Linguistic Diversity in China

Principal Investigator: Mark Liberman, Director, Linguistic Data Consortium

Co-Principal Investigators: Christopher Cieri, Executive Director; Jiahong Yuan, Associate Director of Speech Research

Lead School: Linguistic Data Consortium, School of Arts and Sciences

Penn Partners: School of Arts and Sciences (Departments of East Asian Languages and Civilizations and of Linguistics)

Chinese Partners: Beijing Normal University; Minzu University; Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (Departments of Dialectology and Phonetics); Beijing Language and Culture University (School of Linguistic Sciences)

Project Abstract

Through this project, the Linguistic Data Consortium (LDC) will extend its initiative on linguistic diversity in China, with specific emphasis on the documentation and analysis of variation in standard, regional, and minority languages. In particular, this project will conduct efforts under three interrelated headings: The Putonghua Test, Tone in Chinese Languages, and Language Change in China.  In each of these areas, the team has a record of research both at Penn and in collaboration with Chinese colleagues. Research of this type has diverse scientific and practical applications. On the scientific side, there is basic humanistic and sociolinguistic documentation, as well as investigations into the fundamental nature of speech and language. On the practical side, there are direct applications to speech technology and to language instruction.