Institutional Scholarship

The Vitality of the Hangzhou Dialect of Mandarin

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dc.contributor.advisor Gasser, Emily Kandrysawtz, Kathy 2018-02-14T15:56:15Z 2018-02-14T15:56:15Z 2018
dc.description.abstract This paper describes a research project on the language attitudes of Hangzhou dialect (Hangzhouhua) speakers in Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China. 25 speakers completed an online survey and four speakers participated in ethnographic interviews on language awareness, usage, and attitudes. The results show two major trends. First, as Mandarin (Putonghua) becomes increasingly standard in the public sphere, Hangzhouhua is pushed to marginal, domestic social spheres. Second, Hangzhouhua is still consistently spoken among the 40-and-over generation but the language is losing younger speakers. Interview data also reveals speakers' mixed attitudes. Most speakers take pride in using Hangzhouhua because they associate it with local culture and family roots. However, speakers are unsure of Hangzhouhua's suitability in more public domains, such as academic, professional, or literary environments. These trends and mixed attitudes largely stem from the Chinese government's standardization of Putonghua, especially in education, which marginalizes China's local dialects and ethnic minority languages. Current government and grassroots language revitalization efforts focus mainly on language documentation. These efforts are beneficial to Hangzhouhua language maintenance but they are not powerful enough to change language policy or speakers' internalized negative attitudes towards Hangzhouhua. By considering language attitudes within the context of government language policy and language revitalization, this research gauges signs of Hangzhouhua's slow decline. en_US
dc.description.sponsorship Swarthmore College. Dept. of Linguistics en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.rights Full copyright to this work is retained by the student author. It may only be used for non-commercial, research, and educational purposes. All other uses are restricted.
dc.title The Vitality of the Hangzhou Dialect of Mandarin en_US
dc.rights.access No restrictions en_US

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