Middlebury
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CHNS0270A-S13

Chinese Sociolinguistics

Chinese Sociolinguistics (taught in English)
Sociolinguistics is mainly concerned with the interaction of language and society. The language situation in China is unique both in the modern world and in human history. We will gain a good understanding of sociolinguistics as a scientific field of inquiry through exploring the Chinese situation in this course. Some of the questions we will ask are: What is Mandarin (Modern Standard) Chinese? Who are "native speakers" of Mandarin? Are most Chinese people monolingual (speaking only one language) or bilingual (speaking two languages) or even multilingual? How many "dialects" are there in China? What is the difference between a "language" and a "dialect"? Are Chinese characters "ideographs", i.e., "pictures" that directly represent meaning and have nothing to do with sound? Why has the pinyin romanization system officially adopted in the 1950s never supplanted the Chinese characters? Why are there traditional and simplified characters? We will also explore topics such as power, register, verbal courtesy, gender and language use. Students are encouraged to compare the Chinese situation with societies that they are familiar with. (One semester of Chinese language study or by waiver)
Course Reference Number (CRN):
21429

Course

CHNS0270

All Sections in Spring 2013

Spring 2013

CHNS0270A-S13 Lecture (Du)