English ants are digging holes in the Chinese levee
Language ideological debates in the Chinese media
The media have become a key site for the production and reproduction of language ideologies in modern societies. This is typically reflected in language ideological debates in 2010 in the Chinese media. In 2009, an article entitled “English ants are digging holes in the Chinese levee” got wide media coverage and aroused much controversy in the Chinese media in the following year. The crusade for linguistic purism ended with the promulgation of new regulations banning China’s media organizations and publishers from randomly mixing foreign languages with Chinese in publications. The present study aims to explore the inherent language ideologies naturalized in the debates of Chinese linguistic purism and various strategies adopted for the construction of the ideologies. The findings reveal that the ideology of “one nation and one language” and standard language ideology play an important role in the sociolinguistic imagination of a homogeneous Chinese society and protection of “pure” Chinese against English invasion. It is hoped that the present study will contribute to language ideology studies and shed new light on Chinese sociolinguistic studies.
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