Chinese Fangyan Media

2020 ~ Present


Although dialectology is an established field in linguistics, an interdisciplinary research on dialect drawing on cultural studies, media studies, literary theories, history, and other fields is just emerging. To facilitate scholarly research and teaching, our team aims to build a digital resource center of the interdisciplinary research on fangyan media, the media productions rendered in Chinese local languages or dialects. The preliminary work can be found here:

This team will work on data collection, analysis and research on media productions in different genres (sitcoms, TV series, dubbing clips, film clips, songs, comic sketches, news talk show, advertisement) and in different dialects (Sichuan Mandarin, Shandong Mandarin, Beijing Mandarin, Northeastern Mandarin, Shaanxi Mandarin, Cantonese, Shanghai Wu, Hangzhou Wu, Southern Min/Taiwanese etc.). The team members can also work on translating key academic articles on fangyan media into Chinese, thus building an archive of research in this area. Furthermore, each year we will focus on different themes and topics for interdisciplinary research and collaboration. Student projects are encouraged but not required to connect to the themes.


Issues Involved or Addressed

Current Projects:

1) Fractality in Chinese Novels. This new research is inspired by a 2016 article by a group of Polish physicists. We're interested to explore the fractality in Chinese novels as well as the role played by punctuation marks and the evolution of punctuation marks.

2) To find out how the tones of the Chinese language work in the rap music genre from a musico-linguistic approach. Compared with other musical genres, rap is an intensely verbal art and highly depends on language. We’ll explore the interaction between rap and language, in particular, how the rappers deal with the peculiarity of Chinese as a total language, and how the tones are accommodated, maneuvered, and distorted in the trap style music such as in the Higher Brothers’ songs. We need to work out a tonal congruence index  (ITG) and conduct visual analysis of pitch using Praat. Moreover, we’ll investigate if certain dialects and local languages than the standard Mandarin are more suitable for rapping due to their tonal patterns.

 3) To work on fangyan advertisement or advertising in non-standard, unofficial dialects. Considering the function of mass media and advertisement is to disseminate information and attract as many people or clients as possible, there has been certain examples and cases that the companies decided to adopt local languages or dialect to promote their products. This research will find out their motivation, marketing orientation and strategies, local customers’ responses and feedback, besides examining the linguistic and aesthetic features of fangyan advertisement.


Methods and Technologies

  • Textual Analysis
  • Audience Study
  • Translation
  • Statistical Analysis
  • Computer Visualizing
  • Data Collection
  • Interviews
  • Ethnography

Academic Majors of Interest

  • Accounting
  • Finance
  • General Management
  • Global Development
  • IT Management
  • Leadership and Organizational Change
  • Marketing
  • Operations and Supply Chain Management
  • Strategy and Innovation
  • Algorithms, Combinatorics and Optimization
  • Analytics
  • Computational Media
  • Computational Science and Engineering
  • Computer Science
  • Cybersecurity
  • Human-Centered Computing
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • OMSCS asynchronous
  • OMSCS asynchronous, case-by-case
  • OMSCS synchronous
  • OMSCS synchronous, case-by-case
  • Architectural Technology
  • Architecture
  • Building Construction
  • Building Construction and Facility Management
  • City and Regional Planning
  • Geographic Information Science and Technology
  • Industrial Design
  • Music Technology
  • Urban Design
  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Applied Systems Engineering
  • Bioengineering
  • Bioinformatics
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Chemical Engineering
  • Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
  • Civil Engineering
  • Computer Engineering
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Health Systems
  • Industrial Engineering
  • International Logistics
  • Machine Learning
  • Materials Science and Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Medical Physics
  • Robotics
  • Applied Languages and Intercultural Studies
  • Chinese
  • Digital Media
  • Economics
  • Economics and International Affairs
  • French
  • German
  • Global Economics and Modern Languages
  • Global Media and Cultures
  • History, Technology, and Society
  • International Affairs
  • International Affairs and Modern Languages
  • International Affairs, Science, and Technology
  • Japanese
  • Korean
  • Literature, Media, and Communication
  • Public Policy
  • Spanish
  • Education
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Film and Media Studies
  • Music
  • Pre-Law
  • Applied Physics
  • Applied Physiology
  • Biochemistry
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Earth and Atmospheric Sciences
  • Mathematics
  • Neuroscience
  • Physics
  • Psychology
  • Statistics

Preferred Interests and Preparation

{ML, LMC, IVAN ALLEN}:  Background/interest in media studies, digital media, mass media and advertisement, contemporary Chinese popular culture and media culture, fangyan culture and media.

{Music} Knowledge/interest in rap music, the trap genre, the interaction between music (melody, rhythm, beat, and flow) and language, music technology.

{ECE, CS}:  Experience with or willingness to learn Wordpress or other related website building,  tools including PHH/MYSQL, JAVASCRIPT.


Meeting Schedule & Location

Meeting Location 
Meeting Day 

Team Advisors

Dr. Jin Liu
  • Modern Languages