Speakers of Chinese today share three thousand years of political and cultural unity, yet China has also always been home to a diverse set of dialects and languages. This course introduces social, historical, and political factors that can condition linguistic variation and change, with an emphasis on how these have conditioned linguistic diversity in China. We survey some of the key features of variation, looking at how Chinese has changed historically, from the earliest oracle bone inscriptions to its modern internet usage, and also at the geographical variation between Mandarin, the major Chinese dialects , and Chinese in the expatriate communities around the world. Themes include language policy, linguistic identity, language revitalisation, language death, and literacy. The course is suitable for those with or without a background in Chinese.
Section 001 - LEC
TR 0900AM-1030AM