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

1st Edition

Qing Zhang

Routledge
Published September 18, 2017
Reference - 198 Pages
ISBN 9780415708081 - CAT# Y155030

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Summary

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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