“My turf, i decide”: Linguistic circulation in the emergence of a Chinese youth culture

Qing Z Mcfatter, E. Chen-Chun

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

2 Scopus citations


Th is chapter examines the circulation (Spitulnik, 1996) and recontextualization (Bauman and Briggs, 1990) of a Chinese advertisement slogan “wode dipan, wo zuozhu,” (my turf, I decide), and its variants in the form of “my noun phrase, I decide” in youth online discourse. Th e slogan was originally created in 2004 by China Mobile to promote its M-Zone mobile phone service, targeting consumers aged between 15 and 25. It has become immensely popular since 2004 along with the hip-hop song “My Turf,” created for the advertisement campaign and performed by the Taiwanese pop culture icon Jay Chou. The slogan, the song and Chou’s persona project a stance of individuality and rebellion. Over 12,000,000 instances obtained from Google search, including blogs and social-networking websites, demonstrate that the wide circulation of the intertextual series (Hanks, 1986) is facilitated by: (1) the connotations of the word dipan, and (2) the productive syntactic structure, i.e., “my noun phrase, I decide.” Drawing on Bakhtin’s theory of dialogism, we show that the intertextual series index a set of stances that position speakers away from models of traditional Chinese cultural values. The circulation of such stances in youth online discourse mediates the construction of a Chinese youth style that highlights individuality, rebellion, and independence. Th e intertextual series have become a salient linguistic resource for Chinese youth to take stances in their endeavor to establish their own social space.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationChinese Under Globalization: Emerging Trends in Language Use in China
PublisherWorld Scientific Publishing Co.
Number of pages25
ISBN (Electronic)9789814350709
ISBN (Print)9814350699, 9789814350693
StatePublished - Jan 1 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities(all)
  • Social Sciences(all)


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