Language and Social Change in China: Undoing Commonness through Cosmopolitan Mandarin

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Routledge, Sep 11, 2017 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 214 pages
Language and Social Change in China: Undoing Commonness through Cosmopolitan Mandarin offers an innovative and authoritative account of the crucial role of language in shaping the sociocultural landscape of contemporary China. Based on a wide range of data collected since the 1990s and grounded in quantitative and discourse analyses of sociolinguistic variation, Qing Zhang tracks the emergence of what she terms “Cosmopolitan Mandarin” as a new stylistic resource for a rising urban elite and a new middle-class consumption-based lifestyle. The book powerfully illuminates that Cosmopolitan Mandarin participates in dismantling the pre-reform, socialist, conformist society by bringing about new social distinctions. Rich in cultural and linguistic details, the book is the first of its kind to highlight the implications of language change on the social order and cultural life of contemporary China. Language and Social Change in China is ideal for students and scholars interested in sociolinguistics and linguistic anthropology, and Chinese language and society.
 

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Contents

List of Illustrations
Sociolinguistic Change Style and Ideology
The New Business Elite
Cosmopolitan Mandarin in the Making of Beijing Yuppies
Cosmopolitan Mandarin in the Making of a New Chinese Middle
Contesting the Enregisterment
A StyleBased Approach to Sociolinguistic Change
Index
Copyright

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About the author (2017)

Qing Zhang is Associate Professor in the School of Anthropology at the University of Arizona, USA.

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