chapter  9.4
9 Pages

My never-ending education

WithZhang Zheng-sheng

The author grew up in Urumqi in Northwest China during the turbulent times of the Cultural Revolution (CR). The Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, where Urumqi is located, can be considered the Chinese version of a melting pot. Most gravitated towards history and literature, but a combination of poor background in the humanities and interest in the sciences led the author instead to the social sciences such as psychology and linguistics. The author recently realized that his/her present interest in stylistics, which straddles both linguistic and literary fields, may in fact have had its germination during the last year in college. Though a Cantonese speaker, the author's early view of dialects was colored by the fairly common chauvinistic attitude towards "non-standard" varieties in China, despite the fact that many dialects in fact can claim more direct lineage to older forms of Chinese.