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Title:Language contact and convergence: Englishization of Mandarin Chinese in Taiwan
Author(s):Hsu, Jia-Ling
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Kachru, Braj B.
Department / Program:Linguistics
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Language, Linguistics
Abstract:The Englishization of Chinese occurs as a consequence of translations into Chinese of Western literary works, mainly from English, in the written mode.
This study was intended to probe the issues pertaining to language change in progress in relation to the Englishization of Mandarin Chinese at a morpho-syntactic level in Taiwan. Issues such as the following were investigated: the causes of change, the mechanism of change, the adaptive functions of change, the subjective evaluation of the change, and the covariation within the change. The data were collected from questionnaires in Taiwan.
To account for the Chinese case of Englishization, where syntax rather than phonology is affected by language change, this study proposes to redefine bilingualism and distinguish between two types of language contact, with literary competence included in the meaning of bilingualism in cases of language contact mediated by written texts. The results of this study point out that the Englishization of Chinese has progressed further with time. The distribution of Englishized features is chiefly mode-, register-, and context-dependent. The Englishized features are mainly confined to the written mode, propagated by various mass communication media, and different types of registers primarily used in the formal contexts.
The findings of this study show that the degree of compatibility of the Englishized features determines the degree of their usage and their attitudinal acceptability. In addition, the extent of the use of a borrowed form correlates positively with the extent of the subjective evaluation of it. Language constraints were confirmed as an underlying operating force in producing such an effect. However, as the rate of usage is far lower than the rate of acceptability, such discrepancy suggests that in a process of language change, people tend to hold a more conservative attitude toward using a borrowed form than accepting it.
In terms of the contextual constraints that influence linguistic behavior, this study demonstrates that variables pertinent to the influences of the foreign language, the effects from the recipient language, attitudinal preferences for the trend of language change, demographic factors such as age, and language constraints all interact in determining the consequence.
Issue Date:1994
Rights Information:Copyright 1994 Hsu, Jia-Ling
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog:AAI9512402
OCLC Identifier:(UMI)AAI9512402

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