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Northwest Guizhou multiethnic areas of language ecology and language protection

Author: ZhangYongBin
Tutor: ZhouGuoYan
School: Central University for Nationalities
Course: Linguistics and Applied Linguistics
Keywords: multi-national area northwest of Guizhou Province language ecology language harmony language preservation
Type: PhD thesis
Year: 2011
Downloads: 174
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Ecolinguistics, which considers a language and the environment on which it depends to live as an open ecosystem, argues that an ecosystem with diversity tends to acquire more stability and harmony.However, owing to the impact of economic globalization and integration tide, some ethnic languages in mainland China are suffering from unprecedented risks, which consequently produces great effect on the diversity of language and the harmony of linguistic ecology. Whinin the area of language diversity,it is inevitable to confront with the conflicts and competitions among languages. The harmonious development of languages is the basic requirement of a sound progress of a society, which takes on the features of harmony among internal elements of a language, and the harmony between the external factors and a language. Therefore, it is vital to maintain the diversity of a language, which aims at preserving the diversity of a language itself, but constructing a harmonious relationship among nationalities and promoting a harmonious society as well.Apart from Han people, other 34 ethnic groups as Yi, Miao, Bai, Buyi,Gelao had settled down in the Northwest of Guizhou Province.In addition, such unidentified ethnic groups as Chuanqing, Caijia live there too.A residing distribution pattern of an area inhabited by several nationalities and an area inhabited by a single ethnic group has been formed. Different languages densely distributed there, which results in the universal use of two or more than more languages in every nationality, and deepens the complication of the development and changes in language application. As a result, it is significant to explore the linguistic ecology in the area inhabited by several nationalities in the northwest of Guizhou Province. Theoretically,it will contribute to the study of social functions of a language and the inheritance of national languages and culture, and provide a practical base for drawing up and implementing the regulations of Chinese.Based on the frame of "language diversity" of ecolinguistics, setting out from the linguistic ecosystem of a multi-national area in the northwest of Guizhou province, the paper investigates the internal and the external factors influencing linguistic ecosystem, explores the communicative functions of a language, the harmony among languages and language preservation.Aparts from the introduction and conclusion parts, the paper includes the following eight Chapters:Chapter i:A brief introduction to the northwest of Guizhou Province and its situation of linguistic ecosystem. Firstly, the chapter briefly introduces its history, adiministrative divisions, living environment, polulation, ethnic groups and its distribution. Secondly, based on the introduction of its language distribution and phonology system, the chapter interprets the existing language ecology and explores the causes resulting in the linguistic ecosystem. Thirdly, the chapter introduces the languages changes in this area, analyzes the bilingual and multilingual universality in the multi-national areas, the hirarchical features in the application of different languages, and summarizes the linguistic ecosystem and the distribution in different areas inhabited by several nationalities.Chapter ii:Comparing and analyzing the internal structures and mechanism of different languages of the language system in northwest of Guizhou Province.This chapter focuses on the comparison of the phonetic system, rules and structures(including semantic structure)of Han, Yi, Miao, Gelao, Buyi and Caijia. What’s more, it also presents an analysis of the connections of the internal factors in different language system while communicating among different groups.Chapter iii:A case study on the language uses of Yi people in Sanguan village, Datun Yi town of Bijie. This chapter investigates and analyzes the bilingual ecology of the ethnic group in an area inhabited by a single ethnic group. Firstly, it investigates, classifies and analyzes the language application of Yi People in Sanguan Village; Secondly,it explores the development of vocabulary in the communication between Miao and Han people. Thirdly, it investigates the social base of bilingual ecology in an area inhabited by a single ethnic group in terms of bilingual capability, ways and purposes of mastering it and language ecology of Yi People.Chapter iv:Taking Tongxin village of Dingxin Yi and Miao town, Dafang county as a case study. The chapter investigates the language application and language harmony in an area inhabited by several nationalities. Firstly, it introduces the nationalities, language application in Tongxin village. Secondly, it explores the practical situation of language ecology in an area inhabited by several nationalities in northwest of Guizhou Province through the investigation of the language application, contexts of multilingual application and ways of multilingual acquisition of Miao, Yi and Buyi in Tongxin village. Thirdly, it also explores why the mother language ability of the young decreases and the Chinese ability increases while stabilizing the mother language of ethnic groups in the area inhabited by several ethnic groups through the statistical analysis of the mother language ability in different nationalities.Chapter v:Taking the mother language ecology of Gelao people in Hongfeng village, Pudi of Dafang county as another case study. It explores the deviation of the internal structures of the mother language of Gelao people living in chinese dominated area when they communicate with Han people. What’s more, it also investigates the language attitude of Gelao people and the influence on language application. Firstly, it presents a general introduction of the Gelao people and the application of their mother language in Hongfeng village. Secondly, it compares the phonectic structures of Gelao with that of Yi, analyzes how Gelao borrows words from Chinese. Thirdly,it explores the evolution of the word order of Gelao in languages communications. Fourth, it also investigates that language attitude of Gelao people and the correspondent impact on multilingual application and mother language maintainance.Chapter vi:Presenting a statistical analysis by taking "general knowledge" and "the percentage of’gereral knowledge’ as the index. It aims to explore how well nationalities in the northwest of Guizhou Province get to know Chinese regulations promulgated, how the Chinese staff think about these regulations and acquire the assessment that nationalities have on their own linguistic behaviors. Based on this, it explores how well Chinese regulations are generalized in multi-national areas. What’s more, it also demonstrates the efficiency of the governmental measures, which provides certain social index to the deepening carrying out of Chinese regulations and proposes a macro reflection of preserving the language diversity in multi-national areas.Chapterⅶ:Summarizing and analyzing the features of language ecology and the evolving trend in multi-national areas in the northwest of Guizhou Province. Firstly, based on the survey of the three kinds of areas inhabited by several nationalities, it summarizes the features of language ecology in the area inhabited by several nationalities in the northwest of Guizhou Province; Secondly, it argues the evolving trend of language ecology through different kinds of areas inhabited by several nationalities; Finally, it also illustrates the factors influencing the development of the language ecology in multi-national areas, which presents some potential solutions to the language preservation.Chapterⅷ:Based on the study carried out above, theoretically exploring perserving the harmonious coexistence of multilingual ecology in multi-national areas in the northwest of Guizhou Province. The chapter focuses on the significance of language ecology in the area inhabited by several nationalities in the northwest of Guizhou Province. Furthermore, it also presents the thinking on the preservation of language resources in multi-national areas from the perspectives of ecology and cultural linguistics. In addition, it also provides some strategies and measures to preserving language ecology.By carrying out social survey with concrete index, the paper acquires a scientific research data. Furthermore, by taking the quantitative research method and social statistics, combining with qualitative research method, the paper objectively describes the actual reality of the language ecology and language life in multi-national areas in the northwest of Guizhou Province. The significance of the research lies in the following aspects:Firstly, it attempts to apply ecolinguistics into investigating and analyzing the complex language atmosphere in multi-national areas in the northwest of Guizhou Province; Secondly, it attempts to apply the principles of ecolinguistics to provide a solution to maintaining and preserving the languages of ethnic groups in multi-national areas in the northwest of Guizhou Province.

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CLC: > Language, writing > China 's minority languages
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