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Access Type

Open Access Thesis

Document Type


Degree Program


Degree Type

Master of Arts (M.A.)

Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded



My idiolect, a Xin’an idiolect, belongs to the Wuxi dialect, which is the northern Wu dialect. It carries most of the characteristics of the Wuxi dialect, such as the tripartite division of the manner of articulation of initial stop consonants. However, with the special geographic position, on the bounty of Wuxi dialect from the northwest area to southeast area and connected with Suzhou city, my idiolect shows its unique features, such as the condition of the retroflex. This study analyzes the phonological system of the idiolect and discusses the features. Since the dialect of the suburban area of the Wuxi is rare, it was only documented in the local chronicles; therefore the study is a good supplemental material to the Wuxi dialect.

Moreover, using the idiolect is like to use the phonological material with the specific area and social identity. It is well known that the variation of the language is related to the area, to the speaker’s social identity and to the situation, therefore the specific idiolect definitely will benefit researchers to analyze the dialect. Furthermore, idiolect is also a good sample to study the language diversity among the different social classes, which need to get more attention from scholars.

With the influence of the Mandarin and the surrounding dialects, some phonological features of my idiolect are in the variation, such as the sharp and rounded sounds. In the thesis, the theory of the language contact is applied to explain my idiolect.


First Advisor

Zhongwei Shen

Second Advisor

Enhua Zhang

Third Advisor

Zhijun Wang