Language Planning and Varieties of (Modern Standard) Chinese
  • ISSN 0957-6851
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9838
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To understand language choice and development in the process of industrialization it is essential to study how the children of workers (the second generation) in a rising industrial community choose their language/dialect for daily communication. The coexistence of three speech communities: dialect, dialect-and-Putonghua mixed, and Putonghua, in three urban districts of Luoyang City, Henan Province, since the 1950s is representative of language development during China’s industrialization. Based on a large-scale survey, this article compares language and dialect use in these three urban districts and some special danwei (work-unit) language islands in Luoyang. This study shows why and how the second generation in a rising industrial community have chosen or not chosen Putonghua as their major language for daily communication. It concludes with a discussion on the characters and underlining principles of language choice in the course of industrialization under the planned economy in China.


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