For anyone who has mastered a few basic Chinese commands and been stumped when your local street vendor doesn’t know what you’re saying since he speaks ‘Shanghainese’, you may be able to call his bluff next time! It seems that there are very few ‘pure’ Shanghai dialect speakers; whatever ‘pure’ means. The Shanghai government has had to rethink a recent recruitment drive to recruit Shanghainese speakers as they failed to find even a few qualified candidates. Of the 13 recruitment sites, only 2 found suitable candidates despite it being reported that there are over 14 million speakers of the dialect. The government are now turning to the media for help in preserving and researching the dialect. If you're looking to brush up on your Shanghainese then visit Shanghai City’s very own ‘how to guide’ - complete with sound clips!
A semi-academic linguistics blog about Sinotibetan, previously focused primarily on Wú, a Sinitic language spoken in the Yangtze Delta region. Topics now include historical linguistics, documentation, language rights, sociolinguistics and learning materials, as well as acting as the dev blog for Phonemica from time to time.
I'm a linguist based in Asia, working on documentation and historical development of Sinotibetan. In addition to academic research, I'm heavily involved in Phonemica, an organisation that promotes crowd-sourced preservation of local languages.
I'm currently in the field, so getting in touch isn't easy. However you can try to email me at the following address and I'll respond as soon as I'm able:email@example.com