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ERIC Number: EJ1116515
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Nov
Pages: 18
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1568-4555
Legislating Language in Taiwan: From Equality to Development to Status Quo
Dupré, Jean-François
Language Policy, v15 n4 p415-432 Nov 2016
This paper looks into failed attempts by the Democratic Progressive Party's (DPP) minority government (2000-2008) to alter Taiwan's Mandarin-dominated language regime by drafting law proposals recognizing the languages of all Taiwanese ethnic groups as equal national languages. This paper argues that the failure to enact language regime change in Taiwan can best be explained by the logic of the Taiwanese party system, which incentivized mainstream parties to play down their antagonistic Hoklo-Taiwanese and Mainland-Chinese ethnocultural cores to vie for electoral support from Hakka and Aboriginal ethnic minorities. This party logic, compounded by the DPP's minority position in the legislature, had two implications for language policy-making in Taiwan. First, the electoral incentive for the DPP to de-radicalize its pro-Taiwan identity platform pushed the party to resort to covert ways of showing commitment to its radical faction, such as appointing language revivalists to ethnolinguistic committees. This resulted in a shift in focus from "de jure" language regime change to a reliance on bureaucratic channels in language policy-making. Second, the same political dynamics have discouraged parties from appealing to ethnonationalist rhetoric, prompting them to express their antagonistic ideologies of Taiwanese and Chinese nationalism through typically liberal conceptions of language rights. Appeals to linguistic human rights, however, may not have constituted a strong enough justification for substantial changes in language policy. By appealing to the political and cultural status quo, the Chinese Nationalist Party (Kuo Min Tang or KMT) has had the upper hand in the debates.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Taiwan
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A