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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter Mouton May 1, 2012

Language contact between Uyghur and Chinese in Xinjiang, PRC: Uyghur elements in Xinjiang Putonghua

  • Ablimit Baki, EMAIL logo


This article reports on language contact between Uyghur and Chinese in the Uyghur Autonomous Region of Xinjiang in China. It proposes that the massive influx of Han Chinese migrants to Xinjiang resulted in intense language contact between the speakers of Uyghur and Chinese. As a result of this, these two languages are mutually affecting each other in the region. The focus of this article is on the influence of Uyghur on Putonghua in Xinjiang. Four categories of this influence are reported: (1) phonological influence that produces Putonghua sounds similar to Uyghur sounds, exemplified by the dropping of tones, the changing of sounds and the addition of certain sounds which are closer to those in Uyghur; (2) lexical influence, exemplified by introducing into Putonghua elements of the Uyghur lexicon which are then adapted to resemble Putonghua lexical forms; (3) grammatical influence that produces Putonghua grammatical structures similar to those of Uyghur, exemplified by changing word order in Putonghua grammatical structures; and (4) semantic influence that makes use of Uyghur expressions in Putonghua through literal translation, exemplified by using Uyghur similes and metaphors directly to describe people and things in certain contexts.

Published Online: 2012-05-01
Published in Print: 2012-05-17

©[2012] by Walter de Gruyter Berlin Boston

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