AbstractsLanguage, Literature & Linguistics


In this thesis I used the Chinese soap opera Struggle as my main source of modern colloquial Chinese. In doing so, I aimed to highlight some aspects of modern Mandarin that are not, or insufficiently, recorded in textbooks currently available. The thesis is divided into two main parts: 1. Historical background and plot This part is included in order to place my sources in its appropriate historical context, as well as roughly introducing the individuals the soap opera revolves around. 2. Selected observations on colloquial Chinese, as used in Struggle. Using contextualised quotes from Struggle I show: • How the directions implied by the verbs lái 來 'come' and qù 去 'go' are sometimes different, even opposite, from what's stipulated by the textbooks. • Some pronunciations that deviate from Pīnyīn. • How and when they use role-pronouns, e.g., when a woman speaking to her child says, "Mom worries about you" when meaning, "I worry about you". • An incomplete, but representative selection of words and usages current in Struggle that are not listed in the authoritative dictionary of modern Mandarin, Xiàndài Hànyǔ Cídiǎn.