Volume 5, Issue 2
  • ISSN 1877-7031
  • E-ISSN: 1877-8798
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This study examines the language attitudes of young professionals in three cities in China towards Northeastern Mandarin (NEM) and Putonghua (PTH) (i.e., the standard language in China). It confirms that NEM has lower status as compared to PTH. However, the young professionals in Northeast China rated the NEM speaker higher than the PTH speaker in most qualities, attesting to the empathy and solidarity of native speakers toward their own variety of language. The northeastern professionals also rated the NEM speaker lower in some personal qualities, implying that the northeastern professionals’ awareness of the stereotypes associated with NEM and the prestige associated with PTH. The findings show that language attitude is directly linked to socio-economic status and that speakers of the low variety of a language may develop complicated language attitudes when negotiating their language use and identity in social interaction.


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