Language Reformation in China Essay

Language Reformation in China Essay

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China has a long history of language reformation, where the Chinese language becomes one of the most successful and radical amendments for the whole nation to adopt several changes along the way. In this essay, a discussion of major components in the language reform, specifically the Mandarin language, in China will be explored with the social, culture, and political issues that have influence the changes. A history and pattern of language used in China- starting from the days of language in the imperial court, to the communist revolution during Mao’s regime, until the language and speech pattern in the twenty first century era- will be explored throughout the essay. This essay will also feature the analysis of the dwindling standard style language by the Han dynasty into the widespread official speech from north China, which became the basis for the Standard Chinese in the modern days. Speech pattern and the underlying social reformation of the Red Guards, due to the shift of political power in the bourgeoisie and proletarians society of China’s population will be explored as well. The success of the implementation of a single national language by the government of China throughout the country will be mentioned. Finally, how and why the language in China has differed greatly from one era to another will be analyzed in the essay, especially the power reason behind the changes in China’s language system.
In the days of the imperial court, the usage of language in China was mainly by the Han dynasty court, which is only used by the royalties and scholars. This way, it can be seen that to be able to read and write the standardized language signifies one’s social status. The social standing of a person during Han dynasty court is thr...


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...ch for Modern China, W. W. Norton, New York, pp. 575.

Tsang, C 1967, 'The red guards and the great proletarian cultural revolution', Comparative Education, 3, 3, pp. 195-205, Education Research Complete, EBSCOhost, viewed 29 March 2014.

Vogel, E 2011, Deng Xiaoping and the transformation of China, Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Wang, N, Wen, J & Su, X (trs), ‘Twentieth-century debates on Chinese characters and research on Chinese characters in the coming century’, Social Sciences in China 20, no.1 (Spr 1999) pp. 134-145.

Yang, D 1996, Calamity and reform in China: state, rural society, and institutional change since the great leap famine, Stanford University Press, Stanford, California.

Zhan, K 1992, The strategies of politeness in the Chinese language, Institute of East Asian Studies, University of California, Berkeley.


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