Language planning, naming and character use in China

Zhao, Shouhui and Baldauf Jr., Richard B. (2007) Language planning, naming and character use in China. Current Issues in Language Planning, 8 3: 283-304. doi:10.2167/cilp117.0

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Author Zhao, Shouhui
Baldauf Jr., Richard B.
Title Language planning, naming and character use in China
Journal name Current Issues in Language Planning   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1466-4208
Publication date 2007-01-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.2167/cilp117.0
Volume 8
Issue 3
Start page 283
End page 304
Total pages 22
Editor Richard Baldauf
Robert Kaplan
Place of publication Clevedon, U.K.
Publisher Routledge
Collection year 2008
Language eng
Subject C1
330104 Educational Policy, Administration and Management
749906 Education policy
Abstract As Chinese characters (hanzi) have three aspects – as a technical writing system, an aesthetic visual art (Chinese calligraphy), and a highly-charged cultural symbolic system – changing them is a complex process. In the 1950s when language planning campaigns were launched to modernise Chinese through hanzi standardisation, names were set aside as too difficult to reform. But over the last two decades the increasingly acute need for effective modern communication based on a stable standard written system has increased the pressure for name reform. This paper discusses the standardisation of personal and geographical name-related hanzi, detailing the socio-cultural and political factors that make the job of language reform much more difficult than it once was for language planning practitioners. The central theme is the conflict between standardisation and diversity, i.e. technological convenience for personal names and modernisation for geographic names vs compatibility with the traditional heritage. In this new historical context, the focus has changed from top-down technical solutions to multiple standards and bottom-up prestige and image planning as ways of addressing hanzi naming dilemmas.
Keyword Chinese characters
Personal names
Geographic names
Socio-political decisions
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Excellence in Research Australia (ERA) - Collection
School of Education Publications
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Created: Tue, 15 Apr 2008, 23:55:21 EST by Rebecca Donohoe on behalf of School of Education