Language Policy

Language Policy in the People’s Republic of China

Theory and Practice Since 1949

Editors: Zhou, Minglang, Sun, Hongkai (Eds.)

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About this book

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.

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)


Table of contents (19 chapters)

  • Introduction: The Context of the Theory and Practice of China’s Language Policy

    Zhou, Minglang (et al.)

    Pages 1-18

  • Fifty Years of Script and Written Language Reform in the P.R.C.

    Rohsenow, John S.

    Pages 21-43

  • The Relationship between Putonghua and Chinese Dialects

    Guo, Longsheng

    Pages 45-54

  • The Creation of Writing Systems and Nation Establishment

    Zhou, Qingsheng

    Pages 55-70

  • Minority Language Policy in China

    Zhou, Minglang

    Pages 71-95

Buy this book

eBook $209.00
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-1-4020-8039-5
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $269.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-1-4020-8038-8
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
Softcover $269.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-94-017-4032-6
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Language Policy in the People’s Republic of China
Book Subtitle
Theory and Practice Since 1949
Editors
  • Minglang Zhou
  • Hongkai Sun
Series Title
Language Policy
Series Volume
4
Copyright
2004
Publisher
Springer Netherlands
Copyright Holder
Springer Science+Business Media New York
eBook ISBN
978-1-4020-8039-5
DOI
10.1007/1-4020-8039-5
Hardcover ISBN
978-1-4020-8038-8
Softcover ISBN
978-94-017-4032-6
Series ISSN
1571-5361
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XIX, 345
Topics