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ERIC Number: EJ823405
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Nov
Pages: 22
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 49
ISSN: ISSN-1466-4208
Language Planning, Naming and Character Use in China
Zhao, Shouhui; Baldauf, Richard B., Jr.
Current Issues in Language Planning, v8 n3 p283-304 Nov 2007
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. (Contains 3 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: China