Introduction to Taiwanese/Southern Min Language and Culture
This course, which includes a required, fully-funded two-week field trip to Taipei, Quemoy (Jinmen), and Xiamen over Spring Break, constitutes an introduction to Taiwanese, the majority language of Taiwan, which is essentially the same as the native language of Xiamen, China and environs. Different varieties of this language, which is also known as Amoy, Hokkien, Fukienese, and Southern Min are spoken by about 50 million people in Taiwan, southern Fujian, the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore. Suppressed in Taiwan by the Japanese from 1895-1945 and by the KMT Chinese government from 1945 through the 1970s, Taiwanese–in both its spoken and written forms–has been experiencing a fascinating revival in recent decades. The most divergent of all the major Chinese “dialects,” this language is of special linguistic interest because it has preserved a number of features of Old Chinese. Our focus will be on developing basic listening and speaking skills, though we will also study some of the special characters used to write Taiwanese. The relationship between language and culture and the sociolinguistically appropriate use of language will be stressed throughout. Since students in the course will ordinarily possess prior proficiency in Mandarin, a related language, we should be able to cover in one semester about as much as is covered in the first two semesters of Mandarin. Classes will include dialog performance, drills, communicative exercises, and oral reading and discussion of written Taiwanese. Required Spring Break field trip to Taiwan and China, funded by the Global Initiatives Fund.
The Class: Type: seminar
Requirements/Evaluation: classroom performance, homework, quizzes, tests, a journal and term paper based on the field trip, and an oral and written final exam; Spring Break field trip to Taiwan and China, funded by the Global Initiatives Fund
Prerequisites: CHIN 301 or permission of the instructor
Enrollment Preference: if course is over-enrolled, students will be selected based on a statement of rationale and goals for wishing to participate, with CHIN and ASST majors receiving priority
Distributions: Division I;