Singapore University of Social Sciences

Dialects and Chinese Culture (方言与中华文化)

Dialects and Chinese Culture (方言与中华文化) (CLC351)

Applications Open: 01 May 2024

Applications Close: 15 June 2024

Next Available Intake: July 2024

Course Types: Modular Undergraduate Course

Language: Chinese

Duration: 6 months

Fees: $1391.78 View More Details on Fees

Area of Interest: Linguistics and Languages

Schemes: Alumni Continuing Education (ACE)

Funding: To be confirmed

School/Department: School of Humanities & Behavioural Sciences


""Climbing over a mountain, you get a different tone; crossing through a field, and you get a different voice"". Mainland China’s geographical landscape is vast and diverse, and so are her dialects. These dialects carry a unique way of understanding the world by the local people, and contain a rich and wonderful cultural accumulation. In Singapore, since most early Chinese migrants were from the southern provinces of China, the five main Chinese dialect groups are Hokkien, Teochew, Cantonese, Hainanese and Hakka, while the Fuzhou dialect, Pu-Xian, and Shanghainese have smaller speaker bases. Singapore’s language policy promotes a dual-language learning system, with English as the main medium of instruction, and it is compulsory for students to learn their mother tongue language in primary and secondary schools. In the present day, dialects are more commonly spoken by the older generation, and to a lesser extent by the younger generation. Through CLC351 Chinese Dialects and Culture, students will learn to appreciate the unique charm of each dialect, its characteristics and its relationship with Singapore Chinese culture.

Level: 3
Credit Units: 5
Presentation Pattern: Every July
E-Learning: - Learning is done ENTIRELY online using interactive study materials in Canvas. Students receive guidance and support from online instructors via discussion forums and emails. There are no face-to-face sessions. If the course has an exam component, this will be administered on-campus. To be confirmed


  • Introduction to Chinese dialects and culture
  • Language, dialects and modern Chinese
  • Dialects and names of places
  • Dialects and folklore
  • Dialects and migration
  • Language interaction and cultural exchange
  • The history of Guanhua and Wu dialects
  • The history of Hunan, Jiangxi, Guangdong and Fujian dialects
  • Overview of dialects in Singapore
  • Singapore language policy and dialects
  • Singapore Chinese clan associations and dialects
  • Recording and inheritance of dialects

Learning Outcome

  • 讨论汉语方言的地域划分和发展历史。
  • 区分方言作为沟通工具、文化传承、情感纽带、身份认同的四大功能。
  • 阐明方言与普通话的关系及其在新加坡的发展。
  • 检视汉语方言的特点,以及各方言之间的内在联系。
  • 分析社会因素如何影响方言的发展和演变。
  • 说明方言与文化的关系。
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