runs the company, the shareholder has some impact on the company's policy, as the shareholders elect the board of directors. Each shareholder typically has a percentage of votes equal to the percentage of shares he or she owns. So as long as the shareholders agree that the management (agent) are performing poorly they can elect a new board of directors which can then hire a new management team. In practice, however, genuinely contested board elections are rare. Board candidates are usually nominated by insiders or by the board of the directors themselves, and a considerable amount of stock is held and voted by insiders.

    Owning shares does not mean responsibility for liabilities. If a company goes broke and has to default on loans, the shareholders are not liable in any way. However, all money obtained by converting assets into cash will be used to repay loans and other debts first, so that shareholders cannot receive any money unless and until creditors have been paid (most often the shareholders end up with nothing).

    [edit] Means of financing
    Financing a company through the sale of stock in a company is known as equity financing. Alternatively, debt financing (for example issuing bonds) can be done to avoid giving up shares of ownership of the company. Unofficial financing known as trade financing usually provides the major part of a company's working capital (day-to-day operational needs).

    [edit] Trading
    This section may require cleanup to meet Wikipedia's quality standards. Please improve this section if you can. (October 2009)

    The shares of a company may in general be transferred from shareholders to other parties by sale or other mechanisms, unless prohibited. Most jurisdictions have established laws and regulations governing such transfers, particularly if the issuer is a publicly-traded entity.

    The desire of stockholders to trade their shares has led to the establishment of stock exchanges. A stock exchange is an organization that provides a marketplace for trading shares and other derivatives and financial products. Today, investors are usually represented by stock brokers who buy and sell shares of a wide range of companies on the exchanges. A company may list its shares on an exchange by meeting and maintaining the listing requirements of a particular stock exchange. In the United States, through the inter-market quotation system, stocks listed on one exchange can also be traded on other participating exchanges, including the Electronic Communication Networks (ECNs), such as Archipelago or Instinet.

    Many large non-U.S companies choose to list on a U.S. exchange as well as an exchange in their home country in order to broaden their investor base. These companies must maintain a block of shares at a bank in the US, typically a certain percentage of their capital. On this basis, the holding bank establishes American Depositary Shares and issues an American Depository Receipt (ADR) for each share a trader acquires. Likewise, many large U.S. companies list their shares at foreign exchanges to raise capital abroad.

    Small companies that do not qualify and cannot meet the listing requirements of the major exchanges may be traded over the counter (OTC) by an off-exchange mechanism in which trading occurs directly between parties. The major OTC markets in the United States are the electronic quotation systems OTC Bulletin Board (OTCBB) and the Pink OTC Markets (Pink Sheets) where individual retail investors are also represented by a brokerage firm and the quotation service's requirements for a company to be listed are minimal. Shares of companies in bankruptcy proceeding are usually listed by these quotation services after the stock is delisted from an exchange.

    [edit] Buying
    There are various methods of buying and financing stocks. The most common means is through a stock broker. Whether they are a full service or discount broker, they arrange the transfer of stock from a seller to a buyer. Most trades are actually done through brokers listed with a stock exchange.

    There are many different stock brokers from which to choose, such as full service brokers or discount brokers. The full service brokers usually charge more per trade, but give investment advice or more personal service; the discount brokers offer little or no investment advice but charge less for trades. Another type of broker would be a bank or credit union that may have a deal set up with either a full service or discount broker.

    There are other ways of buying stock besides through a broker. One way is directly from the company itself. If at least one share is owned, most companies will allow the purchase of shares directly from the company through their investor relations departments. However, the initial share of stock in the company will have to be obtained through a regular stock broker. Another way to buy stock in companies is through Direct Public Offerings which are usually sold by the company itself. A direct public offering is an initial public offering in which the stock is purchased directly from the company, usually without the aid of brokers.

    When it comes to financing a purchase of stocks there are two ways: purchasing stock with money that is currently in the buyer's ownership, or by buying stock on margin. Buying stock on margin means buying stock with money borrowed against the stocks in the same account. These stocks, or collateral, guarantee that the buyer can repay the loan; otherwise, the stockbroker has the right to sell the stock (collateral) to repay the borrowed money. He can sell if the share price drops below the margin requirement, at least 50% of the value of the stocks in the account. Buying on margin works the same way as borrowing money to buy a car or a house, using the car or house as collateral. Moreover, borrowing is not free; the broker usually charges 8-10% interest.

    [edit] Selling
    Selling stock is procedurally similar to buying stock. Generally, the investor wants to buy low and sell high, if not in that order (short selling); although a number of reasons may induce an investor to sell at a loss, e.g., to avoid further loss.

    As with buying a stock, there is a transaction fee for the broker's efforts in arranging the transfer of stock from a seller to a buyer. This fee can be high or low depending on which type of brokerage, full service or discount, handles the transaction.

    After the transaction has been made, the seller is then entitled to all of the money. An important part of selling is keeping track of the earnings. Importantly, on selling the stock, in jurisdictions that have them, capital gains taxes will have to be paid on the additional proceeds, if any, that are in excess of the cost basis.

    [edit] Stock price fluctuations
    The price of a stock fluctuates fundamentally due to the theory of supply and demand. Like all commodities in the market, the price of a stock is sensitive to demand. However, there are many factors that influence the demand for a particular stock. The field of fundamental analysis and technical analysis attempt to understand market conditions that lead to price changes, or even predict future price levels. A recent study[11] shows that customer satisfaction, as measured by the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI), is significantly correlated to the market value of a stock. Stock price may be influenced by analyst's business forecast for the company and outlooks for the company's general market segment.

    [edit] Share price determination
    At any given moment, an equity's price is strictly a result of supply and demand. The supply is the number of shares offered for sale at any one moment. The demand is the number of shares investors wish to buy at exactly that same time. The price of the stock moves in order to achieve and maintain equilibrium.

    When prospective buyers outnumber sellers, the price rises. Eventually, sellers attracted to the high selling price enter the market and/or buyers leave, achieving equilibrium between buyers and sellers. When sellers outnumber buyers, the price falls. Eventually buyers enter and/or sellers leave, again achieving equilibrium.

    Thus, the value of a share of a company at any given moment is determined by all investors voting with their money. If more investors want a stock and are willing to pay more, the price will go up. If more investors are selling a stock and there aren't enough buyers, the price will go down.

    Note: "For Nasdaq-listed stocks, the price quote includes information on the bid and ask prices for the stock." [1]
    Of course, that does not explain how people decide the maximum price at which they are willing to buy or the minimum at which they are willing to sell. In professional investment circles the efficient market hypothesis (EMH) continues to be popular, although this theory is widely discredited in academic and professional circles. Briefly, EMH says that investing is overall (weighted by a Stdev) rational; that the price of a stock at any given moment represents a rational evaluation of the known information that might bear on the future value of the company; and that share prices of equities are priced efficiently, which is to say that they represent accurately the expected value of the stock, as best it can be known at a given moment. In other words, prices are the result of discounting expected future cash flows.

    The EMH model, if true, has at least two interesting consequences. First, because financial risk is presumed to require at least a small premium on expected value, the return on equity can be expected to be slightly greater than that available from non-equity investments: if not, the same rational calculations would lead equity investors to shift to these safer non-equity investments that could be expected to give the same or better return at lower risk. Second, because the price of a share at every given moment is an "efficient" reflection of expected value, then—relative to the curve of expected return—prices will tend to follow a random walk, determined by the emergence of information (randomly) over time. Professional equity investors therefore immerse themselves in the flow of fundamental information, seeking to gain an advantage over their competitors (mainly other professional investors) by more intelligently interpreting the emerging flow of information (news).

    The EMH model does not seem to give a complete description of the process of equity price determination. For example, stock markets are more volatile than EMH would imply. In recent years it has come to be accepted that the share markets are not perfectly efficient, perhaps especially in emerging markets or other markets that are not dominated by well-informed professional investors.

    Another theory of share price determination comes from the field of Behavioral Finance. According to Behavioral Finance, humans often make irrational decisions—particularly, related to the buying and selling of securities—based upon fears and misperceptions of outcomes. The irrational trading of securities can often create securities prices which vary from rational, fundamental price valuations. For instance, during the technology bubble of the late 1990s (which was followed by the dot-com bust of 2000-2002), technology companies were often bid beyond any rational fundamental value because of what is commonly known as the "greater fool theory". The "greater fool theory" holds that, because the predominant method of realizing returns in equity is from the sale to another investor, one should select securities that they believe that someone else will value at a higher level at some point in the future, without regard to the basis for that other party's willingness to pay a higher price. Thus, even a rational investor may bank on others' irrationality.

    [edit] Arbitrage trading
    When companies raise capital by offering stock on more than one exchange, the potential exists for discrepancies in the valuation of shares on different exchanges. A keen investor with access to information about such discrepancies may invest in expectation of their eventual convergence, known as arbitrage trading. Electronic trading has resulted in extensive price transparency (efficient market hypothesis) and these discrepancies, if they exist, are short-lived and quickly equilibrated.

    [edit] See also
    Arrangements between railroads
    Boiler room
    Bucket shop
    Buying in
    Concentrated stock
    Direct Registration System
    Equity investment
    Golden share
    House stock
    Insider trading
    Money managers
    Naked short selling
    Penny stock
    Restricted stock
    Short selling
    Stock and flow
    Stock dilution
    Stock exchange
    Stock investor
    Stock market
    Stock options
    Stock valuation
    Stub (stock)
    Tracking stock
    Voting interest
    [edit] Notes
    ^ Compact Oxford English Dictionary
    ^ Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary
    ^ a b "Stock Basics", Investor
    ^ a b Zvi Bodie, Alex Kane, Alan J. Marcus, Investments, 7th Ed., p. 26–53.
    ^ Black Scholes Calculator
    ^ "Devil the Hindmost" by Edward Chancellor.
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    This article is about Republic of India. For other uses, see India (disambiguation).
    "Bharat" redirects here. For other uses, see Bharat (disambiguation).
    Republic of India
    भारत गणराज्य*
    Bhārat Gaṇarājya

    Flag National Emblem

    Motto: "Satyameva Jayate" (Sanskrit)
    सत्यमेव जयते (Devanāgarī)
    "Truth Alone Triumphs"[1]
    Anthem: Jana Gana Mana
    Thou art the ruler of the minds of all people[2]

    National Song[4]
    Vande Mataram
    I bow to thee, Mother[3]

    Capital New Delhi
    28°36.8′N 77°12.5′E / 28.6133°N 77.2083°E / 28.6133; 77.2083
    Largest city Mumbai
    Official languages Hindi, English[show]
    Hindi in the Devanagari script is the official language of the Union[5] and English the "subsidiary official language".[6]
    Constitutional languages 8th Schedule:[show]
    Demonym Indian
    Government Federal republic,
    parliamentary democracy[8]
    - President Pratibha Patil
    - Prime Minister Manmohan Singh
    - Chief Justice K. G. Balakrishnan
    Legislature Sansad
    - Upper House Rajya Sabha
    - Lower House Lok Sabha
    Independence from United Kingdom
    - Declared 15 August 1947
    - Republic 26 January 1950
    - Total 3, 287, 240 km2 ‡(7th)
    1, 269, 210 sq mi
    - Water (%) 9.56
    - 2009 estimate 1, 198, 003, 000[9] (2nd)
    - 2001 census 1, 028, 610, 328[10]
    - Density 364.4/km2 (32nd)
    943.9/sq mi
    GDP (PPP) 2008 estimate
    - Total $3.298 trillion[11] (4th)
    - Per capita $2, 780[11] (130th)
    GDP (nominal) 2008 estimate
    - Total $1.206 trillion[11] (12th)
    - Per capita $1, 017[11] (143rd)
    Gini (2004) 36.8[12]
    HDI (2007) 0.612[13] (medium) (134th)
    Currency Indian rupee (₨) (INR)
    Time zone IST (UTC+5:30)
    - Summer (DST) not observed (UTC+5:30)
    Drives on the left
    Internet TLD .in
    Calling code 91
    Non-numbered Footnotes:[show]
    * Bharat Ganarajya, that is, the Republic of India in Hindi, [8] written in the Devanāgarī script. See also other official names
    ‡ This is the figure as per the United Nations though the Indian government lists the total area as 3, 287, 260 square kilometres.[14]
    India, officially the Republic of India (Hindi: भारत गणराज्य Bhārat Gaṇarājya; see also other Indian languages), is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country, and the most populous democracy in the world. Bounded by the Indian Ocean on the south, the Arabian Sea on the west, and the Bay of Bengal on the east, India has a coastline of 7, 517 kilometres (4, 700 mi).[15] It is bordered by Pakistan to the west;[16] People's Republic of China, Nepal, and Bhutan to the north; and Bangladesh and Myanmar to the east. India is in the vicinity of Sri Lanka, and the Maldives in the Indian Ocean.

    Home to the Indus Valley Civilisation and a region of historic trade routes and vast empires, the Indian subcontinent was identified with its commercial and cultural wealth for much of its long history.[17] Four major religions, Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism originated here, while Zoroastrianism, Judaism, Christianity and Islam arrived in the first millennium CE and shaped the region's diverse culture. Gradually annexed by the British East India Company from the early eighteenth century and colonised by the United Kingdom from the mid-nineteenth century, India became an independent nation in 1947 after a struggle for independence that was marked by widespread non-violent resistance.[18]

    India is a republic consisting of 28 states and seven union territories with a parliamentary system of democracy. It has the world's twelfth largest economy at market exchange rates and the fourth largest in purchasing power. Economic reforms since 1991 have transformed it into one of the fastest growing economies;[19] however, it still suffers from high levels of poverty, [20] illiteracy, disease, and malnutrition. A pluralistic, multilingual, and multiethnic society, India is also home to a diversity of wildlife in a variety of protected habitats.

    Contents [hide]
    1 Etymology
    2 History
    3 Government
    3.1 Administrative divisions
    4 Politics
    5 Foreign relations and military
    6 Geography
    7 Flora and fauna
    8 Economy
    9 Demographics
    10 Culture
    11 Sports
    12 See also
    13 Notes
    14 References
    15 External links

    Main article: Names of India
    The name India (pronounced /ˈɪndiə/) is derived from Indus, which is derived from the Old Persian word Hindu, from Sanskrit Sindhu, the historic local appellation for the Indus River.[21] The ancient Greeks referred to the Indians as Indoi (Ινδοί), the people of the Indus.[22] The Constitution of India and common usage in various Indian languages also recognise Bharat (pronounced [ˈbʱɑːrʌt̪] ( listen)) as an official name of equal status.[23] The name Bharat is derived from the name of the legendary king Bharata in Hindu Mythology. Hindustan ([hɪnd̪ʊˈstɑːn]( listen)), originally a Persian word for “Land of the Hindus” referring to northern India, is also occasionally used as a synonym for all of India.[24]

    Main articles: History of India and History of the Republic of India
    Stone Age rock shelters with paintings at the Bhimbetka rock shelters in Madhya Pradesh are the earliest known traces of human life in India. The first known permanent settlements appeared over 9, 000 years ago and gradually developed into the Indus Valley Civilisation, [25] dating back to 3300 BCE in western India. It was followed by the Vedic period, which laid the foundations of Hinduism and other cultural aspects of early Indian society, and ended in the 500s BCE. From around 550 BCE, many independent kingdoms and republics known as the Mahajanapadas were established across the country.[26]

    Paintings at the Ajanta Caves in Aurangabad, Maharashtra, sixth centuryIn the third century BCE, most of South Asia was united into the Maurya Empire by Chandragupta Maurya and flourished under Ashoka the Great.[27] From the third century CE, the Gupta dynasty oversaw the period referred to as ancient "India's Golden Age."[28][29] Empires in Southern India included those of the Chalukyas, the Cholas and the Vijayanagara Empire. Science, technology, engineering, art, logic, language, literature, mathematics, astronomy, religion and philosophy flourished under the patronage of these kings.

    Following invasions from Central Asia between the 10th and 12th centuries, much of North India came under the rule of the Delhi Sultanate and later the Mughal Empire. Under the rule of Akbar the Great, India enjoyed much cultural and economic progress as well as religious harmony.[30][31] Mughal emperors gradually expanded their empires to cover large parts of the subcontinent. However, in North-Eastern India, the dominant power was the Ahom kingdom of Assam, among the few kingdoms to have resisted Mughal subjugation. The first major threat to Mughal imperial power came from a Hindu Rajput king Maha Rana Pratap of Mewar in the 14th century and later from a Hindu state known as the Maratha confederacy, that dominated much of India in the mid-18th century.[32]

    From the 16th century, European powers such as Portugal, the Netherlands, France, and the United Kingdom established trading posts and later took advantage of internal conflicts to establish colonies in the country. By 1856, most of India was under the control of the British East India Company.[33] A year later, a nationwide insurrection of rebelling military units and kingdoms, known as India's First War of Independence or the Sepoy Mutiny, seriously challenged the Company's control but eventually failed. As a result of the instability, India was brought under the direct rule of the British Crown.

    Mahatma Gandhi (right) with Jawaharlal Nehru, 1937. Nehru would go on to become India's first prime minister in 1947.In the 20th century, a nationwide struggle for independence was launched by the Indian National Congress and other political organisations.[34] Indian leader Mahatma Gandhi led millions of people in several national campaigns of non-violent civil disobedience.[18]

    On 15 August 1947, India gained independence from British rule, but at the same time the Muslim-majority areas were partitioned to form a separate state of Pakistan.[35] On 26 January 1950, India became a republic and a new constitution came into effect.[36]

    Since independence, India has faced challenges from religious violence, casteism, naxalism, terrorism and regional separatist insurgencies, especially in Jammu and Kashmir and Northeast India. Since the 1990s terrorist attacks have affected many Indian cities. India has unresolved territorial disputes with P. R. China, which in 1962 escalated into the Sino-Indian War; and with Pakistan, which resulted in wars in 1947, 1965, 1971 and 1999. India is a founding member of the United Nations (as British India) and the Non-Aligned Movement. In 1974, India conducted an underground nuclear test[37] and five more tests in 1998, making India a nuclear state.[37] Beginning in 1991, significant economic reforms[38] have transformed India into one of the fastest-growing economies in the world, increasing its global clout.[19]

    Main article: Government of India
    National Symbols of India[39][40]
    Flag Tricolour
    Emblem Sarnath Lion Capital
    Anthem Jana Gana Mana
    Song Vande Mataram
    Animal Royal Bengal Tiger
    Bird Indian Peacock
    Aquatic animal Dolphin
    Flower Lotus
    Tree Banyan
    Fruit Mango
    Sport Field hockey
    Calendar Saka
    River Ganges
    The Constitution of India, the longest and the most exhaustive constitution of any independent nation in the world, came into force on 26 January 1950.[41] The preamble of the constitution defines India as a sovereign, socialist, secular, democratic republic.[42] India has a bicameral parliament operating under a Westminster-style parliamentary system. Its form of government was traditionally described as being 'quasi-federal' with a strong centre and weaker states, [43] but it has grown increasingly federal since the late 1990s as a result of political, economic and social changes.[44]

    The President of India is the head of state[45] elected indirectly by an electoral college[46] for a five-year term.[47][48] The Prime Minister is the head of government and exercises most executive powers.[45] Appointed by the President, [49] the Prime Minister is by convention supported by the party or political alliance holding the majority of seats in the lower house of Parliament.[45] The executive branch consists of the President, Vice-President, and the Council of Ministers (the Cabinet being its executive committee) headed by the Prime Minister. Any minister holding a portfolio must be a member of either house of parliament. In the Indian parliamentary system, the executive is subordinate to the legislature, with the Prime Minister and his Council being directly responsible to the lower house of the Parliament.[50]

    The Legislature of India is the bicameral Parliament, which consists of the upper house called the Rajya Sabha (Council of States) and the lower house called the Lok Sabha (House of People).[51] The Rajya Sabha, a permanent body, has 245 members serving staggered six year terms.[52] Most are elected indirectly by the state and territorial legislatures in proportion to the state's population.[52] 543 of the Lok Sabha's 545 members are directly elected by popular vote to represent individual constituencies for five year terms.[52] The other two members are nominated by the President from the Anglo-Indian community if the President is of the opinion that the community is not adequately represented.[52]

    India has a unitary three-tier judiciary, consisting of the Supreme Court, headed by the Chief Justice of India, twenty-one High Courts, and a large number of trial courts.[53] The Supreme Court has original jurisdiction over cases involving fundamental rights and over disputes between states and the Centre, and appellate jurisdiction over the High Courts.[54] It is judicially independent, [53] and has the power to declare the law and to strike down Union or State laws which contravene the Constitution.[55] The role as the ultimate interpreter of the Constitution is one of the most important functions of the Supreme Court.[56]

    Administrative divisions
    Main article: Administrative divisions of India
    India consists of twenty-eight states and seven Union Territories.[57] All states, and the two union territories of Puducherry and the National Capital Territory of Delhi, have elected legislatures and governments patterned on the Westminster model. The other five union territories are directly ruled by the Centre through appointed administrators. In 1956, under the States Reorganisation Act, states were formed on a linguistic basis.[58] Since then, this structure has remained largely unchanged. Each state or union territory is further divided into administrative districts.[59] The districts in turn are further divided into tehsils and eventually into villages.

    Administrative divisions of India, including 28 states and 7 union territories.States:

    Andhra Pradesh
    Arunachal Pradesh
    Himachal Pradesh
    Jammu and Kashmir
    Madhya Pradesh
    Tamil Nadu
    Uttar Pradesh
    West Bengal

    Union Territories:

    Andaman and Nicobar Islands
    Dadra and Nagar Haveli
    Daman and Diu
    National Capital Territory of Delhi

    Main article: Politics of India

    The North Block, in New Delhi, houses key government offices.India is the most populous democracy in the world.[60][61] For most of the years since independence, the federal government has been led by the Indian National Congress (INC).[57] Politics in the states have been dominated by several national parties including the INC, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPI(M)) and various regional parties. From 1950 to 1990, barring two brief periods, the INC enjoyed a parliamentary majority. The INC was out of power between 1977 and 1980, when the Janata Party won the election owing to public discontent with the state of emergency declared by the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. In 1989, a Janata Dal-led National Front coalition in alliance with the Left Front coalition won the elections but managed to stay in power for only two years.[62] As the 1991 elections gave no political party a majority, the INC formed a minority government under Prime Minister P.V. Narasimha Rao and was able to complete its five-year term.[63]

    The years 1996–1998 were a period of turmoil in the federal government with several short-lived alliances holding sway. The BJP formed a government briefly in 1996, followed by the United Front coalition that excluded both the BJP and the INC. In 1998, the BJP formed the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) with several other parties and became the first non-Congress government to complete a full five-year term.[64] In the 2004 Indian elections, the INC won the largest number of Lok Sabha seats and formed a government with a coalition called the United Progressive Alliance (UPA), supported by various Left-leaning parties and members opposed to the BJP. The UPA again came into power in the 2009 general election; however, the representation of the Left leaning parties within the coalition has significantly reduced.[65] Manmohan Singh became the first prime minister since Jawaharlal Nehru in 1962 to be re-elected after completing a full five-year term.[66]

    Foreign relations and military
    Main articles: Foreign relations of India and Indian Armed Forces

    The Sukhoi-30 MKI "Flanker" is the Indian Air Force's air superiority fighter.[67]Since its independence in 1947, India has maintained cordial relationships with most nations. It took a leading role in the 1950s by advocating the independence of European colonies in Africa and Asia.[68] India was involved in two brief military interventions in neighbouring countries – Indian Peace Keeping Force in Sri Lanka and Operation Cactus in Maldives. India is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations and a founding member of the Non-Aligned Movement.[69] After the Sino-Indian War and the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965, India's relationship with the Soviet Union warmed and continued to remain so until the end of the Cold War. India has fought two wars with Pakistan over the Kashmir dispute. A third war between India and Pakistan in 1971 resulted in the creation of Bangladesh (then East Pakistan).[70] Additional skirmishes have taken place between the two nations over the Siachen Glacier. In 1999, India and Pakistan fought an undeclared war over Kargil.

    India and Russia share an extensive economic, defence and technological relationship.[71] Shown here is PM Manmohan Singh with President Dmitry Medvedev at the 34th G8 Summit.In recent years, India has played an influential role in the SAARC, and the WTO.[72] India has provided as many as 55, 000 Indian military and Indian police personnel to serve in thirty-five UN peace keeping operations across four continents.[13] Despite criticism and military sanctions, India has consistently refused to sign the CTBT and the NPT, although Prime Minister Manmohan Singh recently stated that India would be willing to join the NPT as a recognized nuclear weapons state (NWS). Recent overtures by the Indian government have strengthened relations with the United States, China and Pakistan. In the economic sphere, India has close relationships with other developing nations in South America, Asia and Africa.

    India maintains the third-largest military force in the world, which consists of the Indian Army, Navy, Air Force[36] and auxiliary forces such as the Paramilitary Forces, the Coast Guard, and the Strategic Forces Command. The President of India is the supreme commander of the Indian Armed Forces. India maintains close defence cooperation with Russia, Israel and France, who are the chief suppliers of arms. The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) oversees indigenous development of sophisticated arms and military equipment, including ballistic missiles, fighter aircraft and main battle tanks, to reduce India's dependence on foreign imports. India became a nuclear power in 1974 after conducting an initial nuclear test, Operation Smiling Buddha and further underground testing in 1998. India maintains a "no first use" nuclear policy.[73] On 10 October 2008 Indo-US civilian nuclear agreement was signed, prior to which India received IAEA and NSG waivers, ending restrictions on nuclear technology commerce with which India became de facto sixth nuclear power in world.[74]

    Main article: Geography of India
    See also: Geological history of India and Climate of India

    Topographic map of India.India, the major portion of the Indian subcontinent, sits atop the Indian tectonic plate, a minor plate within the Indo-Australian Plate.[75]

    India's defining geological processes commenced seventy-five million years ago, when the Indian subcontinent, then part of the southern supercontinent Gondwana, began a northeastwards drift—lasting fifty million years—across the then unformed Indian Ocean.[75] The subcontinent's subsequent collision with the Eurasian Plate and subduction under it, gave rise to the Himalayas, the planet's highest mountains, which now abut India in the north and the north-east.[75] In the former seabed immediately south of the emerging Himalayas, plate movement created a vast trough, which, having gradually been filled with river-borne sediment, [76] now forms the Indo-Gangetic Plain.[77] To the west of this plain, and cut off from it by the Aravalli Range, lies the Thar Desert.[78]

    The original Indian plate now survives as peninsular India, the oldest and geologically most stable part of India, and extending as far north as the Satpura and Vindhya ranges in central India. These parallel ranges run from the Arabian Sea coast in Gujarat in the west to the coal-rich Chota Nagpur Plateau in Jharkhand in the east.[79] To their south, the remaining peninsular landmass, the Deccan Plateau, is flanked on the left and right by the coastal ranges, Western Ghats and Eastern Ghats respectively;[80] the plateau contains the oldest rock formations in India, some over one billion years old. Constituted in such fashion, India lies to the north of the equator between 6°44' and 35°30' north latitude[81] and 68°7' and 97°25' east longitude.[82]

    India's coast is 7, 517 kilometres (4, 700 mi) long; of this distance, 5, 423 kilometres (3, 400 mi) belong to peninsular India, and 2, 094 kilometres (1, 300 mi) to the Andaman, Nicobar, and Lakshadweep Islands.[15] According to the Indian naval hydrographic charts, the mainland coast consists of the following: 43% sandy beaches, 11% rocky coast including cliffs, and 46% mudflats or marshy coast.[15]

    The Himalayas form the mountainous landscape of Northern India. Seen here is Ladakh in Jammu & KashmirMajor Himalayan-origin rivers that substantially flow through India include the Ganga (Ganges) and the Brahmaputra, both of which drain into the Bay of Bengal.[83] Important tributaries of the Ganga(Ganges) include the Yamuna and the Kosi, whose extremely low gradient causes disastrous floods every year. Major peninsular rivers whose steeper gradients prevent their waters from flooding include the Godavari, the Mahanadi, the Kaveri, and the Krishna, which also drain into the Bay of Bengal;[84] and the Narmada and the Tapti, which drain into the Arabian Sea.[85] Among notable coastal features of India are the marshy Rann of Kutch in western India, and the alluvial Sundarbans delta, which India shares with Bangladesh.[86] India has two archipelagos: the Lakshadweep, coral atolls off India's south-western coast; and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, a volcanic chain in the Andaman Sea.[87]

    India's climate is strongly influenced by the Himalayas and the Thar Desert, both of which drive the monsoons.[88] The Himalayas prevent cold Central Asian Katabatic wind from blowing in, keeping the bulk of the Indian subcontinent warmer than most locations at similar latitudes.[89][90] The Thar Desert plays a crucial role in attracting the moisture-laden southwest summer monsoon winds that, between June and October, provide the majority of India's rainfall.[88] Four major climatic groupings predominate in India: tropical wet, tropical dry, subtropical humid, and montane.[91]

    Flora and fauna
    Main articles: Flora of India and Fauna of India

    Lotus, the national flower of India, is an aquatic perennial plantIndia, which lies within the Indomalaya ecozone, displays significant biodiversity. One of eighteen megadiverse countries, it is home to 7.6% of all mammalian, 12.6% of all avian, 6.2% of all reptilian, 4.4% of all amphibian, 11.7% of all fish, and 6.0% of all flowering plant species.[92] Many ecoregions, such as the shola forests, exhibit extremely high rates of endemism; overall, 33% of Indian plant species are endemic.[93][94]

    India's forest cover ranges from the tropical rainforest of the Andaman Islands, Western Ghats, and North-East India to the coniferous forest of the Himalaya. Between these extremes lie the sal-dominated moist deciduous forest of eastern India; the teak-dominated dry deciduous forest of central and southern India; and the babul-dominated thorn forest of the central Deccan and western Gangetic plain.[95] Important Indian trees include the medicinal neem, widely used in rural Indian herbal remedies. The pipal fig tree, shown on the seals of Mohenjo-daro, shaded Gautama Buddha as he sought enlightenment. According to latest report, less than 12% of India's landmass is covered by dense forests.[96]

    Many Indian species are descendants of taxa originating in Gondwana, from which the Indian plate separated. Peninsular India's subsequent movement towards, and collision with, the Laurasian landmass set off a mass exchange of species. However, volcanism and climatic changes 20 million years ago caused the extinction of many endemic Indian forms.[97] Soon thereafter, mammals entered India from Asia through two zoogeographical passes on either side of the emerging Himalaya.[95] Consequently, among Indian species, only 12.6% of mammals and 4.5% of birds are endemic, contrasting with 45.8% of reptiles and 55.8% of amphibians.[92] Notable endemics are the Nilgiri leaf monkey and the brown and carmine Beddome's toad of the Western Ghats. India contains 172, or 2.9%, of IUCN-designated threatened species.[98] These include the Asiatic Lion, the Bengal Tiger, and the Indian white-rumped vulture, which suffered a near-extinction from ingesting the carrion of diclofenac-treated cattle.

    In recent decades, human encroachment has posed a threat to India's wildlife; in response, the system of national parks and protected areas, first established in 1935, was substantially expanded. In 1972, India enacted the Wildlife Protection Act[99] and Project Tiger to safeguard crucial habitat; in addition, the Forest Conservation Act[100] was enacted in 1980. Along with more than five hundred wildlife sanctuaries, India hosts thirteen biosphere reserves, [101] four of which are part of the World Network of Biosphere Reserves; twenty-five wetlands are registered under the Ramsar Convention.[102]

    Main article: Economy of India
    See also: Economic history of India, Economic development in India, and Transport in India

    The Bombay Stock Exchange, in Mumbai, is Asia's oldest and India's largest stock exchange by market capitalisation.From the 1950s to the 1980s, India followed socialist-inspired policies. The economy was shackled by extensive regulation, protectionism, and public ownership, leading to pervasive corruption and slow growth.[103][104][105][106] Since 1991, the nation has moved towards a market-based system.[104][105] The policy change in 1991 came after an acute balance of payments crisis, and the emphasis since then has been to use foreign trade and foreign investment as integral parts of India's economy.[107]

    With an average annual GDP growth rate of 5.8% for the past two decades, the economy is among the fastest growing in the world.[108] It has the world's second largest labour force, with 516.3 million people. In terms of output, the agricultural sector accounts for 28% of GDP; the service and industrial sectors make up 54% and 18% respectively. Major agricultural products include rice, wheat, oilseed, cotton, jute, tea, sugarcane, potatoes; cattle, water buffalo, sheep, goats, poultry; fish.[57] Major industries include textiles, chemicals, food processing, steel, transport equipment, cement, mining, petroleum, machinery, software.[57] India's trade has reached a relatively moderate share of 24% of GDP in 2006, up from 6% in 1985.[104] India's share of world trade has reached 1%. Major exports include petroleum products, textile goods, gems and jewelry, software, engineering goods, chemicals, and leather manufactures.[57] Major imports include crude oil, machinery, gems, fertilizer, chemicals.[57]

    The Tata Nano, the world's cheapest car.[109] India's annual small-car exports have surged fivefold in the past five years.[110]India's GDP is US$1.237 trillion, which makes it the twelfth-largest economy in the world[111] or fourth largest by purchasing power adjusted exchange rates. India's nominal per capita income US$1, 068 is ranked 128th in the world. In the late 2000s, India's economic growth has averaged 7½% a year, which will double the average income in a decade.[104]

    Despite India's impressive economic growth over recent decades, it still contains the largest concentration of poor people in the world, and has a higher rate of malnutrition among children under the age of three (46% in year 2007) than any other country in the world.[112][113] The percentage of people living below the World Bank's international poverty line of $1.25 a day (PPP, in nominal terms Rs. 21.6 a day in urban areas and Rs 14.3 in rural areas in 2005) decreased from 60% in 1981 to 42% in 2005.[114] Even though India has avoided famines in recent decades, half of children are underweight, one of the highest rates in the world and nearly double the rate of Sub-Saharan Africa.[115]

    A 2007 Goldman Sachs report projected that "from 2007 to 2020, India’s GDP per capita will quadruple, " and that the Indian GDP will surpass that of the United States' before 2050, but India "will remain a low-income country for several decades, with per capita incomes well below its other BRIC peers."[106] Although the Indian economy has grown steadily over the last two decades; its growth has been uneven when comparing different social groups, economic groups, geographic regions, and rural and urban areas.[116] The World Bank suggests that the most important priorities should be public sector reform, infrastructure, agricultural and rural development, removal of labor regulations, reforms in lagging states, and combating HIV/AIDS.[117]

    Main article: Demographics of India
    See also: Religion in India, Languages of India, and Ethnic groups of South Asia

    Population density map of India.With an estimated population of 1.2 billion, [9] India is the world's second most populous country. The last 50 years have seen a rapid increase in population due to medical advances and massive increase in agricultural productivity made by the green revolution.[118][119] India's urban population increased 11-fold during the twentieth century and is increasingly concentrated in large cities. By 2001 there were 35 million-plus population cities in India, with the largest cities, with a population of over 10 million each, being Mumbai, Delhi and Kolkata. However, as of 2001, more than 70% of India's population continues to reside in rural areas.[120][121]

    India is the world's most culturally, linguistically and genetically diverse geographical entity after the African continent.[57] India is home to two major linguistic families: Indo-Aryan (spoken by about 74% of the population) and Dravidian (spoken by about 24%). Other languages spoken in India come from the Austro-Asiatic and Tibeto-Burman linguistic families. Hindi, with the largest number of speakers, [122] is the official language of the union.[123] English is used extensively in business and administration and has the status of a 'subsidiary official language;'[124] it is also important in education, especially as a medium of higher education. In addition, every state and union territory has its own official languages, and the constitution also recognises in particular 21 other languages that are either abundantly spoken or have classical status. While Sanskrit and Tamil have been studied as classical languages for many years, [125] the Government of India has also accorded classical language status to Kannada and Telugu using its own criteria.[126] The number of dialects in India is as high as 1, 652.[127]

    As per the 2001 census, over 800 million Indians (80.5%) were Hindu. Other religious groups include Muslims (13.4%), Christians (2.3%), Sikhs (1.9%), Buddhists (0.8%), Jains (0.4%), Jews, Zoroastrians and Bahá'ís.[128] Tribals constitute 8.1% of the population.[129] India has the third-highest Muslim population in the world and has the highest population of Muslims for a non-Muslim majority country.

    India's literacy rate is 64.8% (53.7% for females and 75.3% for males).[36] The state of Kerala has the highest literacy rate at 91% while Bihar has the lowest at 47%.[130][131] The national human sex ratio is 944 females per 1, 000 males. India's median age is 24.9, and the population growth rate of 1.38% per annum; there are 22.01 births per 1, 000 people per year.[36] According to the World Health Organization 900, 000 Indians die each year from drinking contaminated water and breathing in polluted air.[132] Malaria is endemic in India.[133] Half of children in India are underweight, one of the highest rates in the world and nearly same as Sub-Saharan Africa.[115] Many women are malnourished, too. There are about 60 physicians per 100, 000 people in India.[134]

    Main article: Culture of India

    The Taj Mahal in Agra was built by Shah Jahan as memorial to wife Mumtaz Mahal. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site considered to be of "outstanding universal value".[135]India's culture is marked by a high degree of syncretism[136] and cultural pluralism.[137] It has managed to preserve established traditions while absorbing new customs, traditions, and ideas from invaders and immigrants and spreading its cultural influence to other parts of Asia, mainly South East and East Asia. Traditional Indian society is defined by relatively strict social hierarchy. The Indian caste system describes the social stratification and social restrictions in the Indian subcontinent, in which social classes are defined by thousands of endogamous hereditary groups, often termed as jātis or castes.[138]

    Traditional Indian family values are highly respected, and multi-generational patriarchal joint families have been the norm, although nuclear family are becoming common in urban areas.[103] An overwhelming majority of Indians have their marriages arranged by their parents and other respected family members, with the consent of the bride and groom.[139] Marriage is thought to be for life, [139] and the divorce rate is extremely low.[140] Child marriage is still a common practice, with half of women in India marrying before the legal age of 18.[141][142]

    Indian cuisine is characterised by a wide variety of regional styles and sophisticated use of herbs and spices. The staple foods in the region are rice (especially in the south and the east) and wheat (predominantly in the north).[143] Spices like black pepper that are now consumed world wide are originally native to the Indian subcontinent. Chili pepper, which was introduced by the Portuguese is also very much used within Indian Cuisine.[144]

    A statue of Shiva, a principal deity of Hinduism, in BangaloreTraditional Indian dress varies across the regions in its colours and styles and depends on various factors, including climate. Popular styles of dress include draped garments such as sari for women and dhoti or lungi for men; in addition, stitched clothes such as salwar kameez for women and kurta–pyjama and European-style trousers and shirts for men, are also popular.

    Many Indian festivals are religious in origin, although several are celebrated irrespective of caste and creed. Some popular festivals are Diwali, Ganesh Chaturthi, Ugadi, Thai Pongal, Holi, Onam, Vijayadasami, Durga Puja, Eid ul-Fitr, Bakr-Id, Christmas, Buddha Jayanti and Vaisakhi.[145] India has three national holidays. Other sets of holidays, varying between nine and twelve, are officially observed in individual states. Religious practices are an integral part of everyday life and are a very public affair.

    Indian architecture is one area that represents the diversity of Indian culture. Much of it, including notable monuments such as the Taj Mahal and other examples of Mughal architecture and South Indian architecture, comprises a blend of ancient and varied local traditions from several parts of the country and abroad. Vernacular architecture also displays notable regional variation.

    Indian music covers a wide range of traditions and regional styles. Classical music largely encompasses the two genres – North Indian Hindustani, South Indian Carnatic traditions and their various offshoots in the form of regional folk music. Regionalised forms of popular music include filmi and folk music; the syncretic tradition of the bauls is a well-known form of the latter.

    Indian dance too has diverse folk and classical forms. Among the well-known folk dances are the bhangra of the Punjab, the bihu of Assam, the chhau of West Bengal, Jharkhand and sambalpuri of Orissa and the ghoomar of Rajasthan. Eight dance forms, many with narrative forms and mythological elements, have been accorded classical dance status by India's National Academy of Music, Dance, and Drama. These are: bharatanatyam of the state of Tamil Nadu, kathak of Uttar Pradesh, kathakali and mohiniyattam of Kerala, kuchipudi of Andhra Pradesh, manipuri of Manipur, odissi of Orissa and the sattriya of Assam.[146]

    Theatre in India often incorporates music, dance, and improvised or written dialogue.[147] Often based on Hindu mythology, but also borrowing from medieval romances, and news of social and political events, Indian theatre includes the bhavai of state of Gujarat, the jatra of West Bengal, the nautanki and ramlila of North India, the tamasha of Maharashtra, the burrakatha of Andhra Pradesh, the terukkuttu of Tamil Nadu, and the yakshagana of Karnataka.[148]

    The Indian film industry is the largest in the world.[149] Bollywood, based in Mumbai, makes commercial Hindi films and is the most prolific film industry in the world.[150] Established traditions also exist in Bengali, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi, Tamil, and Telugu language cinemas.[151]

    The earliest works of Indian literature were transmitted orally and only later written down.[152] These included works of Sanskrit literature – such as the early Vedas, the epics Mahābhārata and Ramayana, the drama Abhijñānaśākuntalam (The Recognition of Śakuntalā), and poetry such as the Mahākāvya[153] – and the Tamil language Sangam literature.[154] Among Indian writers of the modern era active in Indian languages or English, Rabindranath Tagore won the Nobel Prize in 1913.

    Main article: Sports of India

    A 2008 Indian Premier League Twenty20 cricket match being played between the Chennai Super Kings and Kolkata Knight RidersIndia's official national sport is field hockey, administered by the Indian Hockey Federation. The Indian field hockey team won the 1975 Men's Hockey World Cup and 8 gold, 1 silver and 2 bronze medals at the Olympic games. However, cricket is the most popular sport; the India national cricket team won the 1983 Cricket World Cup and the 2007 ICC World Twenty20, and shared the 2002 ICC Champions Trophy with Sri Lanka. Cricket in India is administered by the Board of Control for Cricket in India, and domestic competitions include the Ranji Trophy, the Duleep Trophy, the Deodhar Trophy, the Irani Trophy and the Challenger Series. In addition Indian cricket league and Indian premier league organise Twenty20 competitions.

    Tennis has become increasingly popular, owing to the victories of the India Davis Cup team. Association football is also a popular sport in northeast India, West Bengal, Goa and Kerala.[155] The Indian national football team has won the South Asian Football Federation Cup several times. Chess, commonly held to have originated in India, is also gaining popularity with the rise in the number of Indian Grandmasters.[156] Traditional sports include kabaddi, kho kho, and gilli-danda, which are played nationwide. India is also home to the ancient martial arts, Kalarippayattu and Varma Kalai.

    The Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna and the Arjuna Award are India's highest awards for achievements in sports, while the Dronacharya Award is awarded for excellence in coaching. India hosted or co-hosted the 1951 and the 1982 Asian Games, the 1987 and 1996 Cricket World Cup. It is also scheduled to host the 2010 Commonwealth Games and the 2011 Cricket World Cup.

    See also
    India portal
    Outline of India
    Index of India-related articles
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  • Li
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    Chinese language
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    汉语/漢語, 华语/華語, 中國話/中国话 or 中文
    Zhōngwén (Chinese) written in Chinese characters
    Spoken in People's Republic of China (PRC, commonly known as Mainland China), Republic of China (ROC, commonly known as Taiwan), Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Macau, the Philippines, the United States of America, Australia, Indonesia, Mauritius, Peru, Canada, and other regions with Chinese communities
    Region (majorities): Mainland China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore
    (minorities): Southeast Asia, and other regions with Chinese communities
    Total speakers approx 1.3 billion
    Ranking Chinese, all: 1
    Mandarin: 1
    Wu: 12
    Cantonese: 18
    Min: 22
    Hakka: 33
    Gan: 42

    Language family Sino-Tibetan

    Writing system Chinese characters, zhuyin fuhao, pinyin, Xiao'erjing
    Official status
    Official language in United Nations

    People's Republic of China

    Hong Kong
    Republic of China
    Singapore (official, but not main language)

    Recognized as a regional language in
    United States (minority and auxiliary)

    Regulated by In the PRC: National Language Regulating Committee[1]
    In the ROC: National Languages Committee
    In Singapore: Promote Mandarin Council/Speak Mandarin Campaign[2]
    Language codes
    ISO 639-1 zh
    ISO 639-2 chi (B) zho (T)
    ISO 639-3 variously:
    zho – Chinese (generic)
    cdo – Min Dong
    cjy – Jinyu
    cmn – Mandarin
    cpx – Pu Xian
    czh – Huizhou
    czo – Min Zhong
    gan – Gan
    hak – Hakka
    hsn – Xiang
    mnp – Min Bei
    nan – Min Nan
    wuu – Wu
    yue – Yue Chinese
    och – Old Chinese
    ltc – Late Middle Chinese
    lzh – Literary Chinese

    Map of the Sinophone world .

    Countries identified Chinese as a primary, administrative, or native language

    Countries with more than 5, 000, 000 Chinese speakers w/ or w/o recognition

    Countries with more than 1, 000, 000 Chinese speakers w/ or w/o recognition

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    Major Chinese speaking settlements

    Note: This page may contain IPA phonetic symbols in Unicode.

    Chinese language (Spoken)
    Traditional Chinese 漢語
    Simplified Chinese 汉语
    - Hanyu Pinyin Hànyǔ

    alternative Chinese name
    Traditional Chinese 華語
    Simplified Chinese 华语
    - Hanyu Pinyin Huáyǔ

    Chinese language (Spoken)
    Traditional Chinese 中國話
    Simplified Chinese 中国话
    - Hanyu Pinyin Zhōngguóhuà

    Chinese language (Written)
    Chinese 中文
    - Hanyu Pinyin Zhōngwén

    Sino-Tibetan language family

    The varieties of spoken Chinese in Eastern China and Taiwan
    Chinese or the Sinitic language(s) (simplified Chinese: 汉语; traditional Chinese: 漢語; pinyin: Hànyǔ; simplified Chinese: 华语; traditional Chinese: 華語; pinyin: Huáyǔ; simplified Chinese: 中国话; traditional Chinese: 中國話; pinyin: Zhōngguóhuà; or Chinese: 中文; pinyin: Zhōngwén) is a language family consisting of languages mutually intelligible to varying degrees.[3] Originally the indigenous languages spoken by the Han Chinese in China, it forms one of the two branches of Sino-Tibetan family of languages. About one-fifth of the world’s population, or over one billion people, speak some form of Chinese as their native language. The identification of the varieties of Chinese as "dialects" instead of "languages" is considered inappropriate by some linguists and Sinologists.[4]

    Spoken Chinese is distinguished by its high level of internal diversity, although all spoken varieties of Chinese are tonal and analytic. There are between seven and thirteen main regional groups of Chinese (depending on classification scheme), of which the most spoken, by far, is Mandarin (about 850 million), followed by Wu (90 million), Cantonese (Yue) (70 million) and Min (70 million). Most of these groups are mutually unintelligible, although some, like Xiang and the Southwest Mandarin dialects, may share common terms and some degree of intelligibility. Chinese is classified as a macrolanguage with 13 sub-languages in ISO 639-3, though the identification of the varieties of Chinese as multiple "languages" or as "dialects" of a single language is a contentious issue.

    The standardized form of spoken Chinese is Standard Mandarin (Putonghua / Guoyu / Huayu), based on the Beijing dialect, which is part of a larger group of North-Eastern and South-Western dialects, often taken as a separate language (see Mandarin Chinese for more), this language can be referred to as 官话 Guānhuà or 北方话 Běifānghuà in Chinese. Standard Mandarin is the official language of the People's Republic of China (PRC) and the Republic of China (ROC), as well as one of four official languages of Singapore. Chinese—de facto, Standard Mandarin—is one of the six official languages of the United Nations. Of the other varieties, Standard Cantonese is common and influential in Guangdong Province and Cantonese-speaking overseas communities, and remains one of the official languages of Hong Kong (together with English) and of Macau (together with Portuguese). Hokkien, part of the Min language group, is widely spoken in southern Fujian, in neighbouring Taiwan (where it is known as Taiwanese or Hoklo) and in Southeast Asia (where it dominates in Singapore and Malaysia).

    Contents [hide]
    1 Spoken Chinese
    1.1 Standard Mandarin and diglossia
    1.2 Linguistics
    1.3 Language and nationality
    2 Written Chinese
    2.1 Chinese characters
    3 History
    4 Influences on other languages
    5 Phonology
    6 Phonetic transcriptions
    6.1 Romanization
    6.2 Other phonetic transcriptions
    7 Grammar and morphology
    7.1 Tones and homophones
    8 Vocabulary
    9 Loanwords
    9.1 Modern borrowings and loanwords
    10 Learning Chinese
    11 See also
    12 References
    13 Footnotes
    14 Further reading
    15 External links

    [edit] Spoken Chinese
    Main article: Spoken Chinese
    A map below depicts the linguistic subdivisions ("languages" or "dialect groups") within China itself. The traditionally-recognized seven main groups, in order of population size are:

    Name Abbreviation Hanyu Pinyin Local Romanization Trad. Simp. Total
    Notes: includes Standard Mandarin Guan; 官 Běifānghuà H Pinyin: Běifānghuà 北方話 北方话 c. 850 million
    Guānhuà H Pinyin: Guānhuà 官話 官话
    Notes: includes Shanghainese Wu; 吳/吴 Wúyǔ Long-short: Ng nyiu 吳語 吴语 c. 90 million
    Yue (Cantonese)
    Notes: includes Standard Cantonese & Taishanese Yue; 粵/粤 Yuèyǔ JP: Jyut6 jyu5;
    C Yale: Yuht yúh 粵語 粤语 c. 80 million
    Guǎngdōnghuà JP: Gwong2 dung1 waa2;
    C Yale: Gwóng dūng wah 廣東話 广东话
    Notes: includes Taiwanese & Teochew Min; 閩/闽 Mǐnyǔ POJ: Bân gú;
    BUC: Mìng ngṳ̄ 閩語 闽语 c. 50 million
    Xiang (Hunanese) Xiang; 湘 Xiāngyǔ Romanization: Shiāen'ỳ 湘語 湘语 c. 35 million
    Húnánhuà 湖南話 湖南话
    Hakka Kejia; 客家 Kèjiāhuà Romanization: Hak-kâ-fa 客家話 客家话 c. 35 million
    Kèhuà Romanization: Hak-fa 客話 客话
    Gan Gan; 贛 Gànyǔ Romanization: Gon 贛語 赣语 c. 20 million
    Jiāngxīhuà Romanization: Kongsi ua 江西話 江西话

    Disputed classifications by some Chinese linguists:

    Name Abbreviation Hanyu Pinyin Local Romanization Trad. Simp. Total
    Notes: from Mandarin Jin; 晉/晋 Jìnyǔ None 晉語 晋语 45 million
    Notes: from Wu Hui; 徽 Huīzhōuhuà None 徽州話 徽州话 ~3.2 million
    Notes: from Cantonese Ping; 平 Guǎngxī Pínghuà None 廣西平話 广西平话 ~5 million

    There are also some smaller groups that are not yet classified, such as: Danzhou dialect (儋州话), spoken in Danzhou, on Hainan Island; Xianghua (乡话), not to be confused with Xiang (湘), spoken in western Hunan; and Shaozhou Tuhua (韶州土话), spoken in northern Guangdong. The Dungan language, spoken in Central Asia, is very closely related to Mandarin. However, it is not generally considered "Chinese" since it is written in Cyrillic and spoken by Dungan people outside China who are not considered ethnic Chinese. See List of Chinese dialects for a comprehensive listing of individual dialects within these large, broad groupings.

    In general, the above language-dialect groups do not have sharp boundaries, though Mandarin is the predominant Sinitic language in the North and the Southwest, and the rest are mostly spoken in Central or Southeastern China. Frequently, as in the case of the Guangdong province, native speakers of major variants overlapped. As with many areas that were linguistically diverse for a long time, it is not always clear how the speeches of various parts of China should be classified. The Ethnologue lists a total of 14, but the number varies between seven and seventeen depending on the classification scheme followed. For instance, the Min variety is often divided into Northern Min (Minbei, Fuchow) and Southern Min (Minnan, Amoy-Swatow); linguists have not determined whether their mutual intelligibility is small enough to sort them as separate languages.

    In general, mountainous South China displays more linguistic diversity than the flat North China. In parts of South China, a major city's dialect may only be marginally intelligible to close neighbours. For instance, Wuzhou is about 120 miles upstream from Guangzhou, but its dialect is more like Standard Cantonese spoken in Guangzhou, than is that of Taishan, 60 miles southwest of Guangzhou and separated by several rivers from it (Ramsey, 1987).

    [edit] Standard Mandarin and diglossia
    Main article: Standard Mandarin
    Putonghua / Guoyu, often called "Mandarin", is the official standard language used by the People's Republic of China, the Republic of China, and Singapore (where it is called "Huayu"). It is based on the Beijing dialect, which is the dialect of Mandarin as spoken in Beijing. The governments intend for speakers of all Chinese speech varieties to use it as a common language of communication. Therefore it is used in government agencies, in the media, and as a language of instruction in schools.

    In mainland China and Taiwan, diglossia has been a common feature: it is common for a Chinese to be able to speak two or even three varieties of the Sinitic languages (or “dialects”) together with Standard Mandarin. For example, in addition to putonghua a resident of Shanghai might speak Shanghainese and, if they did not grow up there, his or her local dialect as well. A native of Guangzhou may speak Standard Cantonese and putonghua, a resident of Taiwan, both Taiwanese and putonghua/guoyu. A person living in Taiwan may commonly mix pronunciations, phrases, and words from Standard Mandarin and Taiwanese, and this mixture is considered normal under many circumstances. In Hong Kong, Standard Mandarin is beginning to take its place beside English and Standard Cantonese, the official languages.

    [edit] Linguistics
    Main article: Identification of the varieties of Chinese
    Linguists often view Chinese as a language family, though owing to China's socio-political and cultural situation, and the fact that all spoken varieties use one common written system, it is customary to refer to these generally mutually unintelligible variants as "the Chinese language". The diversity of Sinitic variants is comparable to the Romance languages.

    From a purely descriptive point of view, "languages" and "dialects" are simply arbitrary groups of similar idiolects, and the distinction is irrelevant to linguists who are only concerned with describing regional speeches technically. However, the idea of a single language has major overtones in politics and cultural self-identity, and explains the amount of emotion over this issue. Most Chinese[citation needed] and Chinese linguists[citation needed] refer to Chinese as a single language and its subdivisions dialects, while others[weasel words] call Chinese a language family.[citation needed]

    Chinese itself has a term for its unified writing system, Zhongwen (中文), while the closest equivalent used to describe its spoken variants would be Hanyu (汉语, “spoken language[s] of the Han Chinese)—this term could be translated to either “language” or “languages” since Chinese possesses no grammatical numbers. In the Chinese language, there is much less need for a uniform speech-and-writing continuum, as indicated by two separate character morphemes 语 yu and 文 wen. Ethnic Chinese often consider these spoken variations as one single language for reasons of nationality and as they inherit one common cultural and linguistic heritage in Classical Chinese. Han native speakers of Wu, Min, Hakka, and Cantonese, for instance, may consider their own linguistic varieties as separate spoken languages, but the Han Chinese race as one—albeit internally very diverse—ethnicity. To Chinese nationalists, the idea of Chinese as a language family may suggest that the Chinese identity is much more fragmentary and disunified than it actually is and as such is often looked upon as culturally and politically provocative. Additionally, in Taiwan, it is closely associated with Taiwanese independence, where some supporters of Taiwanese independence promote the local Taiwanese Minnan-based spoken language.

    Within the People’s Republic of China and Singapore, it is common for the government to refer to all divisions of the Sinitic language(s) beside Standard Mandarin as fangyan (“regional tongues”, often translated as “dialects”). Modern-day Chinese speakers of all kinds communicate using one formal standard written language, although this modern written standard is modeled after Mandarin, generally the modern Beijing dialect.

    [edit] Language and nationality
    The term sinophone, coined in analogy to anglophone and francophone, refers to those who speak the Chinese language natively, or prefer it as a medium of communication. The term is derived from Sinae, the Latin word for ancient China.

    [edit] Written Chinese
    Main article: Written Chinese
    See also: Classical Chinese and Vernacular Chinese
    The relationship among the Chinese spoken and written languages is rather complex. Its spoken variations evolved at different rates, while written Chinese itself has changed much less. Classical Chinese literature began in the Spring and Autumn period, although written records have been discovered as far back as the 14th to 11th centuries BCE Shang dynasty oracle bones using the oracle bone scripts.

    The Chinese orthography centers around Chinese characters, hanzi, which are written within imaginary rectangular blocks, traditionally arranged in vertical columns, read from top to bottom down a column, and right to left across columns. Chinese characters are morphemes independent of phonetic change. Thus the number "one", yi in Mandarin, yat in Cantonese and chi̍t and "yit = first" in Hokkien (form of Min), all share an identical character ("一"). Vocabularies from different major Chinese variants have diverged, and colloquial non-standard written Chinese often makes use of unique "dialectal characters", such as 冇 and 係 for Cantonese and Hakka, which are considered archaic or unused in standard written Chinese.

    Written colloquial Cantonese has become quite popular in online chat rooms and instant messaging amongst Hong-Kongers and Cantonese-speakers elsewhere. Use of it is considered highly informal, and does not extend to many formal occasions.

    Also, in Hunan, some women write their local language in Nü Shu, a syllabary derived from Chinese characters. The Dungan language, considered by some a dialect of Mandarin, is also nowadays written in Cyrillic, and was formerly written in the Arabic alphabet, although the Dungan people live outside China.

    [edit] Chinese characters
    Main article: Chinese character
    Chinese characters evolved over time from earlier forms of hieroglyphs. The idea that all Chinese characters are either pictographs or ideographs is an erroneous one: most characters contain phonetic parts, and are composites of phonetic components and semantic radicals. Only the simplest characters, such as ren 人 (human), ri 日 (sun), shan 山 (mountain), shui 水 (water), may be wholly pictorial in origin. In 100 CE, the famed scholar Xǚ Shèn in the Hàn Dynasty classified characters into six categories, namely pictographs, simple ideographs, compound ideographs, phonetic loans, phonetic compounds and derivative characters. Of these, only 4% were categorized as pictographs, and 80–90% as phonetic complexes consisting of a semantic element that indicates meaning, and a phonetic element that indicates the pronunciation. Generally, the phonetic element is more accurate and more important than the semantic one.[citation needed] There are about 214 radicals recognized in the Kangxi Dictionary.

    Modern characters are styled after the standard script (楷书/楷書 kǎishū) (see styles, below). Various other written styles are also used in East Asian calligraphy, including seal script (篆书/篆書 zhuànshū), cursive script (草书/草書 cǎoshū) and clerical script (隶书/隸書 lìshū). Calligraphy artists can write in traditional and simplified characters, but tend to use traditional characters for traditional art.

    Various styles of Chinese calligraphy.There are currently two systems for Chinese characters. The traditional system, still used in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Macau and Chinese speaking communities (except Singapore and Malaysia) outside mainland China, takes its form from standardized character forms dating back to the late Han dynasty. The Simplified Chinese character system, developed by the People's Republic of China in 1954 to promote mass literacy, simplifies most complex traditional glyphs to fewer strokes, many to common caoshu shorthand variants.

    Singapore, which has a large Chinese community, is the first—and at present the only—foreign nation to officially adopt simplified characters, although it has also become the de facto standard for younger ethnic Chinese in Malaysia. The Internet provides the platform to practice reading the alternative system, be it traditional or simplified.

    A well-educated Chinese today recognizes approximately 6, 000-7, 000 characters; some 3, 000 characters are required to read a Mainland newspaper. The PRC government defines literacy amongst workers as a knowledge of 2, 000 characters, though this would be only functional literacy. A large unabridged dictionary, like the Kangxi Dictionary, contains over 40, 000 characters, including obscure, variant, rare, and archaic characters; less than a quarter of these characters are now commonly used.

    [edit] History
    History of China
    3 Sovereigns and 5 Emperors
    Xia Dynasty 2100–1600 BCE
    Shang Dynasty 1600–1046 BCE
    Zhou Dynasty 1045–256 BCE
    Western Zhou
    Eastern Zhou
    Spring and Autumn Period
    Warring States Period
    Qin Dynasty 221 BCE–206 BCE
    Han Dynasty 206 BCE–220 CE
    Western Han
    Xin Dynasty
    Eastern Han
    Three Kingdoms 220–280
    Wei, Shu & Wu
    Jin Dynasty 265–420
    Western Jin 16 Kingdoms
    Eastern Jin
    Southern & Northern Dynasties
    Sui Dynasty 581–618
    Tang Dynasty 618–907
    ( Second Zhou 690–705 )
    5 Dynasties &
    10 Kingdoms
    907–960 Liao Dynasty
    Song Dynasty
    Northern Song W. Xia
    Southern Song Jin
    Yuan Dynasty 1271–1368
    Ming Dynasty 1368–1644
    Qing Dynasty 1644–1911
    Republic of China 1912–1949
    People's Republic
    of China
    of China
    Related articles [show]
    Chinese historiography
    Timeline of Chinese history
    Dynasties in Chinese history
    Linguistic history
    Art history
    Economic history
    Education history
    Science and technology history
    Legal history
    Media history
    Military history
    Naval history

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    Main article: History of the Chinese language
    Most linguists classify all varieties of modern spoken Chinese as part of the Sino-Tibetan language family and believe that there was an original language, termed Proto-Sino-Tibetan, from which the Sinitic and Tibeto-Burman languages descended. The relation between Chinese and other Sino-Tibetan languages is an area of active research, as is the attempt to reconstruct Proto-Sino-Tibetan. The main difficulty in this effort is that, while there is enough documentation to allow one to reconstruct the ancient Chinese sounds, there is no written documentation that records the division between proto-Sino-Tibetan and ancient Chinese. In addition, many of the older languages that would allow us to reconstruct Proto-Sino-Tibetan are very poorly understood and many of the techniques developed for analysis of the descent of the Indo-European languages from PIE don't apply to Chinese because of "morphological paucity" especially after Old Chinese.[5]

    Categorization of the development of Chinese is a subject of scholarly debate. One of the first systems was devised by the Swedish linguist Bernhard Karlgren in the early 1900s; most present systems rely heavily on Karlgren's insights and methods.

    Old Chinese (simplified Chinese: 上古汉语; traditional Chinese: 上古漢語; pinyin: Shànggǔ Hànyǔ), sometimes known as "Archaic Chinese", was the language common during the early and middle Zhou Dynasty (1122 BCE–256 BCE), texts of which include inscriptions on bronze artifacts, the poetry of the Shījīng, the history of the Shūjīng, and portions of the Yìjīng (I Ching). The phonetic elements found in the majority of Chinese characters provide hints to their Old Chinese pronunciations. The pronunciation of the borrowed Chinese characters in Japanese, Vietnamese and Korean also provide valuable insights. Old Chinese was not wholly uninflected. It possessed a rich sound system in which aspiration or rough breathing differentiated the consonants, but probably was still without tones. Work on reconstructing Old Chinese started with Qīng dynasty philologists. Some early Indo-European loan-words in Chinese have been proposed, notably 蜜 mì "honey", 獅 shī "lion, " and perhaps also 馬 mǎ "horse", 犬 quǎn "dog", and 鵝 é "goose". The source says the reconstructions of old Chinese are tentative, and not definitive so no conclusions should be drawn. The reconstruction of Old Chinese can not be perfect so this hypothesis may be called into question.[6] The source also notes that southern dialects of Chinese have more monosyllabic words than the Mandarin Chinese dialects.

    Middle Chinese (simplified Chinese: 中古汉语; traditional Chinese: 中古漢語; pinyin: Zhōnggǔ Hànyǔ) was the language used during Southern and Northern Dynasties and the Suí, Táng, and Sòng dynasties (6th through 10th centuries CE). It can be divided into an early period, reflected by the 切韻 "Qièyùn" rime book (601 CE), and a late period in the 10th century, reflected by the 廣韻 "Guǎngyùn" rime book. Linguists are more confident of having reconstructed how Middle Chinese sounded. The evidence for the pronunciation of Middle Chinese comes from several sources: modern dialect variations, rhyming dictionaries, foreign transliterations, "rhyming tables" constructed by ancient Chinese philologists to summarize the phonetic system, and Chinese phonetic translations of foreign words. However, all reconstructions are tentative; some scholars have argued that trying to reconstruct, say, modern Cantonese from modern Cantopop rhymes would give a fairly inaccurate picture of the present-day spoken language.

    The development of the spoken Chinese languages from early historical times to the present has been complex. Most Chinese people, in Sìchuān and in a broad arc from the northeast (Manchuria) to the southwest (Yunnan), use various Mandarin dialects as their home language. The prevalence of Mandarin throughout northern China is largely due to north China's plains. By contrast, the mountains and rivers of middle and southern China promoted linguistic diversity.

    Until the mid-20th century, most southern Chinese only spoke their native local variety of Chinese. As Nanjing was the capital during the early Ming Dynasty, Nanjing Mandarin became dominant at least until the later years of the Qing Dynasty. Since the 17th century, the Qing Dynasty had set up orthoepy academies (simplified Chinese: 正音书院; traditional Chinese: 正音書院; pinyin: Zhèngyīn Shūyuàn) to make pronunciation conform to the standard of the capital Beijing. For the general population, however, this had limited effect. The non-Mandarin speakers in southern China also continued to use their various languages for every aspect of life. The Beijing Mandarin court standard was used solely by officials and civil servants and was thus fairly limited.

    This situation did not change until the mid-20th century with the creation (in both the PRC and the ROC, but not in Hong Kong) of a compulsory educational system committed to teaching Standard Mandarin. As a result, Mandarin is now spoken by virtually all young and middle-aged citizens of mainland China and on Taiwan. Standard Cantonese, not Mandarin, was used in Hong Kong during the time of its British colonial period (owing to its large Cantonese native and migrant populace) and remains today its official language of education, formal speech, and daily life, but Mandarin is becoming increasingly influential after the 1997 handover.

    Classical Chinese was once the lingua franca in neighbouring East Asian countries such as Japan, Korea and Vietnam for centuries, before the rise of European influences in 19th century.[7]

    [edit] Influences on other languages
    Throughout history Chinese culture and politics has had a great influence on unrelated languages such as Korean and Japanese. Korean and Japanese both have writing systems employing Chinese characters (Hanzi), which are called Hanja and Kanji, respectively.

    The Vietnamese term for Chinese writing is Hán tự. It was the only available method for writing Vietnamese until the 14th century, used almost exclusively by Chinese-educated Vietnamese élites. From the 14th to the late 19th century, Vietnamese was written with Chữ nôm, a modified Chinese script incorporating sounds and syllables for native Vietnamese speakers. Chữ nôm was completely replaced by a modified Latin script created by the Jesuit missionary priest Alexander de Rhodes, which incorporates a system of diacritical marks to indicate tones, as well as modified consonants. Approximately 60% of the modern Vietnamese lexicon is recognized as Hán-Việt (Sino-Vietnamese), the majority of which was borrowed from Middle Chinese.

    In South Korea, the Hangul alphabet is generally used, but Hanja is used as a sort of boldface. In North Korea, Hanja has been discontinued. Since the modernization of Japan in the late 19th century, there has been debate about abandoning the use of Chinese characters, but the practical benefits of a radically new script have so far not been considered sufficient.

    In derived Chinese characters or Zhuang logograms to write songs, even though Zhuang is not a Chinese dialect. Since the 1950s, the Zhuang language has been written in a modified Latin alphabet.[8]

    Languages within the influence of Chinese culture also have a very large number of loanwords from Chinese. Fifty percent or more of Korean vocabulary is of Chinese origin and the influence on Japanese and Vietnamese has been considerable. Chinese has also lent a great deal of many grammatical features to these and neighboring languages, notably the lack of gender and the use of classifiers.[citation needed] Japanese has also a lot of loanwords from Chinese, as does Vietnamese.

    Loan words from Chinese also exist in European languages such as English. Examples of such words are "tea" from the Minnan pronunciation of 茶 (POJ: tê), "ketchup" from the Minnan pronunciation of 鮭汁 (koe-tsiap), and "kumquat" from the Cantonese pronunciation of 金橘 (kam kuat).

    [edit] Phonology
    This article contains IPA phonetic symbols. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Unicode characters.
    For more specific information on phonology of Chinese see the respective main articles of each spoken variety.
    The phonological structure of each syllable consists of a nucleus consisting of a vowel (which can be a monophthong, diphthong, or even a triphthong in certain varieties) with an optional onset or coda consonant as well as a tone. There are some instances where a vowel is not used as a nucleus. An example of this is in Cantonese, where the nasal sonorant consonants /m/ and /ŋ/ can stand alone as their own syllable.

    Across all the spoken varieties, most syllables tend to be open syllables, meaning they have no coda, but syllables that do have codas are restricted to /m/, /n/, /ŋ/, /p/, /t/, /k/, or /ʔ/. Some varieties allow most of these codas, whereas others, such as Mandarin, are limited to only two, namely /n/ and /ŋ/. Consonant clusters do not generally occur in either the onset or coda. The onset may be an affricate or a consonant followed by a semivowel, but these are not generally considered consonant clusters.

    The number of sounds in the different spoken dialects varies, but in general there has been a tendency to a reduction in sounds from Middle Chinese. The Mandarin dialects in particular have experienced a dramatic decrease in sounds and so have far more multisyllabic words than most other spoken varieties. The total number of syllables in some varieties is therefore only about a thousand, including tonal variation, which is only about an eighth as many as English[9].

    All varieties of spoken Chinese use tones. A few dialects of north China may have as few as three tones, while some dialects in south China have up to 6 or 10 tones, depending on how one counts. One exception from this is Shanghainese which has reduced the set of tones to a two-toned pitch accent system much like modern Japanese.

    A very common example used to illustrate the use of tones in Chinese are the four main tones of Standard Mandarin applied to the syllable "ma." The tones correspond to these five characters:

    This article contains Ruby annotation. Without proper rendering support, you may see transcriptions in parentheses after the character instead of ruby glosses.
    媽/妈(mā) "mother"—high level
    麻(má) "hemp" or "torpid"—high rising
    馬/马(mǎ) "horse"—low falling-rising
    罵/骂(mà) "scold"—high falling
    嗎/吗(ma) "question particle"—neutral
    Listen to the tones

    This is a recording of the four main tones. Fifth, or neutral, tone is not included.


    Problems listening to this file? See media help.
    [edit] Phonetic transcriptions
    The Chinese had no uniform phonetic transcription system until the mid-20th century, although enunciation patterns were recorded in early rime books and dictionaries. Early Indian translators, working in Sanskrit and Pali, were the first to attempt describing the sounds and enunciation patterns of Chinese in a foreign language. After the 15th century, the efforts of Jesuits and Western court missionaries resulted in some rudimentary Latin transcription systems, based on the Nanjing Mandarin dialect.

    [edit] Romanization
    Main article: Romanization of Chinese
    Romanization is the process of transcribing a language in the Latin alphabet. There are many systems of romanization for the Chinese languages due to the lack of a native phonetic transcription until modern times. Chinese is first known to have been written in Latin characters by Western Christian missionaries in the 16th century.

    Today the most common romanization standard for Standard Mandarin is Hanyu Pinyin (漢語拼音/汉语拼音), often known simply as pinyin, introduced in 1956 by the People's Republic of China, and later adopted by Singapore (see Chinese language romanisation in Singapore) and Taiwan. Pinyin is almost universally employed now for teaching standard spoken Chinese in schools and universities across America, Australia and Europe. Chinese parents also use Pinyin to teach their children the sounds and tones for teaching new words. The Pinyin romanization is usually shown below a picture of the thing the word represents, with the Chinese character alongside.

    The second-most common romanization system, the Wade-Giles, was invented by Thomas Wade in 1859 and modified by Herbert Giles in 1892. As this system approximates the phonology of Mandarin Chinese into English consonants and vowels, i.e. it is an Anglicization, it may be particularly helpful for beginner Chinese speakers of an English-speaking background. Wade-Giles was found in academic use in the United States, particularly before the 1980s, and until recently was widely used in Taiwan.

    When used within European texts, the tone transcriptions in both pinyin and Wade-Giles are often left out for simplicity; Wade-Giles' extensive use of apostrophes is also usually omitted. Thus, most Western readers will be much more familiar with Beijing than they will be with Běijīng (pinyin), and with Taipei than T'ai²-pei³ (Wade-Giles).

    Here are a few examples of Hanyu Pinyin and Wade-Giles, for comparison:

    Mandarin Romanization Comparison Characters Wade-Giles Hanyu Pinyin Notes
    中国/中國 Chung1-kuo² Zhōngguó "China"
    北京 Pei³-ching1 Běijīng Capital of the People's Republic of China
    台北 T'ai²-pei³ Táiběi Capital of the Republic of China
    毛泽东/毛澤東 Mao² Tse²-tung1 Máo Zédōng Former Communist Chinese leader
    蒋介石/蔣介石 Chiang³ Chieh4-shih² Jiǎng Jièshí Former Nationalist Chinese leader (better known to English speakers as Chiang Kai-shek, with Cantonese pronunciation)
    孔子 K'ung³ Tsu³ Kǒng Zǐ "Confucius"

    Other systems of romanization for Chinese include Gwoyeu Romatzyh, the French EFEO, the Yale (invented during WWII for U.S. troops), as well as separate systems for Cantonese, Minnan, Hakka, and other Chinese languages or dialects.

    [edit] Other phonetic transcriptions
    Chinese languages have been phonetically transcribed into many other writing systems over the centuries. The 'Phags-pa script, for example, has been very helpful in reconstructing the pronunciations of pre-modern forms of Chinese.

    Zhuyin (注音, also known as bopomofo), a semi-syllabary is still widely used in Taiwan's elementary schools to aid standard pronunciation. Although bopomofo characters are reminiscent of katakana script, there is no source to substantiate the claim that Katakana was the basis for the zhuyin system. A comparison table of zhuyin to pinyin exists in the zhuyin article. Syllables based on pinyin and zhuyin can also be compared by looking at the following articles:

    Pinyin table
    Zhuyin table
    There are also at least two systems of cyrillization for Chinese. The most widespread is the Palladius system.

    [edit] Grammar and morphology
    Main article: Chinese grammar
    Modern Chinese has often been erroneously classed as a "monosyllabic" language. While most of the morphemes are single syllable, modern Chinese today is much less a monosyllabic language in that nouns, adjectives and verbs are largely di-syllabic. The tendency to create disyllabic words in the modern Chinese languages, particularly in Mandarin, has been particularly pronounced when compared to Classical Chinese. Classical Chinese is a highly isolating language, with each idea (morpheme) generally corresponding to a single syllable and a single character; Modern Chinese though, has the tendency to form new words through disyllabic, trisyllabic and tetra-character agglutination. In fact, some linguists argue that classifying modern Chinese as an isolating language is misleading, for this reason alone.

    Chinese morphology is strictly bound to a set number of syllables with a fairly rigid construction which are the morphemes, the smallest blocks of the language. While many of these single-syllable morphemes ( zì, 字 in Chinese) can stand alone as individual words, they more often than not form multi-syllabic compounds, known as cí (词/詞), which more closely resembles the traditional Western notion of a word. A Chinese cí (“word”) can consist of more than one character-morpheme, usually two, but there can be three or more.

    For example:

    Yun 雲—“cloud” (traditional)
    Yun 云—“cloud” (simplified)
    Hanbaobao/Hanbao 漢堡包/漢堡—“hamburger” (traditional)
    Hanbaobao/Hanbao 汉堡包/汉堡—"hamburger" (simplified)
    Wo 我—“I, me”
    Ren 人—“people”
    Diqiu 地球—“earth (globosity)”
    Shandian 閃電—“lightning” (traditional)
    Shandian 闪电—"lightning" (simplifed)
    Meng 夢—“dream” (traditional)
    Meng 梦—"dream" (simplified)
    All varieties of modern Chinese are analytic languages, in that they depend on syntax (word order and sentence structure) rather than morphology—i.e., changes in form of a word—to indicate the word's function in a sentence. In other words, Chinese has few grammatical inflections—it possesses no tenses, no voices, no numbers (singular, plural; though there are plural markers, for example for personal pronouns), and only a few articles (i.e., equivalents to "the, a, an" in English). There is, however, a gender difference in the written language (他 as "he" and 她 as "she"), but it should be noted that this is a relatively new introduction to the Chinese language in the twentieth century.

    They make heavy use of grammatical particles to indicate aspect and mood. In Mandarin Chinese, this involves the use of particles like le 了, hai 还, yijing 已经, etc.

    Chinese features Subject Verb Object word order, and like many other languages in East Asia, makes frequent use of the topic-comment construction to form sentences. Chinese also has an extensive system of classifiers and measure words, another trait shared with neighbouring languages like Japanese and Korean. See Chinese classifiers for an extensive coverage of this subject.

    Other notable grammatical features common to all the spoken varieties of Chinese include the use of serial verb construction, pronoun dropping and the related subject dropping.

    Although the grammars of the spoken varieties share many traits, they do possess differences. See Chinese grammar for the grammar of Standard Mandarin (the standardized Chinese spoken language), and the articles on other varieties of Chinese for their respective grammars.

    [edit] Tones and homophones
    Official modern Mandarin has only 400 spoken monosyllables but over 10, 000 written characters, so there are many homophones only distinguishable by the four tones. Even this is often not enough unless the context and exact phrase or cí is identified.

    The mono-syllable jī, first tone in standard Mandarin, corresponds to the following characters: 雞/鸡 chicken, 機/机 machine, 基 basic, 擊/击 (to) hit, 饑/饥 hunger, and 積/积 sum. In speech, the glyphing of a monosyllable to its meaning must be determined by context or by relation to other morphemes (e.g. "some" as in the opposite of "none"). Native speakers may state which words or phrases their names are found in, for convenience of writing: 名字叫嘉英,嘉陵江的嘉,英國的英 Míngzi jiào Jiāyīng, Jiālíng Jiāng de jiā, Yīngguó de yīng "My name is Jiāyīng, the Jia for Jialing River and the ying for the short form in Chinese of UK."

    Southern Chinese varieties like Cantonese and Hakka preserved more of the rimes of Middle Chinese and have more tones. The previous examples of jī, for instance, for "stimulated", "chicken", and "machine", have distinct pronunciations in Cantonese (romanized using jyutping): gik1, gai1, and gei1, respectively. For this reason, southern varieties tend to employ fewer multi-syllabic words.

    [edit] Vocabulary
    This section does not cite any references or sources.
    Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (July 2009)

    The entire Chinese character corpus since antiquity comprises well over 20, 000 characters, of which only roughly 10, 000 are now commonly in use. However Chinese characters should not be confused with Chinese words; since most Chinese words are made up of two or more different characters, there are many times more Chinese words than there are characters.

    Estimates of the total number of Chinese words and phrases vary greatly. The Hanyu Da Zidian, an all-inclusive compendium of Chinese characters, includes 54, 678 head entries for characters, including bone oracle versions. The Zhonghua Zihai 中华字海 (1994) contains 85, 568 head entries for character definitions, and is the largest reference work based purely on character and its literary variants.

    The most comprehensive pure linguistic Chinese-language dictionary, the 12-volumed Hanyu Da Cidian 汉语大词典, records more than 23, 000 head Chinese characters, and gives over 370, 000 definitions. The 1999 revised Cihai, a multi-volume encyclopedic dictionary reference work, gives 122, 836 vocabulary entry definitions under 19, 485 Chinese characters, including proper names, phrases and common zoological, geographical, sociological, scientific and technical terms.

    The latest 2007 5th edition of Xiandai Hanyu Cidian 现代汉语词典, an authoritative one-volume dictionary on modern standard Chinese language as used in mainland China, has 65, 000 entries and defines 11, 000 head characters.

    [edit] Loanwords
    See also: Transliteration into Chinese characters
    Like any other language, Chinese has absorbed a sizeable amount of loanwords from other cultures. Most Chinese words are formed out of native Chinese morphemes, including words describing imported objects and ideas. However, direct phonetic borrowing of foreign words has gone on since ancient times. Words borrowed from along the Silk Road since Old Chinese include 葡萄 "grape, " 石榴 "pomegranate" and 狮子/獅子 "lion." Some words were borrowed from Buddhist scriptures, including 佛 "Buddha" and 菩萨/菩薩 "bodhisattva." Other words came from nomadic peoples to the north, such as 胡同 "hutong." Words borrowed from the peoples along the Silk Road, such as 葡萄 "grape" (pútáo in Mandarin) generally have Persian etymologies. Buddhist terminology is generally derived from Sanskrit or Pāli, the liturgical languages of North India. Words borrowed from the nomadic tribes of the Gobi, Mongolian or northeast regions generally have Altaic etymologies, such as 琵琶 "pípa", the Chinese lute, or 酪 "cheese" or "yoghurt", but from exactly which Altaic source is not always entirely clear.

    [edit] Modern borrowings and loanwords
    Foreign words continue to enter the Chinese language by transcription according to their pronunciations. This is done by employing Chinese characters with similar pronunciations. For example, "Israel" becomes 以色列 (pinyin: yǐsèliè), "Paris" becomes 巴黎 (pinyin: bālí). A rather small number of direct transliterations have survived as common words, including 沙發 shāfā "sofa, " 马达/馬達 mǎdá "motor, " 幽默 yōumò "humor, " 逻辑/邏輯 luójí "logic, " 时髦/時髦 shímáo "smart, fashionable" and 歇斯底里 xiēsīdǐlǐ "hysterics." The bulk of these words were originally coined in the Shanghainese dialect during the early 20th century and were later loaned into Mandarin, hence their pronunciations in Mandarin may be quite off from the English. For example, 沙发/沙發 and 马达/馬達 in Shanghainese actually sound more like the English "sofa" and "motor."

    Western foreign words have had great influence on Chinese language since the 20th century, through transliterations. From French came 芭蕾 (bāléi, "ballet"), 香槟 (xiāngbīn, "champagne"), via Italian 咖啡 (kāfēi, "caffè"). The English influence is particularly pronounced. From early 20th century Shanghainese, many English words are borrowed .eg. the above-mentioned 沙發 (shāfā "sofa"), 幽默 (yōumò "humour"), and 高尔夫 (gāoěrfū, "golf"). Later United States soft influences gave rise to 迪斯科 (dísīkè, "disco"), 可乐 (kělè, "cola") and 迷你 (mínǐ, "mini(skirt)"). Contemporary colloquial Cantonese has distinct loanwords from English like cartoon 卡通 (cartoon), 基佬 (gay people), 的士 (taxi), 巴士 (bus). With the rising popularity of the Internet, there is a current vogue in China for coining English transliterations, eg. 粉絲 (fěnsī, "fans"), 駭客 (hèikè, "hacker"), 部落格(bùluōgé, blog) in Taiwanese Mandarin.

    Today, it is much more common to use existing Chinese morphemes to coin new words in order to represent imported concepts, such as technical expressions. Any Latin or Greek etymologies are dropped, making them more comprehensible for Chinese but introducing more difficulties in understanding foreign texts. For example, the word telephone was loaned phonetically as 德律风/德律風 ( Shanghainese: télífon [təlɪfoŋ], Standard Mandarin: délǜfēng) during the 1920s and widely used in Shanghai, but later the Japanese 电话/電話 (diànhuà "electric speech"), built out of native Chinese morphemes, became prevalent. Other examples include 电视/電視 (diànshì "electric vision") for television, 电脑/電腦 (diànnǎo "electric brain") for computer; 手机/手機 (shǒujī "hand machine") for cellphone, and 蓝牙/藍芽 (lányá "blue tooth") for Bluetooth. 網誌 (wǎng zhì"internet logbook") for blog in Cantonese or people in Hong Kong and Macau. Occasionally half-transliteration, half-translation compromises are accepted, such as 汉堡包/漢堡包 (hànbǎo bāo, "Hamburg bun") for hamburger. Sometimes translations are designed so that they sound like the original while incorporating Chinese morphemes, such as 拖拉机/拖拉機 (tuōlājī, "tractor, " literally "dragging-pulling machine"), or 马利奥/馬利奧 for the video game character Mario. This is often done for commercial purposes, for example 奔腾/奔騰 (bēnténg "running leaping") for Pentium and 赛百味/賽百味 (Sàibǎiwèi "better-than hundred tastes") for Subway restaurants.

    Since the 20th century, another source has been Japan. Using existing kanji, which are Chinese characters used in the Japanese language, the Japanese re-moulded European concepts and inventions into wasei-kango (和製漢語, literally Japanese-made Chinese), and re-loaned many of these into modern Chinese. Examples include diànhuà (电话/電話, denwa, "telephone"), shèhuì (社会, shakai, "society"), kēxué (科学/科學, kagaku, "science") and chōuxiàng (抽象, chūshō, "abstract"). Other terms were coined by the Japanese by giving new senses to existing Chinese terms or by referring to expressions used in classical Chinese literature. For example, jīngjì (经济/經濟, keizai), which in the original Chinese meant "the workings of the state", was narrowed to "economy" in Japanese; this narrowed definition was then reimported into Chinese. As a result, these terms are virtually indistinguishable from native Chinese words: indeed, there is some dispute over some of these terms as to whether the Japanese or Chinese coined them first. As a result of this toing-and-froing process, Chinese, Korean, Japanese and Vietnamese share a corpus linguistics of terms describing modern terminology, in parallel to a similar corpus of terms built from Greco-Latin terms shared among European languages.

    Taiwanese Hokkien and Taiwanese Mandarin continue to be influenced by Japanese eg. 便当/便當 “lunchbox or boxed lunch” (from bento) and 料理 “prepared cuisine”, have passed into common currency.

    [edit] Learning Chinese
    See also: Chinese as a Foreign or Second Language
    With the growing importance and influence of China's economy globally, Mandarin instruction is gaining popularity in schools in the USA, and has become an increasingly popular subject of study amongst the young in the Western world, as in the UK.[10]

    In 1991 there were 2, 000 foreign learners taking China's official Chinese Proficiency Test (comparable to the English Cambridge Certificate), while in 2005, the number of candidates had risen sharply to 117, 660.[citation needed]

    [edit] See also
    China portal
    Chinese characters
    Chinese exclamative particles
    Chinese honorifics
    Chinese classifier
    Chinese number gestures
    Chinese numerals
    Chinese punctuation
    Classical Chinese grammar
    Four-character idiom
    Han unification
    Haner language
    HSK test
    Languages of China
    North American Conference on Chinese Linguistics
    Nü shu
    [edit] References
    DeFrancis, John (1984). The Chinese Language: Fact and Fantasy. University of Hawaii Press. ISBN 0-8248-1068-6.
    Hannas, William C. (1997). Asia's Orthographic Dilemma. University of Hawaii Press. ISBN 0-8248-1892-X.
    Norman, Jerry (1988). Chinese. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-29653-6.
    Qiu, Xigui (2000). Chinese Writing. Society for the Study of Early China and Institute of East Asian Studies, University of California, Berkeley. ISBN 1-55729-071-7.
    Ramsey, S. Robert (1987). The Languages of China. Princeton University Press. ISBN 0-691-01468-X.
    [edit] Footnotes
    ^ (Chinese)
    ^[dead link]
    ^ *David Crystal, The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Language (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1987), p. 312. “The mutual unintelligibility of the varieties is the main ground for referring to them as separate languages.”
    Charles N. Li, Sandra A. Thompson. Mandarin Chinese: A Functional Reference Grammar (1989), p 2. “The Chinese language family is genetically classified as an independent branch of the Sino-Tibetan language family.”
    Jerry Norman. Chinese (1988), p.1. “The modern Chinese dialects are really more like a family of language.
    John DeFrancis. The Chinese Language: Fact and Fantasy (1984), p.56. "To call Chinese a single language composed of dialects with varying degrees of difference is to mislead by minimizing disparities that according to Chao are as great as those between English and Dutch. To call Chinese a family of languages is to suggest extralinguistic differences that in fact do not exist and to overlook the unique linguistic situation that exists in China."
    ^ Mair, Victor H. (1991). "What Is a Chinese "Dialect/Topolect"? Reflections on Some Key Sino-English Linguistic Terms" (PDF). Sino-Platonic Papers.
    ^ Analysis of the concept "wave" in PST.
    ^ Encyclopedia Britannica s.v. "Chinese languages": "Old Chinese vocabulary already contained many words not generally occurring in the other Sino-Tibetan languages. The words for ‘honey' and ‘lion, ' and probably also ‘horse, ' ‘dog, ' and ‘goose, ' are connected with Indo-European and were acquired through trade and early contacts. (The nearest known Indo-European languages were Tocharian and Sogdian, a middle Iranian language.) A number of words have Austroasiatic cognates and point to early contacts with the ancestral language of Muong-Vietnamese and Mon-Khmer"; Jan Ulenbrook, Einige Übereinstimmungen zwischen dem Chinesischen und dem Indogermanischen (1967) proposes 57 items; see also Tsung-tung Chang, 1988 Indo-European Vocabulary in Old Chinese;.
    ^ *Sheng Ding and Robert A. Saunders, Talking Up China: An Analysis of China's Rising Cultural Power and Global Promotion of the Chinese Language EASTASIA, Summer 2006, Vol. 23, No. 2, pp. 4
    ^ Zhou, Minglang: Multilingualism in China: The Politics of Writing Reforms for Minority Languages, 1949-2002 (Walter de Gruyter 2003); ISBN 3-11-017896-6; p. 251–258.
    ^ DeFrancis (1984) p.42 counts Chinese as having 1, 277 tonal syllables, and about 398 to 418 if tones are disregarded; he cites Jespersen, Otto (1928) Monosyllabism in English; London, p.15 for a count of over 8000 syllables for English.
    ^ BBC NEWS | UK | Magazine | How hard is it to learn Chinese?
    [edit] Further reading
    ABC Chinese-English Comprehensive Dictionary. Editor: John de Francis. (2003) University of Hawai’i Press. ISBN 0-8248-2766-X.
    ABC Etymological Dictionary of Old Chinese. Axel Schuessler. 2007. University of Hawai’i Press, Honolulu. ISBN 978-0-8248-2975-9.
    [edit] External links
    Chinese language edition of Wikipedia, the free encyclopediaKeys to the Chinese Language: Book II—Google Books
    [hide]v • d • eChinese language(s)

    Spoken varieties

    Major Subdivisions Mandarin Northeastern · Jilu · Jiao-Liao · Zhongyuan · Southwestern · Lanyin · Jianghuai · Taiwanese Mandarin · Beijing · Dungan · Xuzhou · Luoyang · Jinan · Karamay · Nanking · Sichuanese · Kunming · Shenyang · Harbin · Qingdao · Guanzhong · Dalian · Weihai

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    Yue Cantonese · Gaoyang · Siyi · Goulou · Wuhua · Yongxun · Luoguang · Qinlian · Guanbao · Haihua · Danzhou · Tanka · Taishan

    Min Min Bei · Min Dong · Min Nan · Min Zhong · Puxian · Qiong Wen · Taiwanese Minnan · Teochew · Jian'ou · Hokkien · Haifeng · Zhenan · Longyan · Fuzhou · Zhanjiang · Leizhou · Nanlang · Zhongshan · Sanxiang · Zhangzhou · Quanzhou · Amoy · Shantou

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    Disputed Huizhou · Jin · Pinghua · Hohhot

    Unclassified Xianghua · Yuebei Tuhua · Linghua

    Ausbausprachen Standard Mandarin

    Historical phonology Old Chinese · Middle Chinese · Proto-Min · Proto-Gan · Proto-Mandarin · Haner

    Written varieties

    Official Classical · Vernacular

    Other Vernacular Cantonese · Vernacular Donggan · Vernacular Minnan

    List of Chinese dialects · Identification of Chinese language varieties

    [hide]v • d • eChinese language loan vocabularies

    Sino-Japanese · Sino-Korean · Sino-Vietnamese

    [hide]v • d • eLanguages of Asia

    states Afghanistan · Armenia1 · Azerbaijan1 · Bahrain · Bangladesh · Bhutan · Brunei · Burma2 · Cambodia · People's Republic of China · Cyprus1 · East Timor3 · Egypt4 · Georgia4 · India · Indonesia · Iran · Iraq · Israel · Japan · Jordan · Kazakhstan4 · North Korea · South Korea · Kuwait · Kyrgyzstan · Laos · Lebanon · Malaysia · Maldives · Mongolia · Nepal · Oman · Pakistan · Philippines · Qatar · Russia4 · Saudi Arabia · Singapore · Sri Lanka · Syria · Tajikistan · Republic of China5 · Thailand · Turkey4 · Turkmenistan · United Arab Emirates · Uzbekistan · Vietnam · Yemen

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    Italics indicates an unrecognised or partially recognised country. 1 Sometimes included in Europe, depending on the border definitions. 2 Official

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