Jiangsu 8

Listen to Jiangsu 8, a 20-year-old woman from Danyang, Zhenjiang, Jiangsu Province, China. Click or tap the triangle-shaped play button to hear the subject.

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AGE: 20

DATE OF BIRTH (DD/MM/YYYY): 09/09/1989

PLACE OF BIRTH: Danyang, Zhenjiang, Jiangsu Province

GENDER: female

ETHNICITY: Han Chinese


EDUCATION: At the time of the recording, the subject was in her second year at university.


Subject came to live in Suzhou, Jiangsu, 18 months before the date of the recording.


Influences are few. Apart from her one-and-a-half years at university in Suzhou, she has not spent any time away from hometown. Her English teachers at school were all Chinese, and her exposure to native speakers has been confined to four hours a week at university, where she is an English major. The need to speak Putonghua at university will have had some influence, but this does not seem to amount to very much.

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







My hometown is Danyang, which is located in Jiangsu Province. It is (ah) close to (ah) Changzhou. (Ahm) Once it was (ah) a small town, but now we can call it a city. (Ah) I – I come from a big (ah) big family (ahm); my father has (ah) four brothers and a sister. And in my family (ah) just my father, my mother (ahm), my (ah) my big brother and me. I made a lot of friends when I was a child and, and also when I graduated from (ah) the elementary school I went (ah) a middle school (ah), which is still in my hometown. And I love China very much (ah) for (ah) his long history and, the most of all (ahm), it is my hometown and (ah) China has lot – a long history and a wonderful culture.







Short readings from the analects of Confucius

The subject now goes on to read the following abstracts from the Analects of Confucius in her own Linkouhua dialect. A reading in Putonghua (Mandarin) can be heard on the China 15 sample.

KEY: A = Mandarin (Simplified); B = Mandarin (Pingyin); C = Dialect (Pingyin); D = English.

孔子: 论语 – Kǒng zǐ : lún yǔ – Confucius: Lun Yu

學而第一 – xué ér dì yī –  Chapter One

A: 1-1:-  子曰: 學而時習之、不亦說乎。

B: yī-yī :-  zǐ yuē: xué ér shí xí zhī, bù yì yuè hū.

C: yī-yī :-  Zi ya:. huo ei si xi zi, fai yiyaohu.

D: 1-1:-  The Master said: Is it not pleasure to learn, and practice what is learned time and again?

A: 1-2:- 有朋自遠方來、不亦樂乎。

B: yī-èr:-  yǒu péng zì yuǎn fāng lái, bù yì lè hū.

C: yī-èr:-  You beng zi you fang lai, fai yiyaohu.

D: 1-2:-  Is it not happiness to have friends coming from distant places?

A: 1-3:-  人不知而不慍、不亦君子乎。

B: yī-sān:  rén bù zhī ér bù yùn, bù yì jūn zi hū.

C: yī-sān:  Ning fai zi ei fai yun, fai yi jun zi hu.

D: 1-3:-  Is it not virtue for a man to feel no discomposure when others take no note of him?

為政第二 – wéi zhèng dì èr Chapter two

A: 2-2:-  子曰:「詩三百,一言以蔽之,曰:『思無邪』。

B: èr-èr:- zǐ yuē: shī sān bǎi, yī yán yǐ bì zhī , yuē: sī wú xié.

C: èr-èr:-  Ziyao:si san be, yi yi yi bi zi,yao: si v xia.

D: 2-2:-  The Master said: In the Book of Odes there are three hundred poems, but they may be summarized in a single sentence: Think no evil.

A: 2-7:-  子游問孝。子曰:今之孝者,是謂能養。至於犬馬,皆能有養;不敬, 何 以別乎。

B: èr-qī:-  zǐ Yóu wèn xiào. zǐ yuē: jīn zhī xiào zhě, shì wèi néng yǎng. zhì wū quǎn mǎ, jiē néng yǒu yǎng; bù jìng, hé yǐ bié hū.

C: : èr-qī:-  Zi you ven xiao. Ziyao: jin zi xiao ze, si wei neng yai. Zi you qiu mu, ji neng you yai; fai jin, he z bi hu.

D: 2-7:-  Zi You asked what filial piety was. The Master said: Nowadays, providing support for one’s parents is considered filial piety. But dogs and horses can also do this. If there is no respect, what is the difference?

A: 2-10:- 子曰:「視其所以,觀其所由,察其所安。人焉叟哉?人焉叟哉?

B: èr-shí :-  zǐ yuē: shì qí suǒ yǐ , guān qí suǒ yóu, chá qí suǒ ān. rén yān sǒu zāi? rén yān sǒu zāi?

C: èr-shí :-  Ziyao: si ci sou z, si ci sou you, ca qi sou an. Ning yan sou zai? Ning yan sou zai?

D: 2-10:-  The Master said: Watch what a man does. Find out his motives. See how he takes his ease. How then can the man hide his true self? How can the man hide his true self?


The subject was raised in Linkou town in Dangyan, a county-level city situated on the southern bank of Yangtze. Danyang means “Scarlet Sun” in Mandarin and was named as an independent county jurisdiction in 742 A.D. during the Tang Dynasty. Two emperors, Xu Daocheng (427 – 482 A.D.), the founder emperor of the Southern Dynasty, and Xu Yan (464 – 549 A.D.), the founder of the Liang Dynasty, lived in the town before ascending the throne.

Situated on a water-rich flatland that is crisscrossed by 96 rivers and the Grand Canal, Danyang was traditionally an agricultural area. However, it is now a thriving industrial development area known as “Golden Danyang” and forms part of the “Golden Triangle” of Jiangsu Province.

Within China, Danyang has been famous for centuries as the hometown of the hero in the legend that explains the origin of the Milky Way and gave China her “Valentine’s Day” (Qi Qiao Jie). Here is the legend:

Dong Yun, farmer, lived with his father after his mother died. They were so poor that when his father died, Dong Yun did not have enough money to even buy a coffin. In desperation, he sold himself to a greedy landlord as a slave in exchange for the money to bury his father.

His plight moved a princess who was the seventh daughter of the Goddess of the Heavens. She broke her mother’s rules and descended to Earth in secret. With the help of her sisters, she met Yun and married him. Within a month, she wove 300 bolts of cloth and gave these to the landlord in return for her husband’s freedom.

When the Goddess finally heard what had been done, she sent her warriors to Earth to bring her daughter back to the Heavens. But Dong Yun flew into the sky after them, and to save him from death, the Princess used her hairpin to a river, the Milky Way, in the sky. This protected her husband from warriors but also separated him from her forever.

The princess gave birth to a baby boy, but the Goddess ruled that the infant could not stay with her. The infant was seized and sent back to Yun, who was now living in poverty. Day and night, the sobbing Princess watched as the lonely and wretched husband carried his crying infant on his back as he searched for work and food.

The Goddess, moved by the distress of both, eventually agreed that the couple could meet once a year. A flight of countless magpies, using their bodies and wings, made a bridge over the river, so that the separated family could be reunited on the evening of the seventh day of the seventh lunar month. This day in August is now known as the Double Seventh and celebrated as China’s Valentine’s Day.

The subject’s native dialect is Linkouhua, which is considered the type dialect of Danyanghua. There are a number of sub-dialects in Danyanghua, and they are all more or less mutually intelligible. At a higher level, Danyanghua is a member of the Northern Wu group. However, the tone sandhi patterning differs from the Suzhou, Wuxi and Shanghai dialects.

The subject’s accent is rather mild but has some noticeable characteristics, which can be heard on the recordings; they include the /l/ and /r/ minimal pair substitution, as in “lunatic” and “lower.” The subject also freely makes the /s/ for /θ/ substitution throughout. There is a very slight tendency towards the /m/ and /n/ substitution, which is noticeable here in “town.”



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