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Perceptions Of The Chinese About The North And South Accents (Research Paper Sample)


Final Project Students are required to write a research paper on one aspect of the Chinese language that is of interest to them. Process-based writing is adopted in preparing for the final paper, by which it means you will go through several stages of selecting a topic, writing an outline, and drafting before the final paper takes place. Three to four academic references are required. Some possible topics include:
Tone/vowel production by L2 and native speakers;
On a certain syntactic structure in Chinese (ba construction, bei construction, topic-comment structure, etc. );
Gender in Chinese language;
Language attitude towards XXX;
On Chinese writing system;
The acquisition (learning) of Chinese consonants, vowels or tones
This is my outline for the papers and my professor gives me some advice
outline:First part I want to write about my interesting stories about different accents between my boyfriends and me because we are so different into communication when we speak to our families. (I am from the south of China and he comes from the north of China.)we use different phenomes, morphemes, even pitch tosay hometown words. So I would like to compare these.Second part I want to write about people's attitudes towards them because my mother thinks that his accents from his hometown would be unacceptable and it is too low to put their accents in the public places. They are truly very wired for me because I think their accents are from the countryside. And why they don't speak mandarin. My boyfriend's parents want me to learn their accents for easily communicating. It is very hard for me who is learning and used to speak mandarin. (actually I have the negative attitude for their accents. I am not mean to it. I just couldn't accept it.)Third part I want to compare the cultural backgrounds and originsof these two accents. Why this dialect would be coming from in that area instead of the other one? this is very confusing me and I am very interested into it.
professor's advices:it sounds like an interesting topic. However, as you said, you do need to think more and more clearly about what you want to do.
maybe you can briefly talk about the difference between your dialect and your boyfriend's dialect (what dialect does he speak?) try to be academic, do not use "my dialect" or my "boyfriend's dialect". Just refer to them as Nanjing Mandarin and ... Mandarin.
Then you may want to do a brief attitude survey. For example you can ask your boy friend to record something in his dialect (just 10-20 second, maybe just one sentence) and then ask someone who speaks your dialect to record the same thing. it is good to use only males or only females.
then you can make a small google survey and upload those two sound files on google doc and prepare some questions, those related to your perception of your boyfriend's attitude. soemthing like, do you think the speaker is smart? do you think he is very successful? do you think he is handsome? do you think that he is ....
then you ask some Chinese native speakers to do the survey. then you will get a lot to say in your final paper, does it help? if not, let me know.
my boyfriend says Shijiazhuang dialect and i speak nanjing dialect(nankinese)


Course: CHIN 3275
Perceptions of the Chinese about Accents of the North and the South China
China is one of the largest countries on the globe and there exist several dialects. Therefore, there is little surprise in the way people from different parts of China sound when communicating using Mandarin (Standard Chinese). There are major differences in accents between Mandarin spoken in North China (Shijiazhuang Mandarin) and that spoken in South China (Nanjing Mandarin). It is important to note that it is only when speaking Mandarin that these differences are seen. Whereas the Northerners speak in a high pitched tone, the Southerners are known to speak slowly in an audible manner. Therefore, it is normally difficult to understand the Northern dialect for a person hearing the language for the first time. Even though Northern Mandarin is closer to official pronunciation that is the standard, those from the South actively refuse to adopt it. They believe that the Southern accent is better and the one used by the Northerners is ugly. This is something that Northerners never agree with. It is a disagreement that has been fought and talked about on several platforms, including social media and international news agencies. And despite the extensive coverage the debate has received, there has never been a clear winner and there is little doubt that any winner will ever emerge from the debate.
The linguistic variation between North and South china is an evidence of its diverse ethnic culture, history, and geography (Cao et. al. n.p). The choice to maintain one's pronunciation can be attributed to regional rivalries in China that started way back. Most uprisings that were witnessed in China during the 1800s were deeply rooted in regional ties. The Chinese government has attempted to ensure that there is linguistic standardization in the country. The core language of Chinese people today is “Putonghua” which is based on the Northern dialect (Junying 3). But even this has not encouraged the Southerners from stopping using their own accent. Even though the government has been able to suppress several regional ideologies, nothing has been achieved to harmonize the dialect between the North and the South and there is little hope that the debate will be brought to rest any time soon.
The belief that the northern dialect is better is something that has been going on for ages and yet there are some people that believe that it is the other way. Historically, Cantonese lost narrowly to Putonghua in the vote to decide which language should be the official language. Perhaps it is this perceived narrow loss that has made the Southerners bitter, making them feel that their dialect bears the same level of importance as the northern dialect. The situation would not have been different even if it had been Cantonese that was made the official language of the mainland China.
The South normally has more varieties in languages. Anyone who has lived in the south, then comes to the North would find it hard to get used to the “rhotic” pronunciation (Gong et al. 224). In fact, most of the languages spoken in the South have little resemblance to Mandarin. The Southern language normally never tries to retroflex which is common in the Northern Mandarin. Softer constants such as “ch”, “zh”, “sh”, and “s” are normally commonly used in the language. In the Southern Mandarin pronunciation, “sh” normally sounds like “s” and they normally add long “a” at the end of certain syllables. Moreover, for the Southern Chinese, “ch” normally sounds like “c”. In certain circumstances, Nanjing Mandarin speakers struggle to distinguish betwee...

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