Investigating the role of speaker attitudes in koinéisation in Hohhot, China
This paper explores the correlation between speakers’ social attitudes and their linguistic production in a contact-induced dialect mixture in Hohhot, a Chinese immigrant city. In Hohhot, the contact between the community speaking the local Jìn dialect and migrants from all parts of the country has led to the formation of a new vernacular. Thirty-five speakers across three generations from the migrant community were recorded, and their social attitudes in different dimensions were measured through questionnaires. A significant correlation between the speakers’ attitudinal scores and their adoption of a local Jìn feature was found by mixed-effects modelling, and the effects of attitude remained even when speakers’ social contact with Jìn speakers was considered. The findings demonstrate the role of attitudes in contact-induced linguistic change and suggest that speakers’ overt attitudes recorded in questionnaires are also likely to predict their linguistic production.
Keywords: attitudes, koinéisation, dialect contact, migration, China, social networks
Published online: 19 January 2018
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