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Tourist tongues: High-speed rail carries linguistic and cultural urbanisation beyond the city limits in Guangxi, China

Tourist tongues: High-speed rail carries linguistic and cultural urbanisation beyond the city... AbstractThis article builds upon research which analyses the reconstruction of cities in China as an integral part of image-making discourses competing to attract mobile capital. It extends that literature beyond urban places to urbanisation processes, examining the material and linguistic features of networks and discourses of new high-speed rail infrastructure Guangxi, a poorer, rural, multilingual and multiethnic region of the People’s Republic of China (China) in which tourism – propelled by high-speed trains – has become a pillar of economic development. It argues that these trains produce symbolically powerful discourses which contribute to cultural urbanisation across Guangxi, emplacing urban norms outside city limits in pursuit of profitable sameness, as tourism does not trade only upon difference. Local multilingualism, specifically, is erased as too different, a barrier to tourists’ (and tourism capital’s) mobility. Amongst other ramifications, this reproduces social distance and ideologically displaces local languages. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Applied Linguistics Review de Gruyter

Tourist tongues: High-speed rail carries linguistic and cultural urbanisation beyond the city limits in Guangxi, China

Applied Linguistics Review , Volume 12 (1): 27 – Mar 26, 2021

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Publisher
de Gruyter
Copyright
© 2020 Alexandra Grey, published by De Gruyter, Berlin/Boston
ISSN
1868-6303
eISSN
1868-6311
DOI
10.1515/applirev-2019-0099
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

AbstractThis article builds upon research which analyses the reconstruction of cities in China as an integral part of image-making discourses competing to attract mobile capital. It extends that literature beyond urban places to urbanisation processes, examining the material and linguistic features of networks and discourses of new high-speed rail infrastructure Guangxi, a poorer, rural, multilingual and multiethnic region of the People’s Republic of China (China) in which tourism – propelled by high-speed trains – has become a pillar of economic development. It argues that these trains produce symbolically powerful discourses which contribute to cultural urbanisation across Guangxi, emplacing urban norms outside city limits in pursuit of profitable sameness, as tourism does not trade only upon difference. Local multilingualism, specifically, is erased as too different, a barrier to tourists’ (and tourism capital’s) mobility. Amongst other ramifications, this reproduces social distance and ideologically displaces local languages.

Journal

Applied Linguistics Reviewde Gruyter

Published: Mar 26, 2021

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