Guangdong Residents’ Perceptions of Chinese Dialects: A Pilot Study

Chuying Ou


Perceptual dialectology (PD) is branch of sociolinguistics which investigates ordinary people’s (non-linguists) perceptions about different dialects in the language community they are living in. Most of the PD research was implemented in Europe or America, with little attention devoted to China, a country with many kinds of dialects. Applying Preston’s (1981) tool for PD studies: draw-a-map task, this research analyzed dialect maps drawn from 13 respondents, who were college students from Guangdong province, China. It aimed to find out how Guangdong residents perceive Chinese dialects. There are three major findings: (1) respondents used provincial boundaries to differentiate dialect areas but did not agree on their distribution; (2) Yue dialect and Wu dialect were thought to be more pleasant; (3) respondents were concerned about economic influence on dialects and dialect protection.

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International Journal of Social Science Studies   ISSN 2324-8033 (Print)   ISSN 2324-8041 (Online)

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