Speculative fiction writer, translator, and editor


migration patterns

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History and dialectal patterns of Chinese migrations to the United States

This paper is primarily concerned with the linguistic backgrounds of Chinese immigrants to the United States and the shifts that have occurred from primarily Cantonese-speaking immigrants to later groups of immigrants that spoke other dialects, including Mandarin. However, tracing these linguistic patterns can be difficult: studies into the linguistic demographics of Chinese immigrants to the United States are limited by the lack of data on the topic. Early records of Chinese immigrants in the United States did not record their linguistic affiliations, and later records that documented the linguistic demographics of the United States population did not divide the Chinese spoken by Chinese immigrants into their component dialects. Despite these difficulties, we can still make a number of extrapolations based on the place of origin and institutional affiliations of the Chinese immigrants to determine the general trajectory of the linguistic patterns of Chinese immigrants.

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