Baran nwav 2010_presentation


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Ideologies of language and social class in a Taiwanese high school: Explaining variation in Taiwan Mandarin through a language ideology framework.

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Baran nwav 2010_presentation

  1. 1. Ideologies of language and social class: Explaining variation in Taiwan Mandarin through a language ideology framework Dominika Baran, Duke University NWAV 39, UT San Antonio, Nov.6, 2010
  2. 2. Social class • Social divisions as defined by specific communities; locally relevant meanings of class identities (Rickford 1986, Milroy 1980, 2001, Ash 2002) • Local interpretation of social divisions that exist in society at large (Eckert 1989, 2000; also Fuller yesterday) • Social class as comprising lifestyles, tastes, cultural practices (Bourdieu 1984, 1987, 1991; also this panel and Davies yesterday)
  3. 3. Language ideologies • ‘sets of beliefs about language articulated by users as a rationalization or justification of perceived language structure and use’ (Silverstein 1979: 193) • ‘…mediating links between social forms and forms of talk [because they] envision and enact ties of language to identity, to aesthetics, to morality, and to epistemology’ (Woolard 1998: 3) • ‘are always about entangled clusters of phenomena, and they encompass and are bound up with aspects of culture like gender, and expression, and being “civilized”’ (Kulick 1998: 100)
  4. 4. Taiwan Population and languages: • 73.3% Taiwanese • 12% Hakka • 1.7% Austronesian • 13% Mandarin (Mainlanders) (Huang 1993) Research location: • High school in Sanchong (Taipei County) – Sunrise Senior High School (SHS) • Working-class, migrants from South, Taiwanese-speakers
  5. 5. Taiwanese and Mandarin • Mandarin introduced and promoted after 1945 – KMT nationalism – Official language and language of education – Students often punished for speaking Taiwanese (until 1987) • Result  Taiwanese ideologically connected with lower-class identities and practices (lack of education, blue-collar work, rural residence, ‘local’ lifestyle) • Recent changes – Taiwanese taught in schools as a subject – BUT language of education is still Mandarin – Taiwanese is NOT tested on high school and college entrance exams
  6. 6. Taiwan Mandarin • Localized variety of Mandarin exhibiting distinct phonological, syntactic and lexical features • Dominant discourses see it as “badly learned” Mandarin (Lin 1983) – Often described as a Taiwanese “accent” – Seen in contrast to “Standard” Mandarin (schools, media) – Associated with similar social groups and practices as Taiwanese but often evaluated even lower (Feifel 1994, Su 2005) – You can speak good Taiwanese but you can’t speak good Taiwan Mandarin! • Speakers for whom Mandarin is a native and dominant language use many Taiwan Mandarin features (Cheng 1984, Kubler 1986) – Range of variation but few studies (but see e.g. Rau and Li 1994, Li 1995)
  7. 7. The variables (sh) • De-retroflection of retroflex sibilant initials [ʂ] > [ʃ] > [s] shì “to be” shàng “top” shuō “to say, to speak” (w) • Pre-nuclear labio-velar glide deletion [wɔ] > [ɔ] guó “country” wǒ “I, me” shuō “to say, to speak”
  8. 8. Sunrise SHS • Private high school in Sanchong City, in Taipei County, just outside the capital Taipei • School has academic (college preparatory) and vocational courses or tracks – College-preparatory – Data-processing (white-collar vocational) – Electronics (blue-collar vocational) • Students directed into tracks based on exam scores • Rigid separation > classes stay in one classroom, little interaction, highly structured day • Emphasis on academics > prepare for college entrance exams • Emphasis on college-prep students > more resources • Vocational students speak more Taiwanese
  9. 9. Participants at Sunrise SHS • 18 students, 6 from each course/track • 11 boys and 7 girls (electronics has no girls) • Ethnographic research over 3 semesters + interviews College preparatory Mandy, Jenny, Tania, Richard, Ken, Brian Data-processing University plans: Naomi, Sue, Jerry Tech college plans: Tina, Olga No higher ed plans: Eddie Electronics University plans: J.R. Tech college plans: Wen-hua, Xue-dai No higher ed plans: Zhen-yi, Ting, Xiao Qiu
  10. 10. Tokens Variable Total tokens Highest number of tokens per speaker Lowest number of tokens per speaker Average number of tokens per speaker de-retroflection of (sh) 3174 234 140 176 (w) glide deletion 2733 221 100 152
  11. 11. Variation in (sh) and (w) Social group % [s] % [w] deletion Course: College-prep 55.5 5.4 Data-processing 63.2 5.3 Electronics 90.1 23.3 Gender: Boys 76.6 16.3 Girls 58.5 3.6 Plans/aspirations: University 57.4 10.9 Tech college 78.7 15.3 No higher ed 90.8 22.1 TOTAL 68.9 11.0
  12. 12. (sh) variable – probability of [s] (de-retroflection) 0.000 0.250 0.500 0.750 1.000 Prob.[s] Course / Track College- Prep Data- Processing Electronics mean = 0.712 mean = 0.387mean = 0.416
  13. 13. (w) variable – probability of [w] deletion 0.000 0.250 0.500 0.750 1.000 Prob.[w]deletion Course / Track College-Prep mean = 0.455 Data-Processing mean = 0.400 Electronics mean = 0.651
  14. 14. 0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.6 0.7 0.8 0.9 data-process and university college-prep and university data-process and tech college data-process and no higher ed electronics and tech college electronics and university electronics and no higher ed probabilityof[s] (sh) combining course/track and plans/aspirations
  15. 15. Social class at Sunrise SHS • Student “types” constructed based on particular course/track – Presumed future occupations – “Good” students study, “bad” students cause trouble Ken (college-prep): “Actually I think looking at them I think they don’t really think as much (…) I think it seems like every day they are just very happy like that and that’s it/ happy like that/ and like that they think less/ maybe [because] their exams are different from ours because they will take exams to get into [professional certificate schools] and we [want to] get into university/ so they just care about that/ and then I think they give me a different feeling/ it seems like they don’t really think about what they will do when they get out of here/ or what to do to have a better life”
  16. 16. Taipei County vs. Taipei City XL: so what do you think is the difference between Taipei City and Taipei County? J: I think there is a big difference/ because I think the feeling that Taipei City gives me is more modern/ yes because a lot of developments are all in Taipei City/ and then the feeling of Taipei County is messy/ chaotic/ because a lot ofthose kinds of things all happen in Taipei County XL: what kinds of things? J: like those (laughs) fights and things/ bad things/ yes because before I heard that Sanchong is gangsters’ place XL: gangsters’ place J: yes/ and here everyone is gangsters and such/ yes so the feeling it gives me is-/ because before over there a lot of department stores or like more famous companies are all in Taipei City/ yes/ and also there all the roads are constructed/ so it gives people a good feeling/ but in the case of Taipei County well (laughs) it’s a mess
  17. 17. Mandarin and Taiwanese at Sunrise SHS Teacher Li: “Taiwanese speakers were all more vulgar people, more people from lower social strata. That is, if your education level is lower then you will speak Taiwanese. Only those who haven’t had education will speak Taiwanese. So in- look, you can sense it, college-prep they don’t speak Taiwanese, data- processing a little, electronics more, car mechanics even more. Because car mechanics has the lowest grades in our school. There even teachers use Taiwanese to talk.”
  18. 18. 鑽 石 zuan-shi 中 暑 zhong-shu 1 Caller: [ɔ] xing zuan [su] de [su]-ah  not SM [wɔ] and [ʂɨ] my last name is [su], as in “diamond” (zuan-shi)  shi is pronounced as [su] 2 Rep.: zhong shu de shu [ʂu] as in “heatstroke” (zhong-shu)  [su] is misunderstood as [ʂu] 3 Caller: zuan [su] de [su] [su] as in “diamond” 4 Rep.: zhong shu de shu/ zenme xie ne? [ʂu] as in “heatstroke”/ how is it written? 5 Caller: [su] tou de [su]-ah [su] as in “stone” (shi-tou)  shi is pronounced as [su] 6 Rep.: shu tou de shu [ʂu] as in “shu-tou”  shu-tou is not a real word 7 Caller: hêⁿ--ah  in Taiwanese yes 8 Rep.: zuobian shi zenme xie/ youbian shi zenme xie ne? how do you write the left side/ how do you write the right side?
  19. 19. Local meanings of Taiwan Mandarin? Zhen-yi (electronics) – Glide deletion -[w]  30.8% (mean: 11%, electronics 23.3%) – De-retroflection [s]  90.3% (mean: 68.9%, electronics 90.1%) – Looking for local, blue-collar job; proud trouble-maker; rejects school – Local orientation (Eckert 1989, 2000), home and temple – Speaks a lot of Taiwanese, prefers local activities to “big city” J.R. (electronics) – Glide deletion -[w]  9.7% – De-retroflection [s]  88.3% – Applying to university in physical education – Interested in American hip-hop culture and especially dance, traveled – Speaks Taiwanese, strong links with local culture and friends – Not a trouble-maker
  20. 20. Naomi (data-processing) – Glide-deletion -[w]  0.6% (mean: 11%, data-proc 5.3%) – De-retroflection [s]  12.6% (mean: 68.9%, data-proc 63.2%) – Applying to university, very serious about school work Tania (college-preparatory) – Glide deletion -[w]  5.8% (mean: 11%, college-prep 5.4%, girls 3.6%) – De-retroflection [s]  88.2% (mean: 68.9%, college-prep 55.5%, girls 58.5%) – Serious about school work – Loves music, sings in a band (albeit set up by school) – Goes to rock concerts, stays out late, smokes (sometimes) – Speaks Taiwanese and has positive feelings about it
  21. 21. Taiwan Mandarin and social class • Reproduction of language ideologies that see Taiwanese and Taiwan Mandarin as linked with lack of education – Electronics students use TM features, college-prep do so less – Data-processing ‘overcompensate’ for being stereotyped? – See also J.R. in electronics • Resistance to dominant language ideologies – College-prep like Tania - use TM and Taiwanese to resist stereotypes? – Claiming ownership of Mandarin in the school context by localizing it? • Reinterpretation of dominant ideologies of language and class in the local context – Social class in society at large > courses/tracks in school – Taipei County vs. Taipei City?
  22. 22. My email: THANKS to Peter L. Patrick
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