Chinese dialect festival

Articles, books, monographs, resources and more, if you would like to learn about dialects!
Useful literature
Shanghai Dialect for Foreigners. 徐子亮
Edited by 徐子亮 (Shanghai Haiwen Audio-Video Publishers, 2005).
With this book you will be able to master short phrases using Shanghai dialect.
Shanghainese Grammar by Qian Nai Rong

Gives a full and many-sided description of Shanghainese grammar, phonology and lexis.
A Chinese two-channel contrastive textbook of Mandarin and Shanghai dialect by Chen Abao

All material is represented in both Mandarin (with pinyin) and Shanghainese (with IPA), with explanations in both English and Japanese. The textbook is accompanied by an MP3 CD with nearly three hours of recordings (in Mandarin and Shanghainese only).
Each lesson is broken down into a familiar pattern: (1) New Words, (2) Sentence Patterns, (3) Dialogues, (4) Exercises, (5) (Grammar) Notes.
Learning to Speak Shanghainese , 2nd Edition
(学说上海话, 第二版)
Edited by Ye Pan Yue ((叶盼月)
(Shanghai Jiaotong University Press - 上海交通大学出版社) 1994

Xue Shuo Shanghai-hua (学说上海话) is one of the textbooks on Shanghainese. It provides tone information for all vocabulary introduced throughout the book. For the student of tones that just "needs to know," this book satisfies.

1. Yiya Chen and Carlos Gussenhoven. Shanghai Chinese.
Abstract: Shanghai Chinese (Shanghainese; 上海话) is a Wu dialect (ISO 639-3; code: wuu) spoken in the city of Shanghai (CN-31), one of the four municipalities in the People's Republic of China. Over the last century, the dialect has been heavily influenced by neighbouring dialects spoken in the provinces of Jiangsu and Zhejiang, such as Jianghuai Mandarin (江淮官话), the Suzhou Wu dialect (吴语苏州话), and the Ningbo Wu dialect (吴语宁波话), in addition to two other, more distant dialects, Cantonese (广东话) and Northern Mandarin (北方官话). Most native speakers of Shanghai Chinese are in fact descendants of immigrants from Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces who moved to Shanghai in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. More recently, the position of Shanghai Chinese has been eroded with the influx of immigrants from other parts of the country and the widespread adoption of Standard Chinese.

2.Jiang Yuyu. Experimental Study on Vowel Acoustics for English Learners in Fujian and Wu Dialect Areas
Abstract: This paper compares similar vowels in the Min and Wu dialect meta-phonetic systems and the American English meta-phonetic systems, and finds that it is difficult for students in both regions to accurately acquire target sounds similar to those in the native language phonetic systems.However, the distribution and development trend of the intermediate vowel system of students in the two places is very close, probably because the phonological characteristics of similar vowels in the two dialect vowel systems are very close, so that the learner's second vowel acquisition is also more similar to the influence of the native language speech system.

3. SUN YIZHI. White Russians in Shanghai After The World War II: Analysis of Statistic Data
Abstract: This article is dedicated to the analysis of economic and social status of white Russian emigrants in Shanghai after the World War II. The data of the census survey conducted by the Shanghai Municipal Police in 1946-1947, as well as the personal consumption expenditures price index created by the Shanghai Bureau of Statistics are used in this article. During the analysis it became clear that the white Russian emigrants group in Shanghai in 1946-1947 was undergoing a transformation from "the low-class society," i.e. a group of refugees and poors, to "the high-class society," i.e. so called "shanghailanders".

4.Fang Hu. Vowels and Diphthongs in Cangnan Southern Min Chinese Dialect.
Abstract: This paper gives an acoustic phonetic description of the vowels and diphthongs in Cangnan Southern Min Chinese dialect. Vowel formant data from 10 speakers (5 male and 5 female) show that the distribution of Cangnan monophthongs in the acoustic vowel space is of particular typological interest. Diphthong production is examined in terms of temporal organization, spectral property, and dynamic aspects. Results suggest that the production of falling diphthongs tends to be a single articulatory event with a dynamic spectral target, while the production of rising diphthongs and level diphthongs is a sequence of two spectral targets.

5.Two Variations of Stress in The Wu(吳) and Gan(贛) Dialects
Abstract: In linguistics, stress is a relative emphasis that may be given to certain syllables in a word. In general, stressed syllables express strong intensity. But in Chinese languages, stress is not just be defined by one criterion infallibly; the list of criteria could be extended with register, duration and contour. Chinese is not a typical stress language. In this article, we will discuss two variations of stress in the Wu(吳) and Gan(贛) dialects.

6.The Bundle of Isoglosses for Distinguishing the Wu Dialect as a Group
Abstract: This article is established in the distinctive features of the Wu dialect. The author selects 6 maps of dialect from Linguistic Atlas of Chinese Dialects and makes binary grouping on the various deviant forms of the linguistic items involved. After that, the writer draws isogloss maps and puts them together, thus presenting the bundle of isoglosses which can distinguish the Wu Dialect area. In the end, through the combination of the isoglosses and the elevation simulation, the writer observes the deviation degrees of the isoglosses from the central area.

7.Temporal information in sentence-final particles: Tse and keh in Modern Shanghai Wu. Yan JIANG and Wen WANG.

Abstract: This paper scrutinizes the claim that modern Shanghainese has sentence-final particles tse and keh that have tense-marking functions. We review works by Qian (2006; 2009), Chao (1926) and Li, Thompson & Thompson (1982) and analyse Shanghainese

missionary texts on the use of these SFPs. Through a functional-discoursal investigation, we identify the IN-cluster use and the END-cluster use of tse. We take the temporal marking function of tse as a consequence of its discourse function, which introduces a current reference time in the discourse. On the other hand, we take keh as an assertion particle, whose occasional sense of recent past comes from its confirmation of a completed event.

8.Logan Simpson. Analysis of an invented writing system for the Shanghainese language

Abstract: The present study uses qualitative methods to analyze and restore an invented missionary writing system for the Shanghainese language, and uses the restoration to check for historical sound change. The project consists of two parts: the analysis and restoration of the orthography and the confirmation of historical sound changes Shanghainese. The restoration of the writing system provides all symbols with equivalent International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) symbols. Following restoration to IPA is an explanation of the rules for combining initial and final symbols to form a single character, as well as rules for tonal distinction. The analysis of the restored orthography compares development with the academic criteria for orthography development, and finds that it is a sound writing system.

The evaluation also reviews the sociolinguistic criteria crucial for orthography acceptance, and shows that the writing system does not meet these criteria in present day Shanghai. The results of the check for historical sound change confirm that many of the sounds not found in present day Shanghainese existed in this writing system. The phones found in this writing system are able to confirm the disappearance or merger of various sounds in Shanghainese since the mid 19th century. Overall, the study shows that the invented writing system is sound, but would not be accepted in Shanghai today. However, it should be reviewed by other linguists as having the possibility to represent other languages.

9.Inspiratory vowels in the vocalism of the Mexian and Shanghai dialects and their diachronic genetic counterparts - retroflex vowels in the vocalism of the Chinese Putonghua. A. N. Aleksakhin

Abstract: The study of the phonological systems of Chinese regional languages (fangyan) is relevant in the 21st century. The creation of the alphabet and sound-letter word standard of the state Chinese language Mandarin is a landmark event in the history of Chinese civilization. The phonological systems of the South Chinese regional languages Uyu, Kejiayu, Yueyu, Minyu are characterized by the presence of inspiratory vowels. In traditional Chinese phonology, syllables with inspiratory vowels are defined by the term “rusheng” “incoming voice”, as opposed to syllables with expiring vowels “pingsheng” (smooth), “shangsheng” (ascendant), “qusheng” (downward). Inspiration as a reverse movement of the sound-producing air jet correlates with the articulation motion of the apex in the sound production of retroflex vowels and consonants .

  1. Medhurst W.H. A dictionary of the Hok-këèn dialect of the Chinese language. Ma­cao, 1832
  2. Maclay R.S., Baldwin C.C., Le­ger S.H. Dictionary of the Foochow dialect. 3rd ed. Shanghai, 1929
  3. Douglas C., Bar­clay T. Chinese-En­glish dictionary of the vernacular or spoken language of Amoy. Taipei, 1990
  4. Campbell W. A dictionary of the Amoy verna­cular. Tainan, 2006
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