English Edit

Etymology Edit

Combination of topo- (place) +‎ -lect ([language] variety). Attested since the 1960s, but rare until its introduction by sinologist Victor Mair in 1991 to distinguish Chinese 方言 (fāngyán) from English dialect.[1][2]

Noun Edit

topolect (plural topolects)

  1. (linguistics, sociolinguistics) The speech form, variety (lect) of a particular place or region.
    Synonyms: geolect, regiolect, regionalect
    • 1964, University of South Florida Language Quarterly, 2, page iii:
      We can then establish and name further categories by means of the word "group" and the prefix "sub-", thus obtaining SUBDIALECT ("Untermundart") between topolect and dialect, DIALECT GROUP ("Mundartengruppe") between dialect and language, SUBFAMILY ("Unterfamilie") between language and family,
    • 1985, Jewish Language Review, 5:155:
      The degree to which Yahudic lects differ from coterritorial non-Jewish lects varies spatially, chronologically, stylistically, and idiolectically (for this reason it is important to study each Yahudic topolect together with its coterritorial Arabic topolect if it has one).
  2. (linguistics) A regional variety of Chinese; especially a lect other than Standard Mandarin.
    Synonyms: fangyan, regionalect
    • 2007, Samuel Cole, “Learning Putonghua as an adult: a study of four Hong Kong teachers' experiences”, in The University of Hong Kong (Thesis)[3], archived from the original on 2 June 2018:
      Imminent Chinese linguist Zhou Youguang has said that everyone’s mother tongue is a topolect, whereas China’s standard spoken language has long been the “teacher tongue.”

Translations Edit

See also Edit

References Edit

  1. ^ Victor Mair (September, 1991), “What Is a Chinese “Dialect/Topolect”? Reflections on Some Key Sino-English Linguistic Terms”, in Sino-Platonic Papers[1], volume 29, archived from the original on 2018-05-10
  2. ^ Gina Anne Tam (2020) Dialect and Nationalism in China, 1860–1960[2], Cambridge University Press, →ISBN, page 21