1887
Volume 35, Issue 2
  • ISSN 0155-0640
  • E-ISSN: 1833-7139

Abstract

Research has shown that language change is driven on one hand by forces internal to language itself such as grammar-internal systematic pressure, and on the other hand by social motives such as social identity. Language contact presents new features, but why is it that some of them are incorporated as variation and evolving into language change, while others are not? This paper reports a study on a sound change in Shanghainese, a dialect of the Chinese language. Data were collected in natural contexts of conversation followed by a brief interview with informants to gain identity related information about them. It has found that previously negative perception of status attached to a new sound induced by language/dialect contact changed into a positive perception, and people started to identify positively with this new sound. Further, there were differences in various different age and gender groups in taking up the new sound. As a result, this sound has evolved from a nonnative alternative to a systematic variation and it is being established as a sound change. This study has thus further confirmed that social identity plays a pivotal role in driving language features into language variation and language change.

Loading

Article metrics loading...

/content/journals/10.1075/aral.35.2.05liu
2012-01-01
2019-10-23
Loading full text...

Full text loading...

References

  1. Aitchison, J.
    (2001) Language change: progress or decay?Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  2. Chambers, J.
    (2001) Patterns of variation including change. In J. K. Chambers , P. Trudgill & N. Schilling-Estes , (Eds.), The handbook of language variation and change (pp.349–372). Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishers.
    [Google Scholar]
  3. (2003) Sociolinguistic theory. Cambridge, MA: Balckwell.
    [Google Scholar]
  4. Chen, M. & Wang, W.
    (1975) Sound change: actuation and implementation. Language, 51, 255–281. doi: 10.2307/412854
    https://doi.org/10.2307/412854 [Google Scholar]
  5. Croft, W.
    (1995) Autonomy and functionalist linguistics. Language, 7, 490–532. doi: 10.2307/416218
    https://doi.org/10.2307/416218 [Google Scholar]
  6. Cukor-Avila, P.
    (2000) The stability of individual vernaculars. University of North Texas MS.
    [Google Scholar]
  7. Eckert, P.
    (2008) Variation and the indexical field. Journal of Sociolinguistics, 12:453–476. doi: 10.1111/j.1467‑9841.2008.00374.x
    https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9841.2008.00374.x [Google Scholar]
  8. Fengsheng
    (2012) Xiandai chengshi shenghuo [Modern urban life]. RetrievedJanuary 17, 2012fromclub.autohome.com.cn/bbs/thread-c-872-13857137-1.html.
    [Google Scholar]
  9. Garrett, P.
    (2010) Attitudes to language. New York: Cambridge University Press. doi: 10.1017/CBO9780511844713
    https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511844713 [Google Scholar]
  10. Gu, Y.
    (2005, January 23) Young people do not understand Shanghai slang, and a deputy of the People’s Congress calls for “protection” of Shanghainese. Youth Daily. RetrievedMay 17, 2012, fromwww.spcsc.sh.cn/renda/node 1949/node 1951/userobject1ai23160.html.
    [Google Scholar]
  11. Hoffman, M. F. & Walker, J. A.
    (2010) Ethnolects and the city: ethnic orientation and linguistic variation in Toronto English. Language Variation and Change, 22(1), 37–67. doi: 10.1017/S0954394509990238
    https://doi.org/10.1017/S0954394509990238 [Google Scholar]
  12. Labov, W.
    (1994) Principles of linguistic change: Internal Factors. Oxford: Blackwell.
    [Google Scholar]
  13. (2001) Principles of linguistic change: Social factors. Oxford: Blackwell.
    [Google Scholar]
  14. (2006 [1966]) The Social Stratification of English in New York City. Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press. doi: 10.1017/CBO9780511618208
    https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511618208
  15. Lindblom, B. Guion, S. , Hura, S. , Moon, S. & Willerman, R.
    (1995) Is sound change adaptive?Revista di Linguistica, 7, 5–37.
    [Google Scholar]
  16. Liu, G.
    (2007) A sound variation or a sound change in Shanghainese?Chinese Studies Review, 2, 18–27.
    [Google Scholar]
  17. Luqiu, L.
    (2010, June 17) Fangyan yu chengshi (Dialects and cities). Bund Pictorial, Issue391.
    [Google Scholar]
  18. McMahon, A.
    (1994) Understanding language change. Cambridge/New York: Cambridge University Press. doi: 10.1017/CBO9781139166591
    https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781139166591 [Google Scholar]
  19. Milroy, L.
    (2002) Social networks. J. K. Chambers , P. Trudgill & N. Schilling-Estes , (Eds.), The handbook of language variation and change (pp.549–572). Malden, MA: Blackwell.
    [Google Scholar]
  20. Moravcsik, E. A.
    (1978) Verb borrowing. In J. H. Greenberg , (Ed.), Universals of human language (Vol.1). Stanford: Stanford University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  21. Mufwene, S. S.
    (2008) Language evolution: contact, competition, and change. London/New York: Continuum Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  22. Newmeyer, F. J.
    (2003) Formal and functional motivation for language change. In H. Raymond , (Ed.), Motives for language change (pp.16–36). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. doi: 10.1017/CBO9780511486937.003
    https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511486937.003 [Google Scholar]
  23. Ohala, J. J.
    (1989) Sound change is drawn from a pool of synchronic variation. In L. E. Breivik & E. H. Jahr , (Eds.), Language change: contributions to the study of its causes. [Series: Trends in Linguistics, Studies and Monographs No. 43] (pp.173–198). Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter. doi: 10.1515/9783110853063.173
    https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110853063.173 [Google Scholar]
  24. (1993) Sound change as nature's speech perception experiment. Speech Communication. 13, 155–161. doi: 10.1016/0167‑6393(93)90067‑U
    https://doi.org/10.1016/0167-6393(93)90067-U [Google Scholar]
  25. Podesva, R. J.
    (2006) Phonetic detail in sociolinguistic variation: Its linguistic significance and role in the construction of social meaning. Ph.D. Dissertation, Stanford University.
    [Google Scholar]
  26. Qian, R.
    (2003) Shanghai Yuyan Fazhan Shi (A history of Shanghai language development). Shanghai: Shanghai People’s Publishing.
    [Google Scholar]
  27. (2011, May 3) Rang Shanghai haizi congxiao xuehao Shanghai hua [Let Shanghai kids learn Shanghainese from childhood]. Shanghai: Xinmin Evening Newspaper, p.B14.
  28. Shanghai Bureau of Statistics
    Shanghai Bureau of Statistics (2010) Shanghai Statistical Yearbook 2010. RetrievedAugust 5, 2011fromwww.stats-sh.gov.cn/2003shtj/tjnj/nj10.htm?d1=2010tjnj/C0201.htm.
    [Google Scholar]
  29. Silverstein, M.
    (2003) Indexical order and the dialectics of sociolinguistic life. Language and Communication, 23, 193–229. doi: 10.1016/S0271‑5309(03)00013‑2
    https://doi.org/10.1016/S0271-5309(03)00013-2 [Google Scholar]
  30. Tajfel, H.
    (Ed.) (1982) Social identity and intergroup relations, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  31. Thomason, S. G.
    (2003) Contact as a source of language change. In B. D. Joseph & R. D. Janda , (Eds.), The handbook of historical linguistics (pp.687–712). Malden, MA: Blackwell. doi: 10.1002/9780470756393.ch23
    https://doi.org/10.1002/9780470756393.ch23 [Google Scholar]
  32. Thomason, S. G & Kaufman, T.
    (1988) Language contact, creolization, and Genetic linguistics. Berkley: University of California Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  33. Turner, J. , Hogg, M. et al.
    (1987) Rediscovering the social group: a self-categorization theory. Oxford: Blackwell.
    [Google Scholar]
  34. van Coetsem, F.
    (1988) Loan phonology and the two transfer types in language contact. Dordrecht and Providence: Foris. doi: 10.1515/9783110884869
    https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110884869 [Google Scholar]
  35. Youth Daily
    Youth Daily (2011) Daxuesheng ban huyuban laide duoshi Shanghai xiaonan, queshao Huyu huanjing shi tamen jiang buhao Shanghai hua de zhuyin (Most pupils in a Shanghainese class run by university students are local kids, and a lack of Shanghainese-speaking environment is the main reason why kids do not speak Shanghaiese). RetrievedAugust 2, 2011, fromwww.why.com.cn/epublish/node4/node38521/node38525/userobject7ai279729.html.
    [Google Scholar]
  36. Zhang, Q.
    (2005) A Chinese yuppie in Beijing: Phonological variation and the construction of a new professional identity. Language in Society, 34(3), 431–466. doi: 10.1017/S0047404505050153
    https://doi.org/10.1017/S0047404505050153 [Google Scholar]
http://instance.metastore.ingenta.com/content/journals/10.1075/aral.35.2.05liu
Loading
  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): language change , language contact , language variation , social identity and sound change
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was successful
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error