Edited by Francesc Feliu and Olga Fullana
[IVITRA Research in Linguistics and Literature 20] 2019
► pp. 206–226
The standardization of Chinese
A process run alongside Catalan for a century?
Modern Standard Chinese, known as Putonghua (or Common Speech), as well as Mandarin in the West, is the official language used by the People’s Republic of China, the Republic of China (Taiwan) and the island city-state of Singapore. As a result of the May Fourth Movement of 1919, the bases for a modern Chinese literary language reform were put forward in order to get an up-to-date national language, by substituting the colloquial speech (báihuà) for the classical language (wényán). However, it was under Mao Zedong’s rule when a threefold sociolinguistic reform was implemented in his first decade in power: oral standardization based on Pekingese, character simplification and the adoption of Pinyin. Alongside Chinese, Catalan experienced a language reform under the Institut d’Estudis Catalans’ and Pompeu Fabra’s leadership during the first third of the 20th century.