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Saturday, October 12 • 11:20am - 11:45am
Wang & Wagner: Local identity and standardization: Evidence from Tianjin Chinese tone sandhi

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Local identity and standardization: Evidence from Tianjin Chinese tone sandhi

Tianjin Chinese is in the process of standardization (Gao & Lu 2003, Gu & Liu 2003), but the current study finds that only stigmatized local features disappear, while an unmarked local feature seems to be immune to standardization. We interpret this in line with Labov’s (1972) study of Martha’s Vineyard, whereby traditional local features may come to index resistance to standardization and to the incursion of new people into the speech community. Tianjin natives may be linguistically contrasting themselves with the many migrants who have moved to the city in the last three decades, and indeed a negative attitude to migrants significantly increases the likelihood of the unmarked local feature in the regression. The project adds to the expanding number of non-Western case studies of language change (Stanford & Preston 2009) that support earlier generalizations made from Western communities.


Xiaomei Wang

Michigan State University
avatar for Suzanne Evans Wagner

Suzanne Evans Wagner

Assoc Prof Linguistics, Michigan State University
Routledge Studies in Language Change, a book series that I co-edit with Isabelle Buchstaller. Language change over the lifespan. Sound change in US English. Being a scholar-parent.

Saturday October 12, 2019 11:20am - 11:45am PDT
EMU Cedar & Spruce
  T: Prosody & tone
  • Session type Talk
  • Chair: Kaori Idemaru