From planned language to language planning
Esperantists’ activities in China in 1911–1958
This paper explores how Esperanto (Esperantists) plays an important role in Chinese language reform during 1911–1958. It divides the period into three stages and describes Esperantists’ activities from three perspectives accordingly: roles, goals/results and motives. The paper reveals Esperantists’ roles have transformed from “people with influence” to “people with expertise” and then “people with power.” From the perspective of goals/results, the first stage failed because it didn’t achieve the goals as expected while the second and third stages were successful. In order to further explain reasons for the failure or success, this article goes on to analyze the three stages from Ager’s 7i Model (motives). It shows that these motives as social factors largely affecting language planning are not of paramount importance in accounting for the different results. The paper concludes that the study of planned language will be valuable for language planning through the case of Esperantists’ activities in Chinese language reform and suggests further investigations on different language schemes associated with Esperantists in China.