Phase 3: Interpreting Information

Updated 1 year 7 months ago

Phase 3 is dedicated to doing more background research, interpreting information, and making connections. To find out why I chose to study the Bai language, click on Phase 0. Learn more about the questions I posed in Phase 1, and to learn more about my local contacts and resources, take a look at Phase 2

Background Information (from Phase 1):

Below is background information that will eventually lead to the questions I will pose and answer. The questions can be found in Phase 1, and the sources I used can be found below. 

The Bai language originated in China, and it is spoken specifically by the Bai people in the Yunnan Province [1, 2]. The language has an estimated amount of 1 million speakers, but this language is labeled as "definitely endangered". Specifically, the Bai language can be seen to be slowly replaced by Mandarin, and although most of the Bai people know how to speak both mandarin and the Bai language, elders are known to only speak the Bai language, whereas young children typically speak in Mandarin [8].

What, exactly, does it mean to have a language become endangered? This means that a language is fading away and being slowly replaced by another language [10]. For the Bai language, it is slowly being replaced by Mandarin, as the people typically speak in Mandarin to one another. The process of having a language become endangered can both be sudden or gradual, depending on the situation. For example, if a generation does not learn a language, the language may be facing endangerment [10]. Language change is also an impacting factor as to why a language may become endangered. Languages change for many reasons as well, but usually, they change because of social, political, and economical pressures [11]. Basically, the needs of the speaker drive a language to change. Specifically for the Bai people, interaction with the Han people shaped the Bai language, and the Bai has interpreted several Mandarin phrases into their language, which is a way that the language has changed over the years [2].

Although the Bai language officially belongs in the Chinese-Tibetan family, there are many complications about exactly how the Bai language originated. However, it is certain that the Bai language had some ties with Mandarin due to the frequent interactions between the Bai and the Han [2]. In fact, the Bai language has adopted several words from the Chinese language, and in one point during the Yuan and Ming Dynasties, the Bai completely adopted the Chinese language, but had different pronunciations [2]. Some people also believe that the Bai language's ties with Mandarin is due to a common inheritance from the Tibetan language [9]. Even though the Bai language has many adapted phrases from Chinese, scholars still recognize the Bai language as an independent Sino-Tibetan language [9].

The Bai language has three significant dialects: the Southern dialect, the Central dialect, and the Northern dialect [2, 3]. The Central dialect and the Southern dialect are said to be similar, and speakers are known to be able to understand one another. The dialect with the most speakers is the Southern dialect, also known as Dali dialect [2]. Bai people who speak different dialects can only have limited conversation, but the three dialects do have some similarities. They are the same in the fact that they have 8 tones along with a diverse set of vowels, and there is also a significant use of tense vowels and lax vowels [3, 5]

Something else unique about the Bai language is that there is not any exact written form of the language [5, 6, 9]. However, this is arguable since there exists a minor collection of literature written in Bai, but over the years, the Han script replaced the Bai script [9]. Nowadays, though, the Bai language is not common to be written in paper, and it is passed down verbally from generation to generation. However, in order to preserve this language, the Bai language was recently standardized for it to be able to be written in paper using the Latin alphabet, which will spell out the 拼音 (pin yin, or pronunciation) of the Bai words [7]. Overall, though, the Bai language is not known to be written on paper.

As mentioned earlier, the Bai language and Mandarin have several connections. One includes the number of similar phrases that the two languages share. For example, the pinyin for "lizard" in the Bai language is bi hu, which means "gecko" in Mandarin [8]. Another example is the Bai phrase for "stomach", which in pinyin is "fu". This is the Chinese word for "abdomen", which was what the Han people called the stomach long ago [6]. This shows a similarity between the two languages, and how Mandarin has greatly impacted and influenced the Bai language over the years, shaping it into what it is today. 

Information From 3-to-5's:

Under this category, I will be writing some information that I have learned from my 3-to-5's. Basically, a 3-to-5 is an interview of between 3 to 5 people, each lasting around 3 to five minutes. The goal of this is to gather more sources, but along the way, I found some interesting information as well.

Ms. Zhang

- Muslims living in Xizhou also typically know the Bai language because they want to communicate with their neighbors.
- There are not many museums on the language, but most people here know Bai language, which will make it easy.
- The Bai language is slowly fading because not many elders teach their children the language. [12]

Mr. He

- The Bai language has different pronunciations in different parts. [2, 3, 13]
- Dialect in Xizhou for Bai is not pure, because some older terms have been forgotten and replaced
- One Child Policy makes it difficult to have the language passed down easier (few families have children, even fewer teach them the Bai language)
- Newer terms (airplanes, phones, computers) have not been created in Bai, and are only spoken in Chinese
- Language is slowly fading, some are trying to stop that (Elders teach children Bai) [13]

Mr. Zhao

- Breakfast and lunch="YiCa" in Bai
- Dinner="YiBei" in Bai
- Where are you going="NiBaiAnLa" in Bai (Formal)
- Where are you going="MaBaiLa" in Bai (Informal)
- Hello="NiChongLu" in Bai (Formal)
- A lot of Bai in Xizhou has Mandarin [13, 14]
- Before New China was founded, the Bai people had interactions with Han people, causing Mandarin to be in Bai language [2, 14]

Information From Local Contacts:

Since I have a lot of sources as well as my questions, I will be heading out to the village and acquiring even more information from my local contacts. Below are the people who I spoke with, as well as the information that they told me.

Mr. Duan [15]

- Retired soldier from Xizhou
- Three different dialects, Xizhou's dialect is different
- Jianchuan=most "pure" Bai language because most to all people speak pure Bai
- Xizhou has many different people coming in, Bai dialect changes because of that
- Each village has an alternated form of the Bai language
- Many Bai terms are the same as Mandarin terms, such as "airplane", "television", and "phone"
- Bai dialect does not have a written form
- Elders do not really speak Mandarin, some children speak Bai (very few)
- Parents want children to be literate, teach children Mandarin instead of Bai
- Some parents even go further distances and teach kids Putonghua (simplified Chinese)
- 90% of the people in Xizhou know Mandarin
- Those who travel to Xizhou do not make that big an effor to learn Bai
- Migrated workers still can listen in to the language over time
- His father=not from the Bai culture, slowly understood the Bai language just by listening

Yang Nai Nai [16]

- Works at tie dye factory, is a grandmother (hence the name Yang Nai Nai)
- Bai language has different pronunciations than Mandarin
- Bai language=no written form
- Breakfast="YiCa"
- Lunch="YiNiDong"
- Dinner="YiBei"
- Chinese has no influence on Bai language
- Families teach children Bai, schools teach children Mandarin
- Bai=mother language for all her kids and grandkids
- Only small areas in China have people speaking Bai, difficult to keep this language alive
- English & Chinese can be taught at schools, families must teach children Bai
- 95-100% of people in Zhoucheng are from the Bai minority
- Xizhou=a lot of migration, Chinese incorporated in their language
- Xizhou people and Zhoucheng people can understand each other, even though there are some differences
- Zhoucheng=a more shrill and clean cut to pronunciations, Xizhou=slightly slurred
- "NaoBeiZiLaoYa, LiuZeMei"=Hello, my name is Jamie
- "YaYu"=Potato
- Teachers only teach Mandarin, but the kids prefer to speak Bai in their free time
- Kids sometimes have to learn how to speak Bai or else they can not communicate with older members of the community
- Advantage of speaking Bai is everywhere, since everybody here knows how to speak Bai

Ms. Bai [17]

- Younger than Yang Nai Nai, has a son around 2 years old
- Believes it is important to teach kids Bai
- Father always speaks Bai to the kid
- Grandmother speaks Bai to the kid
- Ms. Bai=more of Mandarin
- Since it is a completely verbal language, Ms. Bai is determined to keep this language alive
- Believes the Bai language is an identity and a piece of who you are
- When speaking with locals in Bai language, Ms. Bai feels close to the locals
- Migrated workers usually do not learn Bai language, more of curiosity
- Most people know Mandarin, which is why there is no need to learn Bai
- When she looks for workers, she likes having people who speak Bai, showing there is an advantage to knowing the language
- Mandarin has a lot of impacts on Bai
- The Bai people have a lot of interactions with the Han people, many terms can be in Mandarin
- Her parents=spoke Bai to her, but had some Chinese terms intertwined
- Believes that Mandarin has some ties with the Bai language
- Very few schools teach the children Bai, which is why families teach kids Bai
- Some parents do not value the Bai language, since it can not be written, therefore they do not teach their children Bai
- The Bai language is similar to Chinese, besides pronunciations on terms

Yang Ayi [18]

- Food cart owner at Sifangjie, local to Xizhou, around 50 years old
- Bai language and Mandarin have absolutely no connection
- They are two different languages
- Families teach their kids Bai language
- Schools do not teach Bai language
- Once children can talk, the first thing they learn is Bai
- Nothing has changed for the language
- The language has been the same from generation to generation
- Kids overall have no choice whether to learn the language or not, since it is mandatory
- 90-95% of the children here know both the Bai language and Mandarin
- They speak in both the Bai language and in Mandarin
- People speak in Bai to locals of the place because that is everyone's mother tongue
- When there are tourists around, the people speak in Mandarin, which is better for business

Xie Ayi [19]

- Rose tea shop owner, husband is from Bai minority, used to work for Linden Centre
- Around 30 to 40 years old, younger than Yang Ayi
- She does not speak the Bai language because she is not from the Bai minority
- After some years of living in Xizhou, she now somewhat understands the Bai language
- The Bai language is similar to Mandarin because there are some similar pronunciations
- While she was trying to learn how to speak in Bai, she wrote similar pronunciations down on a piece of paper to remember it
- She has not experienced that much trouble running a shop, even though she does not know the local language
- Everybody here knows Mandarin, so she has not had any trouble communicating
- When she wanted to interview for some jobs, not knowing the Bai language was a small disadvantage, but not as significant

Zhang Ayi [20]

- Younger generations mostly speak in Mandarin
- Three different ways people communicate: Han dialect, Bai language, Mandarin/Chinese
- Has a son who mainly speaks in Mandarin
- Parents are more interested in having kids learn Mandarin because the Bai language is not written
- Students say Chinese in schools
- Many terms have changed, older people say "naoweini" for thank you, whereas people nowadays say "xiexie" or "duoxie", which are all Chinese terms
- Not many changes in the Bai language
- Some terms have been in Chinese from the very start
- "Juzi" means the mandarin fruit in Chinese, and it is used in the Bai language as well
- Migration has some impacts on the Bai language
- People coming from other places to Xizhou do not really make that big an effort to learn the language because there are not many disadvantages
- After time, the people can still understand bits and pieces of the Bai language
- People migrating from Xizhou to other places may forget the Bai language since they do not use it that often
- Migrated workers may also lose the Chinese accent that comes from having the Bai language as a mother tongue
- There are three different Bai dialects, and each have different accents and pronunciations
- People can somewhat recognize the different dialects, and can still communicate with one another
- The locals here talk in Bai with each other, whereas they talk in Mandarin with the tourists
- She thinks that the language is slowly disappearing, since there is not an exact need for the language like there used to be

Ms. Li [21]

- 28 years old, teacher at an elementary school, has a son around 11 years old
- Local to Xizhou, has been here her whole life, speaks in Bai fluently
- Values Mandarin more than the Bai language because the Bai language has no written form
- No written form means it is harder to pass down from generation to generation
- Only taught children Mandarin because that is of most use in the real world
- Wants her son to go out of Xizhou for jobs
- Son=going out of Xizhou=not much use for the language, which is reason why she does not teach it to him
- When you learn the Bai language, there is an accent that comes through while speaking in Mandarin
- Ms. Li does not think that the accent is great, which is part of the reason why she did not teach the language to her son
- Through time, her children learned to understand parts of the Bai language, still unable to speak in Bai
- People in school speak in Mandarin, few children only know Bai
- Many changes in the Bai language since it is passed down verbally
- Other parents teach Bai because it is mandatory since grandparents do not speak Mandarin
- People migrating to Xizhou usually learn the Bai language because it is good for business
- Bai language had some changes in terms and pronunciations over the years

Ms. Ying [22]

- Principal of the elementary school, 36 years old
- People typically speak in Bai, because most to all locals know Bai
- Those who have Bai as their mother tongue do not have the standard pronunciations for Mandarin
- Her son has a very thick accent when speaking in Mandarin because he speaks in Bai
- Many terms in Bai are the same as ones in Mandarin
- "dian hua" means phone in Mandarin, and it is exactly the same in Bai
- The only ones that have not really changed at all are simple ones like "have you eaten yet?" or "where are you going"
- Most kids here have Mandarin as their mother tongue, as opposed to some other villages such as Zhoucheng
- Ms. Ying personally thinks that learning Mandarin is more important since it is used everywhere across China, not just in Xizhou
- Around 30% of the students in the school do not understand Mandarin, and they can only speak in Mandarin
- Teachers have to slowly teach the students how to speak in Mandarin, and interactions with other students help greatly
- Many terms have been replaced and forgotten
- In Bai language, "mi zao" means spoon, but it is only spoken nowadays for elders
- Nowadays, "shao zi" means spoon, and it is the same for both Mandarin and Bai language
- Parents mainly value Mandarin because it gives better job opportunities
- However, elders usually can only speak in Bai, and so parents sometimes still teach their children the Bai language
- Although parents teach Mandarin first, they sometimes mix in little parts of the Bai language
- As the principal, Ms. Ying only hires those who can speak Bai because some students do not know Mandarin
- Shows that knowing the Bai language has advantages

Mr. Zhang (毛大哥) [23]

- Antique shop owner, moved to Xizhou at very young age
- Has two sons
- Most to all locals speak in Bai
- Those who do not know Bai speak Mandarin
- Nothing has changed since the beginning
- Bai language has some terms that are the same as Mandarin, such as cars and trucks
- No terms have been replaced or have disappeared
- Schools do not teach the Bai language, since Mandarin is more useful for the outside world
- In some families, people speak in Bai. In others, people speak in Mandarin
- All of his family members do not know how to speak Bai
- He did not have to make an effort to learn this language, since he just heard it everywhere
- Takes around 10 years for someone to be very fluent in the language if they were not exposed to it at a young age
- Nobody recognizes Mr. Zhang as anything but a local, since his pronunciations are very authentic
- When languages are not used, they are forgotten
- The Dai language was one that Mr. Zhang knew
- After he moved to Xizhou, he did not use the language, therefore forgot most of it
- "YiCa"=Breakfast, "YiNiDong"=Lunch, "YiBei"=Dinner, most commonly used phrases

Ms. Su [23]

- 32 years old, shop owner at Sifangjie
- She is a local in Xizhou, and opened up a shop to earn money from tourists
- Locals all speak in Bai
- Younger generations usually know both Bai and Mandarin
- The Bai language has a lot of Mandarin terms incorporated inside it
- The Bai language does not have strict grammar structure since it is not a language that is learnt inside a classroom
- Most people in Xizhou learn Bai first, and then they learn Mandarin
- For the term "spoon", it used to be called "mi zao", but now it is the same as Mandarin
- She first taught her kid the Bai language
- Ms. Su thinks that learning Mandarin is a must because Bai is not used much in the world
- However, she still believes that the Bai language is extremely important
- The Bai language is part of Xizhou, and that makes it part of her, which is why she believes the Bai language should be kept
- Some parents do not think that the Bai language is necessary because it gives an accent to Mandarin
- When people migrate to Xizhou, some want to learn the language because it gives job opportunities
- In her shop, she does not care whether her employees speak Bai or not, since she mainly makes money from tourists
- Other shops, however, may have a requirement to at least understand the Bai language, if not speak it
- People who leave Xizhou for a long amount of time might forget it, unless they have been speaking Bai since when they were very young

Ms. Yang [25]

- Linden Centre staff, is a local to Xizhou
- All the people from Xizhou usually speak the Bai language
- Most to all people know both Bai language and Mandarin
- Mandarin has no impacts in the Bai language
- Different regions have different accents for the Bai language
- Speakers of the Bai language usually do not have a proper pronunciation for Mandarin
- Children nowadays have better education and use the pin yin system to learn proper Mandarin
- Kids do not need to specially learn Bai language
- As long as the kids are exposed to it since they are young, they can learn it fast
- Ms. Yang values Bai more than Mandarin because it is part of who she is
- People who move out of Xizhou still remember the Bai language
- Throughout time, people who migrate to Xizhou are be able to understand the Bai language
- There is not much of a disadvantage if you do not know the Bai language, which does not motivate migrants to learn it
- Learning the Bai language may give you more job opportunities

Zhao Ayi [26]

- Works at Old Town Snacks, is a local of Xizhou, has a son who is 8 years old
- Husband speaks Sichuan dialect, she speaks Bai language, both speak Han (also known as Yunnan dialect) and Mandarin
- Because of diverse family background, son knows how to speak Sichuan dialect, Bai language, Han (Yunnan dialect), and Mandarin
- Most people here have a proper pronunciation, only elders have a thick accent
- Not many terms that are similar between the Bai language and Mandarin, since they are two different languages
- There was a written form of Bai language a long time before, but now, there are no ways to record the Bai language
- When children are at a young age, parents teach them the Bai language verbally
- Most people hired at the restaurant are locals, and they all have to be able to at least understand the Bai language
- People coming into the restaurant are a mix of locals and tourists, which is why workers must know both Bai and Mandarin
- Many shops require people who understand the language because it is better for business (both locals and tourists may then shop at the place)
- Schools do not teach the children Bai language, since there is not an exact way to study this language (no written form, not many strict rules for grammar, etc.)
- Schools have a toll on the Bai language because schools allow the students to speak in Mandarin more frequently, which makes them more comfortable with Mandarin compared to Bai
- When hanging out with friends, her son talks in Mandarin
- When talking with elders, her son is still able to communicate in Bai language
- Kids have this habit of speaking in Mandarin, which is why they are not used to speaking in Bai
- When counting money for change while she works, Zhao Ayi thinks about the numbers in Mandarin
- Numbers in the Bai language have changed into regular Mandarin
- The numbers in Bai language used to be complicated and were more difficult to pronounce
- On television shows, the language featured is always in Mandarin, not the Bai language, which further makes people get used to Mandarin
- The first language Zhao Ayi taught her son was Mandarin, since it is easier to learn due to the easier pronunciations
- Zhao Ayi believes that being able to speak in Mandarin is mandatory, but the Bai language is also extremely important
- The Bai language is the face and glory of the Bai minority, and not being able to speak the language while you are part of the minority would be a shame
- She hopes that her son, her grandson, and all the new generations of the her family would be able to speak in Bai

Answers to Previous Questions (from Phase 1):

Looking back at the questions that I posed in Phase 1, I have now generated answers based on conversations I have had with locals. Please note that I have not included some questions because they were not of use, and I have only included the ones that I still used. 

1. Do locals tend to speak in Mandarin more frequently or in the Bai language?
The locals here definitely speak to each other in the Bai language, which is what all of my local contacts have told me. However, 90-95% of the people here are also fluent Mandarin speakers, which allows them to quickly switch to speaking Mandarin when they are talking with tourists or those who still do not know the Bai language. Xie Ayi, a local contact who does not speak Bai, said that people who live here will slowly learn to understand the Bai language, because they become exposed to it in their everyday life. In Xie Ayi's case, she still understands the Bai language, which is why there has not been that big an impact on not being able to speak it.

2. How did Mandarin influence the Bai language over the years?
Throughout the times, Mandarin has had a great influence on the Bai language. First of all, many terms that used to be spoken in Bai have slowly changed into Mandarin. Between Mandarin and Bai, Mandarin is the "stronger" language, which is why Mandarin has an influence on Bai language. For example, the term "spoon" in the Bai language used to be "mi zao", but it has now changed into regular Mandarin, showing how Mandarin has affected the Bai language. Younger generations have no idea that words like these have changed, and elders still mainly use these old Bai terms instead of Mandarin, since they have been speaking these terms for a long time. Another example of this is how people who speak Bai say "thank you". They used to say "Nao wei ni", but through time, it turned into "duo xie", or "xie xie", which is exactly the same as it is in Mandarin. 

3. How is the Bai language changing over the years?
After having many conversations with the locals, I have realized that there are contradicting thoughts on this question. I realized that older generations have given me answers that the Bai language has not changed at all, and it has stayed the same since when their first ancestors spok this language. Younger generations say that they hear their parents incorporate Mandarin into a lot of the Bai language. As seen from the question above, there are, indeed, some changes to the Bai language. There may not have been a complete change of the dialect and pronunciations, but there definitely were changes to some terms. One example that Mr. He gave me is that there are many new terms, and they are spoken in Mandarin for the Bai language. For example, the word "television" is known as "dian shi", which is the same as Mandarin. 

4. Do schools teach the children the Bai language?
Few to no schools teach children the Bai language. This is because families usually teach their own children the Bai language verbally, since there is no written form of this language. From people I spoke with, they all either taught their children the Bai language or taught their children Mandarin. Those who only taught Mandarin intentionally did not teach Bai, because they believed that the Bai language would not be useful to their children later on, and will create an accent while speaking Mandarin. For lots of people, this accent is not preferred, and they believe that it will be a disadvantage when finding job opportunities outside of Xizhou. 

5. Are parents generally trying to teach their children the Bai language?
As mentioned earlier on, there are two different types of parents: those who do not believe the Bai language is helpful, and those who think of the Bai language as part of who they are. Locals typically always teach their children Bai, since they believe that the Bai language is part of who they are, and without it, they lose a part of themselves. These people try to keep the language "alive", which is why they pass it down from generation to generation. The other ones are typically those who migrate to Xizhou, or they perhaps hope their children find a job outside of Xizhou. These people believe that if their children are going outside of Xizhou, they would not need the Bai language, and therefore, they do not teach their children the Bai language.

6. What do Bai children think about the Bai language? Do they think it is necessary? Are they motivated towards learning the language?
From the teachers, principals, and parents that I talked with, they have all told me that their children are more comfortable with speaking in Mandarin due to school. The school's impact is that it forces the children to speak and study Mandarin, and over time, they get used to it and start using it more often than they use the Bai language. However, in some cases, there are many students who still are comfortable with speaking in the Bai language. The cause of this may be that they have been raised by their grandparents, which is a common way of child rearing around China. Elders may not speak Mandarin as well compared to Bai, and so the kids speak Bai around the elders, which helps them improve and use the Bai language.

7. Do newcomers make an effort to learn the Bai language? Why/why not?
Most newcomers can slowly learn the Bai language just because of their exposure to the language. Mr. Zhang is not a local to the place, but came to Xizhou at a very young age. As he talked and played with kids his age, he slowly picked up some terms and phrases, until he started learning the language and then became a very fluent speaker. He says that people who come to Xizhou do not typically spend a long time learning the language, since the language is all around: from markets to shops, everybody mainly speaks in the Bai language. After time, newcomers are able to understand the Bai language and then start speaking like a local.

8. Has migration had an impact on the Bai language? If so, how?
Migration has definitely had an impact on the Bai language. First and foremost, people who travel into Xizhou slowly learn the Bai language, and a group of these migrants will teach the Bai language to their children, which will contribute into helping keep the Bai language from going extinct. On the other hand, those who move out of Xizhou may slowly forget the Bai language. However, this usually is not the case, since locals in Xizhou learn the Bai language when they are very young, so it is harder to forget. What is possible is that they might add some phrases or terms into the Bai language, and this will change the Bai language, as well as creating an impact.

9. Do you value the Bai language more or Mandarin? Why?
People I talked to all came up with an answer similar to this: Mandarin is crucial to our lives, but the Bai language is extremely important. For them, Mandarin is something they must learn no matter what because in China, everybody speaks Mandarin. However, the Bai language is part of who they are, and defines them as part of the Bai minority. For them, the Bai language is their face and glory, and they would feel shameful if they did not know the language from the minority that they came from.

10. Do you teach your children the Bai language first, or Mandarin?
This has two different answer sets, and the reason is because of the environment. Those in Zhoucheng teach the Bai language first, and then Mandarin, and those living in Xizhou typically teach Mandarin first, and then the Bai language. This is because people in Zhoucheng have a slightly different dialect than those in Xizhou. The difference is that the dialect in Zhoucheng has not been overly corrupted by Mandarin over the years, whereas dialect in Xizhou has had many new terms and phrases added in. The people in Zhoucheng believe that the Bai language comes first since it is a big part of who they are, whereas people in Xizhou view Mandarin as something important to help their children move out of Xizhou. 



  1. Online: The Bai Ethnic Group,, accessed 29 June 2015
  2. Online: Bai Ethnic Minority,, accessed 25 June 2015
  3. Online: Bai Dialect and Pronounciation,, accessed 26 June 2015
  4. Online: The Bai Language,, accessed 26 June 2015
  5. Online: Similarities of the Bai and Han,, accessed 26 June 2015
  6. Online: Bai Language,, accessed 26 June 2015
  7. Fitzgerald, C. P. The Tower of Five GloriesCaravan Press Limited, Hong Kong: 2005
  8. Online: Bai,, accessed 29 June 2015
  9. Online: Comparison of Languages in Contact,, accessed 29 June 2015
  10. Online: What Is An Endangered Language,, accessed 30 June 2015
  11. Online: Language and Linguistics,, accessed 30 June 2015
  12. Zhang. Personal interview conducted by Jamie L., September 22, 2015
  13. He. Personal interview conducted by Jamie L., September 22, 2015
  14. Zhao. Personal interview conducted by Jamie L., September 23, 2015
  15. Duan. Personal interview conducted by Jamie L., September 24, 2015
  16. Yang. Personal interview conducted by Jamie L., September 25, 2015
  17. Bai. Personal interview conducted by Jamie L., September 25, 2015
  18. Yang. Personal interview conducted by Jamie L., September 28, 2015
  19. Xie. Personal interview conducted by Jamie L., September 28, 2015
  20. Zhang. Personal interview conducted by Jamie L., September 29, 2015
  21. Li. Personal interview conducted by Jamie L., September 30, 2015
  22. Ying. Personal interview conducted by Jamie L., September 30, 2015
  23. Zhang. Personal interview conducted by Jamie L., October 1, 2015
  24. Su. Personal interview conducted by Jamie L., October 1, 2015
  25. Yang. Personal interview conducted by Jamie L., October 1, 2015

In Phase 3, I have found more background information, as well as talking with my local contacts. I know that I am completed with Phase 3 because I have enough information to answer my initial 10 big questions, as well as some other questions that I have come up with. Something else is that I feel confident with my work, which is important since that is a big part of seeing if I am ready or not. For Phase 4, I will be planning my final product, as well as reaching conclusions as to what I will do for my final product.


well done!

Hi Jamie, I am quite impressed by your Bai language investigation there. I did not get a chance to do the Chinese dialect investigation until I was in the third college year. You have some very interesting finding there: some Bai language words are fading out, and the single child policy affected the Bai language inheritage. Some new terms like computer or airplane can only speake in maderin.

It is quite normal that different languages can borrow words from each other. For example: cigar in Chinese 雪茄,tank in Chinese 坦克。They all use English pronounciation. Usually the strong one can affect the weak one. That is why manderin can intrude into Bai language and Bai language can not intrude into manderin. Borrowing language words usually happened in some new terms. On the other hand, geography,culture and politics all have big impact on language development. I am just wondering if the government tried anything to protect Bai language there, for example, make the kids speake Bai in school, if not, it will be a big question how the Bai language will develop in the future.   T

These are some of my thoughts, we can discuss it more later.


Hello, my name is Jamie, and I was part of the Microcampus Marvel Musketeers group. My experience here at Microcampus was truly unforgettable, and I have created many memories and learned many life lessons throughout my stay at Xizhou. My inquiry project was the Bai language, and I have finished. Current and future Microcampus students are welcome to contact me for advice, and I will always remember the days I spent in the beautiful village of Xizhou.