We are very pleased to welcome Xuan Wang to the Department of Linguistics, to study for a PhD under the supervision of Dr Kevin Watson. In this guest post, Xuan introduces herself. Welcome to Christchurch, and UC!
Hi, I’m Wang Xuan from Inner Mongolia, China. I arrived at Christchurch last week and have just started to work with Dr. Kevin Watson on sociophonetics. Everything here is new and fresh to me, and I am ready for an adventurous journey in the coming three years.
Before coming to UC, I spent almost eight years in Beijing, a fantastic city perfectly combining modern and traditional elements. During these years, I’ve been studying English and Linguistics, and received my bachelor and master degrees both at Beijing Language and Culture University. With its nick name “little United Nations”, my former university has a large number of international students coming from all over the world, which provided me plenty of opportunities to know different cultures and prepare myself for studying abroad.
During the past academic years, my research area was phonetics and phonology, focusing on Chinese communities speaking English as a second language, with a special interest in the pronunciation variations of speakers with different dialectal and social backgrounds. Last year, I took part in a workshop on experimental phonetics organized by Nankai University. There, I was not only attracted by the interesting phonetic features in Chinese dialects, but also deeply impressed by those linguists who dedicated their time and efforts on field work in rural areas. So I decided to further my study in phonetics and do my PhD research on the sociophonetic aspects of my hometown dialect. Hopefully, I can also make my own contribution to the preservation and record of dialects.
I believe that it is one of my best decisions to travel to the other side of the globe to study at UC. The academic strengths and faculty expertise of the department enable me to learn the best practice in theories and methodologies of sociophonetics, while the international orientation of the university gives me a world wide vision.
Luckily, I am not here alone, but accompanied by my husband Weixing. We are enjoying the great lifestyle here in New Zealand with fresh air, beautiful scenery, cute neighborhood… And we are ready to explore more!