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

Language contact as language ideology: the case of Pǔtōnghuà and Bái

  • Brook Hefright, EMAIL logo


This article explores the negotiation of discourses of ethnicity and language standardization among users of Bái in Yúnnán Province. Drawing on Kloss's (1967) Ausbau and Abstand, I compare texts in which language users represent their vernacular in orthography and in Chinese characters to demonstrate the asymmetrical projection of a Standard vs. non-Standard opposition and a Sinitic vs. non-Sinitic opposition from the national to the local level. Theorizing these asymmetries in terms of Irvine and Gal's (2000) fractal recursivity and Silverstein's (2003) indexical order, I discuss how they simultaneously index language users' social positions and demonstrate their orientation toward broader discourses.

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

©[2012] by Walter de Gruyter Berlin Boston

Downloaded on 5.12.2023 from
Scroll to top button