SOAS University of London

Department of Linguistics, School of Languages, Cultures and Linguistics

Yingying Mu

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Yingying Mu
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Thesis title:
Documentation of Pela and language contact between Pela and Zaiwa in lexical and syntactic borrowings
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Yingying received her BA with honours in Chinese language and literature in Yunan University, China in 2006 and came to SOAS for the MA in Language Documentation and Description in 2011. She started her PhD studies in linguistics at SOAS in September 2013, focusing on language contact between Zaiwa and Pela. She is a native speaker of these two Tibeto-Burman languages spoken by the Chinese state-designated Jingpo minority in Yunnan, south-west China.

PhD Research

Yingying intends to describe the definitely endangered Pela language and its contact with Zaiwa. She will compare the Pela that is spoken among native speakers, and the Pela that is spoken by the Shaman, which is considered by the community to be the "pure version" of Pela (avoid lexical borrowings). Analysis of the differences between these two versions will focus on lexical borrowings and syntactic structures. These differences will then be used to compare with Zaiwa, looking for Zaiwa influence on Pela in general and lexical borrowings and syntactic structures in particular.  Her PhD project also includes the documentation of Pela, which is funded by the Endangered Languages Documentation Programme. Audio, video and photographic records will pay special attention to endangered genres such as religious ritual and folk stories.