Honors Theses

Date of Award

Spring 5-8-2022

Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis

Department

Croft Institute for International Studies

First Advisor

Peter Thilly

Second Advisor

Cheng-Fu Chen

Third Advisor

Gang Guo

Relational Format

Dissertation/Thesis

Abstract

Globalization and internationalization have undoubtedly led to a decrease in linguistic diversity worldwide. Yet even receiving active governmental support and boasting native speakers in the millions, Taiwanese Hokkien is on the decline. Though researchers have begun to hypothesize why a generational gap exists in local language use within Taiwan, there is little agreement about the possible drivers or causes of the decline. This thesis examines why the use of Taiwanese Hokkien and other local languages has continued to decrease, despite governmental language initiatives and policies created to encourage the use of these languages. Using specific factors that have been identified by previous researchers, in particular partisan politics, location, educational quality, and internet usage, this study performed a series of regression analyses using a more current data set from the Asian Barometer. Findings revealed that while location, education, and internet usage influence language choice, political affiliation and support of a Taiwanese (i.e. non-Chinese) identity may no longer be driving factors behind Hokkien usage, especially among younger generations. This raises questions for the preservation and future vitality of Hokkien, and more broadly all local languages in Taiwan.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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