Jiangsu 5

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BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION

AGE: 23

DATE OF BIRTH (DD/MM/YYYY): 20/10/1986

PLACE OF BIRTH: Yi Zheng, Jiangsu Province

GENDER: male

ETHNICITY: Han Chinese

OCCUPATION: student

EDUCATION: At the time of the recording, the subject was in his fourth year at university.

AREA(S) OF RESIDENCE OUTSIDE REPRESENTATIVE REGION FOR LONGER THAN SIX MONTHS:

Subject came to live in Suzhou, Jiangsu, three and a half years before the date of the recording.

OTHER INFLUENCES ON SPEECH:

The subject was raised in the town of Yi Zheng, not far from Yangzhou, in what is now known as Middle Jiangsu Province. He speaks the Yangzhou version of the Jianghuai dialect. External influences on his native dialect have been slight. His four years at university in Suzhou have not made much difference to his speech patterns. He began to learn English at the age of 13 in middle school. His teachers then were Chinese, and they will have had some influence. At university, he was exposed to native English speakers, but these influences are negligible. The subject does watch American movies, but they appear to have had very little influence on his English pronunciation. The native dialect here has a strong influence on the subject’s pronunciation of English, which makes this a quite useful sample.

The text used in our recordings of scripted speech can be found by clicking here.

RECORDED BY: Bill McCann

DATE OF RECORDING (DD/MM/YYYY): 10/04/2010

PHONETIC TRANSCRIPTION OF SCRIPTED SPEECH: N/A

TRANSCRIBED BY: N/A

DATE OF TRANSCRIPTION (DD/MM/YYYY): N/A

ORTHOGRAPHIC TRANSCRIPTION OF UNSCRIPTED SPEECH:

My hometown is Yangzhou City (eh, eh, ah). I think it’s (eh) it – it’s very old (eh), it has long histories, and it has changed for (eh) f-for a long time. (Ah) and now it’s – it is a little modern, but I think (ah) i- i – it’s not full – it’s not a modern city. It’s always a classic city. It’s famous for its gardens and some old things. And – the – the most famous time is (ah) Qing dynasty, I think (ah) coz that time we have some (ah) very rich man lived in Yangzhou City. And now, I think Yangzhou is is – is just a little, it’s it’s als- it’s also OK; it’s fit for the people living there and it’s tider – it’s tidy, sometimes it is very clean, (ahh) people with very relaxing (ahh), and (ah) I like Yangzhou City very much. That’s all.

TRANSCRIBED BY: Bill McCann

DATE OF TRANSCRIPTION (DD/MM/YYYY): 10/04/2010

PHONETIC TRANSCRIPTION OF UNSCRIPTED SPEECH: N/A

TRANSCRIBED BY: N/A

DATE OF TRANSCRIPTION (DD/MM/YYYY): N/A

SCHOLARLY COMMENTARY:

North Jiangsu is dominated by the so-called “Jianghuai Culture,” that is, the culture of the area between the Yangtse River (Jiang) and Huaihe River (Huai). Historically, the term North Jiangsu refers to the cities north of the Yangtze River. Nanjing and Zhenjiang are exceptions because, culturally, they are part of the Jianghuai region, although they lie south of the Yangtse.

The river Huai He, flowing through north Jiangsu to the Yellow Sea, was once a major river in central China and traditionally defined the border between North China and South China. However, from 1194 AD, the Yellow River, which then lay further north and flowed into Bohai Bay, changed its course several times and ran instead into the Huai He. The silting caused by this was so heavy that after the last episode in 1855, the Huai He ceased to follow its usual course to the sea and flowed instead southward, through the Grand Canal, into the Yangtze. In the process it formed two new lakes: Hongze Hu and Gaoyou Hu.

The Jianghuai dialect, a member of the Mandarin Family, is spoken in the areas from the north of Yangtze to both shores of the original Huaihe. The Yangzhou dialect is generally acknowledged as the premier dialect of the group and is widely taken to be very close to the official Mandarin (based on the Nanjing dialect) spoken during the Ming (1368-1644) and early (1644 – 1796) Qing dynasties. It is only moderately understandable to an outsider, as there are significant differences with modern standard Mandarin. The Jianghuai dialect and the WU dialects in south Jiangsu are not mutually intelligible, and the dividing line is sharp and well defined.

Yi Zheng, an ancient town with a history of 2,500 years, is situated at the junction of the Grand Canal and the Yangtse. In the Spring and Autumn Period (770-403 B.C.), the Yangtse and the Huai He rivers were first linked by a canal. The opening of the Hangzhou to Beijng Grand Canal in AD 609 provided an opportunity for Yi Zheng to become a major transport and trade hub in the Tang and the Song Dynasties (618-1279). It was twice forced to change its name because, in the local dialect, it sounded the same as the name of the new Emperor, and this was illegal. The Emperor’s name was, of course, unique.

This subject, whose dialect is the premier example the Jianghuai dialect, has many noticeable characteristics that are typical of Asian speakers and also particular to speakers of Jianghuaihua. There is special difficulty with the word “veterinary,” with its initial /v/, and also the /r/ and /n/ phones, both of which the subject wants to pronounce as /l/. He compromises here with a something between “venitaly” and “wenitary.” The /l/ and /n/ characteristic swap crops up again in words such as “nearer,” “lower” and “worried” in the reading. Additionally, he trips over the possessive /s/ of “goose’s.” This seems to be a strong characteristic of the Jiangsu region at least. Noticeable are some general characteristics of Asian speakers, such as the transposition of /l/ and /r/ as in “millionaire,” but there is no obvious conscious effort to eliminate this from his own speech. Similarly, there is no effort to eliminate the transposition of /w/ for /v/, in “vet,” for example. This is in strong contrast to the previous sample of the Jianghuai dialect, where the subject did consciously suppress the /w/ sound.

COMMENTARY BY: Bill McCann

DATE OF COMMENTARY (DD/MM/YYYY): 10/04/2010

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