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Language Policy in the People's Republic of China : Theory and Practice Since 1949 - Minglang Zhou

Language Policy in the People's Republic of China

Theory and Practice Since 1949

By: Minglang Zhou (Editor), Hongkai Sun (Editor)

Hardcover Published: 16th September 2004
ISBN: 9781402080388
Number Of Pages: 345

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Language matters in China. It is about power, identity, opportunities, and, above all, passion and nationalism. During the past five decades China's language engineering projects transformed its linguistic landscape, affecting over one billion people's lives, including both the majority and minority populations. The Han majority have been juggling between their home vernaculars and the official speech, Putonghua - a speech of no native speakers - and reading their way through a labyrinth of the traditional, simplified, and Pinyin (Roman) scripts. Moreover, the various minority groups have been struggling between their native languages and Chinese, maintaining the former for their heritages and identities and learning the latter for quality education and socioeconomic advancement.

The contributors of this volume provide the first comprehensive scrutiny of this sweeping linguistic revolution from three unique perspectives. First, outside scholars critically question the parities between constitutional rights and actual practices and between policies and outcomes. Second, inside policy practitioners review their own project involvements and inside politics, pondering over missteps, undergoing soul-searching, and theorizing their personal experiences. Third, scholars of minority origin give inside views of policy implementations and challenges in their home communities. The volume sheds light on the complexity of language policy making and implementing as well as on the politics and ideology of language in contemporary China.

Industry Reviews

From the reviews:

"This volume tries to give an overview of 'the dramatic linguistic revolution that has swept across China' during the second half of the twentieth century. ... In the 19 papers which this book presents, the reader is made well aware of the enormous complexities involved in language-planning in a country with more than 1.3 billion inhabitants. ... This quite detailed and scholarly study can be read by anyone with a deeper interest in Chinese culture, language, society." (E. Van Laerhoven, Acta Comparanda, Vol. XVI, 2005)

Preface by the series editors
Introduction : the context of the theory and practice of China's language policyp. 1
Fifty years of script and written language reform in the PRC : the genesis of the language law of 2001p. 21
The relationship between Putonghua and Chinese dialectsp. 45
The creation of writing systems and nation establishment : the case of China in the 1950sp. 55
Minority language policy in China : equality in theory and inequality in practicep. 71
Language spread versus language maintenance : policy making and implementation processp. 99
Good to hear : using the trope of standard to find one's way in a sea of linguistic diversityp. 123
Putonghua education and language policy in postcolonial Hong Kongp. 143
On the promotion of Putonghua in China : how a standard language becomes a vernacularp. 163
Theorizing over 40 years personal experiences with the creation and development of minority writing systems of Chinap. 179
The use and development of Dai and its vernacular writing systemsp. 201
The use and development of Tibetan in Chinap. 221
The introduction and development of the Zhuang writing systemp. 239
Policies on the planning and use of the Yi language and writing systemsp. 257
Language policy for Baip. 277
The use and development of Mongol and its writing systems in Chinap. 289
Language policy and standardization of Korean in Chinap. 303
Foreign language education in the PRC : a brief overviewp. 319
Language matters in China : an anthropological postscriptp. 333
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9781402080388
ISBN-10: 1402080387
Series: Language Policy
Audience: General
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 345
Published: 16th September 2004
Publisher: Springer-Verlag New York Inc.
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 23.39 x 15.6  x 2.06
Weight (kg): 0.69