ERIC Number: ED381027
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1994-Mar
Reference Count: N/A
Representing Chineseness in New York City's Chinatown.
Wei, Jennifer M.
This paper explores the range of arguments and sentiments regarding the promotion and/or abolition of types of Chinese scripts. The written representations of Cantonese in Hong Kong, Mandarin in Taiwan as well as Mandarin in China are examined via issues of identity and of discourse both at national and international levels. Chinese scripts are socio-cultural artifacts whose coming into being historically represent a unique view to the understanding of Chinese modernity. Contested and contestable visions on how Chinese should be written or seen further attest to the politics of sentiments and ideologies lying behind the evolution of Chinese scripts. Writing Chinese is not just a linguistic act to translate the sound of Chinese to the graphic of Chinese. It is about how to represent Chineseness in a contested social context. The notion of homogeneity is challenged and it is argued that much of this kind of rationale from identifying the act of writing or seeing Chinese scripts or romanizations with an act of nationalism, traditionalism, or patriotism. Closer examination of how Cantonese is written vis-a-vis Mandarin and English further reveal much about the complex social and political tensions between "standard" Chinese and its linguistic others. (LR)
Descriptors: Cantonese, Chinese, Contrastive Linguistics, Cultural Context, Cultural Differences, Diachronic Linguistics, Ethnography, Ideography, Ideology, Immigrants, Mandarin Chinese, Political Attitudes, Resistance to Change, Romanization, Social Change, Sociocultural Patterns, Sociolinguistics, Standard Spoken Usage, Written Language
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: New York (New York)