Language Diversity in the Sinophone World : Historical Trajectories, Language Planning, and Multilingual Practices book cover
1st Edition

Language Diversity in the Sinophone World
Historical Trajectories, Language Planning, and Multilingual Practices

ISBN 9780367562656
Published May 9, 2022 by Routledge
330 Pages

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Book Description

Language Diversity in the Sinophone World offers interdisciplinary insights into social, cultural, and linguistic aspects of multilingualism in the Sinophone world, highlighting language diversity and opening up the burgeoning field of Sinophone studies to new perspectives from sociolinguistics.

The book begins by charting historical trajectories in Sinophone multilingualism, beginning with late imperial China through to the emergence of English in the mid-19th century. The volume uses this foundation as a jumping off point from which to provide an in-depth comparison of modern language planning and policies throughout the Sinophone world, with the final section examining multilingual practices not readily captured by planning frameworks and the ideologies, identities, repertoires, and competences intertwined within these different multilingual configurations.

Taken together, the collection makes a unique sociolinguistic-focused intervention into emerging research in Sinophone studies and will be of interest to students and scholars within the discipline.

Table of Contents

List of figures

List of tables

List of contributors


Introduction: Language diversity in the sinophone world

Henning Klöter and Mårten Söderblom Saarela



Historical trajectories

1 What was standard Chinese in the nineteenth Century?

Divergent views in the times of transition

Richard VanNess Simmons

2 Manchu, Mandarin, and the politicization of spoken language in Qing China

Mårten Söderblom Saarela

3 Romanizing Southern Mǐn:

Missionaries and the promotion of written Chinese vernaculars

Don Snow

4 Interactions across Englishes in mainland China, Hong Kong, Macao,

and Singapore

Christiane Meierkord


Part II

Language planning

5 One legacy, two legislations:

Language policies on the two sides of the Taiwan Strait

Henning Klöter

6 Language policy and practice in Taiwan in the early twenty-first century

Su-Chiao Chen

7 A tale of two Special Administrative Regions:

The state of multilingualism in Hong Kong and Macao

David C.S. Li and Choi-Lan Tong

8 One People, One Nation, One Singapore:

Language policy and shifting identities among Chinese Singaporeans

Yeng Seng Goh and Yeow Wah Fong


Part III

Multilingual practices

9 Speakers of "mother tongues" in multilingual China:

Complex linguistic repertoires and identity construction

Sihua Liang

10 Multilingualism and language policy in Singapore

Peter Siemund and Lijun Li

11 The discourses of lào yīngwén:

Resistance to and subversion of the normative status of English in Taiwan

Hsi-Yao Su

12 Conventionalized code-switching in Taiwan:

English insertions in Taiwan Mandarin

Julia Wasserfall

13 Ubiquitous but unplanned:

The utterance-final particle ê in Taiwan Mandarin

Chin-hui Lin

14 Diverse language, diverse grammars:

On quirky phenomena in Mandarin

Jeroen Wiedenhof




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Henning Klöter is Full Professor of Modern Chinese Languages and Literatures in the Department of Asian and African Studies at Humboldt University of Berlin, Germany.

Mårten Söderblom Saarela is Assistant Research Fellow at the Institute of Modern History, Academia Sinica, Taiwan.


"...the volume’s innovative approaches to language issues are a valuable contribution to Sinophone studies." - Ashley Liu, University of Maryland, MCLC