The Language of Chinese Fiction of the Cultural Revolution: An Anti-dialectial Style

  • Lan Yang Asian Research Centre


This article deals with the language style of official Chinese fiction of the Cultural Revolution (CR). It compares CR novels with previous CR novels regarding their density and distribution of dialectal words and expressions. Statistical analysis is applied and the results are tabulated. It shows a trend of decreasing dialectal elements but of increasing literary words and expressions in the CR novels. The tendency towards unification and standardization in CR fiction language indicated the aeshetic value placed at the time on literature and language. Moreover, unlike the generalization by some post-CR scholars that the popularization of Modern Standard Chinese was impeded during the CR, this analysis indicates that if the popularization of Modern Standard Chinese is reflected in the frequency of dialectal expressions in CR novels, the campaign was not 'impeded' but promoted.