Language Policy in the People’s Republic of China: Theory and Practice Since 1949

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Minglang Zhou, Hongkai Sun
Springer Science & Business Media, Aug 27, 2004 - Foreign Language Study - 343 pages
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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.


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Table of contents List of contributors Preface by the series editors Bernard Spolsky and Elana Shohamy Foreword Victor H Mair Acknowledgements
How a Standard Language
The Relationship between Putonghua and Chinese Dialects
Equality in Theory
The Center Versus the Periphery in Practice
and Implementation Process Dongyan Ru Blachford 99
Putonghua Education and Language Policy in Postcolonial Hong Kong
Theorizing over 40 Years Personal Experiences with the Creation
The Introduction and Development of the Zhuang Writing System
Policies on the Planning and Use ofthe Yi Language and Writing Systems
Language Policy for
The Use and Development of Mongol and Its Writing Systems in China
Language Policy and Standardization of Korean in China
Foreign Language Education Policy and Modernization

The Use and Development of Dai and Its Vernacular Writing Systems
The Use and Development of Tibetan in China

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