Restructuring Chinese Speech Communities
  • ISSN 0957-6851
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9838
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In this study, 269 Beijing born respondents were interviewed and asked questions about their language attitude and language behavior. Research categories, apart from ‘attitude’, were ‘accent maintenance’, ‘accent selection’, and ‘code-switching’, whereas the variables employed were ‘gender’, ‘age group’, ‘origin’ of parents, ‘district’ grown-up, ‘spouse’ background, ‘education’ level, ‘job profile’, and ‘network density’. We found that Beijing dialect in Beijing’s central city districts, coexists with the national language Putonghua, or, Standard Chinese, has high language status among native young people in Beijing and a wide range of uses. The main factors which effect respondents’ language behavior are ‘network density’, ‘place-of-origin’, and ‘occupation’. We also determined a high level of confusion between Beijing dialect accent and Putonghua accent, which we related to the mode of Putonghua teaching and Putonghua promotion. We conclude that Beijing dialect and Putonghua will form two functional varieties, playing different roles in different language environments.


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