1st Edition

Multilingualism in the Chinese Diaspora Worldwide
Transnational Connections and Local Social Realities


Li Wei

ISBN 9781138499065
Published February 12, 2018 by Routledge
324 Pages 22 B/W Illustrations

USD $54.95

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Book Description

In this volume, Li Wei brings together contributions from well-known and emerging scholars in socio- and anthropological linguistics working on different linguistic and communicative aspects of the Chinese diaspora. The project examines the Chinese diasporic experience from a global, comparative perspective, with a particular focus on transnational links, and local social and multilingual realities. Contributors address the emergence of new forms of Chinese in multilingual contexts, family language policy and practice, language socialization and identity development, multilingual creativity, linguistic attitudes and ideologies, and heritage language maintenance, loss, learning and re-learning.

The studies are based on empirical observations and investigations in Chinese communities across the globe, including well-researched (from a sociolinguistic perspective) areas such as North America, Western Europe and Australia, as well as under-explored and under-represented areas such as Africa, Latin America, Central Asia, and the Middle East; the volume also includes detailed ethnographic accounts representing regions with a high concentration of Chinese migration such as Southeast Asia. This volume not only will allow sociolinguists to investigate the link between linguistic phenomena in specific communities and wider socio-cultural processes, but also invites an open dialogue with researchers from other disciplines who are working on migration, diaspora and identity, and those studying other language-based diasporic communities such as the Russian diaspora, the Spanish diaspora, the Portuguese diaspora, and the Arabic diaspora.

Table of Contents

1. Transnational Connections and Multilingual Realities: The Chinese diasporic experience in a global context Li Wei  Part I: Emerging Diaspora, Emerging Identities  2. Globalization Off the Beaten Track—Chinese Migration to South Africa’s Rural Towns Ana Deumert and Nkululeko Mabandla  3. Polycentric Repertoires: Constructing Dutch-Chinese Youth Identities in the Classroom and Online Jinling Li and Kasper Juffermans  4. Sojourner Tongues: Language Practices among the Chinese of Cairo Wang Jie  Part II: Changing Times, Changing Languages  5. The Dungans of Kazakhstan: Old minority in a new nation-state Juldyz Smagulova  6. Chinese-Spanish Contact in Cuba in the 19th Century  J. Clancy Clements  7. Shifting identities, shifting practices: The Chinese-speaking communities in Suriname Paul Brendan Tjon Sie Fat  8. Multilingualism and the West Kalimantan Hakka Josh Stenberg  9. Being Chinese Again: Learning Mandarin in post-Suharto Indonesia Charlotte Setijadi  Part III: Transnational Communities, Cultural Mediators  10. Multilingualism in the Chinese community in Japan John C. Maher  11. From monolingualism to multilingualism: The linguistic landscape in Kuala Lumpur’s Chinatown Wang Xiaomei, Koh Yi Chern, Patricia Nora Riget, and Supramani Shoniah  12. Grandmother’s tongue: decline of Teochew language in Singapore Lee Cher Leng  13. Multilingual mediators: The (continuing) role of the Peranakans in the contact dynamics of Singapore Lisa Lim  Part IV: Transnational Families, Transcultural Living  14. The transnational journey of an Indonesian Chinese couple in Hong Kong: the story of one family, three places, and multiple languages Katherine Hoi Ying Chen  15. Family Language Policy in the Chinese Community in Singapore: A Question of Balance? Xiao Lan Curdt-Christiansen  16. Language Maintenance in the Chinese Diaspora in Australia Linda Tsung  17. Across Generations and Geographies: Communication in Chinese Heritage Language Speaking Households Agnes Weiyun He

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Li Wei is Chair of Applied Linguistics and Director of the UCL Centre for Applied Linguistics at the UCL Institute of Education, University College London, UK.


"This new book represents a first major attempt to provide a systematic overview of Chinese migrants and their descendants living in linguistically and socioculturally diverse host societies far away from their homeland. The book offers many insights showing how members of various Chinese diasporic communities straddle and harness conflicting identities through their day-to-day linguistic and cultural practices. Students of migration, sociolinguistics, bi-/multi-lingualism, cultural studies, intercultural communication and neighboring social science disciplines will find it a useful reference." —David Shing Chor Li, The Hong Kong Institute of Education, Hong Kong