Intercultural Communication

Course Website for Tunghai FLLD Seminar

Archive for December, 2006

More on New York City dialect

Posted by thuicc on December 21, 2006

There’s a nice Wikipedia article on “New York dialect” that has a section on pronunciation. It also discusses the social and ethnic factors that contribute to New York dialect. It also mentions (as of this date) the topic that Levonar was asking about last week regarding education and/or social class as ways of “removing” accent. The article says (again, as of this date):

Nevertheless, not even all European American New Yorkers use this variety. Upper-middle class European American New Yorkers and suburban residents from educated backgrounds often speak with less conspicuous accents; in particular, many, though hardly all, use rhotic pronunciations instead of the less prestigious non-rhotic pronunciations while maintaining some less stigmatized features such as the low back chain shift and the short a split ….

Similarly, the children of professional white migrants from other parts of the US frequently do not have many New York dialect features, and as these two populations come to dominate the southern half of Manhattan and neighboring parts of Brooklyn, the dialect is retreating from their neighborhoods. Many teens attending expensive private prep schools are barely linguistically recognizable as New Yorkers. Nevertheless, many New Yorkers, particularly those of Southern and Eastern European descent from the middle- and working-class, retain varying degrees of what has been coined New Yorkese or Brooklynese within their daily speech.

There’s also a link to the homepage of the alt.usage.english newsgroup, which contains an audio archive of people with different accents reading texts. There are samples of a New Yorker reading “Arthur the Rat” and “I teach Ferdinand the calm cat to fetch cold cups of coffee. Who knows more about tasting things? He’s used the book.

(I should add that the discussion page on the Wikipedia article is pretty interesting, too…)

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Posted in United States, websites | Comments Off on More on New York City dialect

Online audio files for Deborah Tannen article

Posted by thuicc on December 8, 2006

As I mentioned in class, the audio for some of the conversations from Tannen’s article is available online. Click on the links to listen to the conversations from pages 138-139, 140-141, and 143. (Some of what’s on the recordings is not in the article, but don’t worry…)

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Wikipedia project: Taiwanese localization movement

Posted by sydneylee on December 7, 2006

Due to the strong national power of Mainland China, Taiwan has been struggling to find its place in international society. For most foreigners, sometimes it is hard to distinguish Mainland China and Taiwan on culture, art and so on. That is why the Taiwanese government tries to develop the localization movement.

The article “Taiwanese localization movement” is divided into four sections: effect, history, suppose and dispute. At the very beginning, the article explains that in order not to be regarded as a part of China, the movement highlights the distinguishing characteristics of Taiwanese culture. It should be glad to see that Taiwanese government has put their effort to advance the local culture, whereas it is sad to know the movement has become a political trick which is played to win their elections in recent years.

Except, the article points out that the movement is mainly developed in three ways: rewriting textbooks to emphasize the history of Taiwan and tried not to put too much issues about the national identity problem between china and Taiwan, promoting the language and culture of aboriginal and Hakka through media, changing the names of some companies and organizations from “China” into “Taiwan.” However, it fails to contain the controversial part that each elementary school student is required to be taught Taiwanese which is a spoken language and the writing system had lost, thus causes many complains from schools and students. Yet, in my opinion, it is not wise to practice “the Campaign for the Correction of Names”. Because most of Taiwanese cultures and arts are developed from China, it means nothing even though the word “China” has been taken off from the title.

The article illustrates that the local identity of Taiwan had kept ignored by the Imperial Japanese government and the Kuomintang, but now the localization movement is highly valued after the governing of President Lee Teng-hui.

Moreover, according to the article, the movement earns the support from the two major political parties and PRC. However, there are some arguments between “three main political groups”, the article mentions, about whether Taiwan should create its own identity in order to separate from Mainland China or not. However, the process has been played as a dangerous movement; for some politicians are intend to lead people to think that we should drive anything related to China out of Taiwan, including those who came from China but stay in Taiwan now. It becomes a line which is hard to across between Taiwanese and Chinese. Besides, for instance, how do you define a literature, which is written by a Taiwanese yet is accomplished under the governing of Japanese government, as Japanese literature or Taiwanese literature? This article can add more information about what the movement influence Taiwan.

On the discussion part, one guy mentioned that the issue of localization movement “ is not a divisive issue on Taiwan”, and it also the support from major political parties. I agree with that. Since Taiwanese already has a strong conscious of nation identity, there is no political party want to lose their supporter for against the movement. Others say that “The Taiwanese localization movement really has nothing to do with the political status of Taiwan (now, it did in the 1970’s). It’s more of a question of local cultural identity”. In some part, people have more interested to find out what the root of Taiwanese art, literature, culture is. Yet, in other part, the movement is still effected by politic. They try to put the label on culture, art, and people about what is from Taiwan and what is not.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taiwanese_localization_movement

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Taiwanese Operas

Posted by aronyeh on December 7, 2006

The topic that I am going to talk about is “Taiwanese opera.” As everyone has known, Taiwanese opera had been very popular in last generation for such a long time. And most of people at that time might have stirring of emotions about Taiwanese operas, especially people who were from countryside.

After reading the article in Wikipedia, I was surprised and found that Taiwanese opera had originated from Taiwan. And the language that actors and actresses used in Taiwanese operas is native Taiwanese. Step by step, Taiwanese operas had been a common currency in Min Nan-speaking areas. Also, basically speaking, the stories were usually related to mythic legend. In Taiwanese operas, men would always play female roles. On the contrary, women would always play male roles. The article mentioned that this kind of way of “cross-dressed performers” was happened very often in most Chinese operas. In addition, people played some traditional Chinese instruments in Taiwanese operas, such as suona horns (嗩吶) and 南胡. The places where they always acted were in front of the temples, because temples were the only places that people would get together.

In this article, we might say 楊麗花 was the ancestor of Taiwanese opera. She started to act in operas in the early 1980s. Because of her, Taiwanese opera had been a hot trend in our society. Just like in rural village, after those moiling works, watching operas would be a really pleasant entertainment for those farmers.

In recent years, Taiwanese opera have changed a lot. For example, some modern western instruments have been used in these Taiwanese operas, like saxophones and guitars. Besides, aboriginal characters and stories would sometimes show up in operas. And they indeed influences so called “Hakka tea-picking opera.”

Nowadays, Taiwanese opera had ever performed in Europe. It means that Taiwanese opera is not a kind of native culture any more. It has become an international culture. Also, it would make people in the world know more about the beauty of Taiwan culture.

By the way, the history of the article has not been changed a lot. There is no big different in them.

Posted in arts, Taiwan, Wikipedia project | 1 Comment »