This paper focuses on the current language situation of Han Chinese Families in Amdo Tibetan area, China. The analysis is based on a Han Chinese Family named Wang Deyou of a Tibetan Village.
The Skarmathang Village is located in Huang Nan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Qinghai Province. Tibetans mainly live in this village while people of Han nationality mix with Tibetans in the local area therefore, This place is called the “Tibetan Village.” The Wang Deyou’s family is a good example of a family that speaks the following three languages: Qinghai Dialect, Mandarin, and Amdo Tibetan, and Wang Deyou’s Family is ethnically considered a Han family. These three languages have been passed down from generation to generation. This paper is aimed at clarifying how these languages are handed down in that family.
Mr.Wang Deyou and his family have been living in Tibetan Village from Xining Basin in 1918. In daily life they use the three languages mentioned above. The language they choose to use at any given moment is decided according to the situation.
Mr.Wang Deyou’s mother tongue is Qinghai Dialect and his wife’s mother tongue is Amdo Tibetan. Their son, the second generation, born in Tibetan Village and having attended ethnic schools, is fluent in the three languages mentioned above. The eldest son’s wife is from a Chinese Village, and she cannot speak any other language except the Qinghai Dialect. And the third generation’s mother tongue is Qinghai Dialect because of their mother, but they also can speak fluent Mandarin.
As can be seen in Mr.Wang Deyou’s family’s case, it is very common to see these kinds of changes in language situations of a single family in Amdo Tibetan Area.