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Multilingualism in China (M. Zhou)

Zuletzt aktualisiert: 7 Jul 2003
The Politics of Writing Reforms for Minority Languages 1949-2002
2003. 458 pages. 94 tables. 2 maps. Hardcover. ISBN 978-3-11-017896-8


Minglang Zhou's highly erudite and well-researched volume on the policies concerning writing reforms for China's minorities since 1949 provides an original and well-reasoned summary of a complex process. It documents how different script reforms meet dramatically different fates according to local preferences, history, cross-border ties, and the vitality of previously-used scripts. It convincingly shows that no single variable is decisive in the success of a script, and that language planners' fixation with technical details is doomed to failure, without careful coordination of extra-code factors. It also documents the little-known Sino-Soviet cooperation in the area of writing reforms. In a style accessible to both undergraduate and graduate students, Zhou's book is of interest to language planners, sinologists, applied linguists, writing theorists, and ethnologists.