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March 17, 2011

Winter 2011 CCS Noon Lecture Series - San Duanmu and Yiwen Zhou


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San Duanmu, Professor of Linguistics, Department of Linguistics, University of Michigan
Yiwen Zhou, Graduate Student in Linguistics, University of Michigan

The Decline of a Prestigious Tongue: Language Preferences in Modern Shanghai

March 22, 2011
Tuesday 12 noon to 1:00 pm
Room 1636 School of Social Work Building
1080 South University

Barely a generation ago, Shanghai Chinese was a highly prestigious regional language and used by millions everywhere in the city. Today it is no longer the main language heard on the street and increasingly not even spoken at home by children of Shanghai parents. What caused such rapid decline? What languages are taking over its place? Are people concerned about the loss of their native tongue? Will similar linguistic casualties occur in other places of fast socio-economic changes, such as Hong Kong? We explore answers to such questions through a survey of 2,000 residents in Shanghai.

San Duanmu is Professor of Linguistics, University of Michigan. He received his Ph.D. in Linguistics from MIT in 1990 and has held teaching posts at Fudan University, Shanghai (1981-1986) and the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (1991-present). He is the author of The Phonology of Standard Chinese (2nd edition, Oxford 2007) and Syllable Structure: The Limits of Variation (Oxford 2008).

Yiwen Zhou is a second year graduate student in Linguistics at the University of Michigan. She is now working on sound change of Shanghai dialect and Chinese language policy. She is interested in the interaction of ideologies and linguistic variation.

Posted by zzhu at March 17, 2011 10:22 AM