Linguistic practice and identity work: Variation in Taiwan Mandarin at a Taipei County high school


Journal Article

This article examines variation in the use of two Taiwan Mandarin features, de-retroflection of sibilant fricatives [s{right tail}] → [s], and labial glide deletion [wo{open}] → [o{open}], in the speech of Taipei County high school students. The features become resources for the negotiation of identity positions within the highly structured school institution. I discuss the correlations between the use of Taiwan Mandarin and two social factors: membership in the small culture (Holliday ) of a particular bānjí or class, and individual aspirations. Holliday's concept of small cultures is proposed as a variant of the Community of Practice. I refer to Bucholtz and Hall's () tactics of intersubjectivity framework as a possible tool for explaining variation at the school. I argue that the two Taiwan Mandarin features are invoked to perform different social goals, which is possible because they are imbued with related but significantly different sociocultural meanings (Brubaker ; Baran ). © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Baran, D

Published Date

  • January 1, 2014

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 18 / 1

Start / End Page

  • 32 - 59

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1467-9841

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1360-6441

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1111/josl.12068

Citation Source

  • Scopus