Motives for Chinese script simplification
The Chinese script simplification movement originated from the debates about Chinese script (hànzì) in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. This movement was once the dominant part of language planning and language policy in China. The article describes the three major stages of Chinese script reform in the 20th century briefly, using Cooper’s ‘accounting scheme’ and its eight components as its organizing framework. In the case of Chinese script reform, two of the stages of the script reform movement — the first and third — failed, while the second was successful. In order to explain both the two failures and the success, this article focuses on the motives of the stages of the script reform movement. The discussions about the motives behind Chinese script reform in the literature generally focus on the contribution which the simplified hànzì has made to the improvement of China’s education; this article seeks to interpret the motives of the three stages of the script reform movement, rather, along the lines of the 7i model proposed by Ager. It concludes that there have been different motives present during different stages of the script reform movement, which in turn have had a powerful impact of the success or failure of particular reform efforts. Finally, it is suggested that the predominant trend in Chinese language planning and policy has now turned from script simplification to standardization.
Keywords: motives, 7i model, language policy, accounting scheme, Chinese script simplification, language planning
Published online: 17 September 2015
Cited by 2 other publications
de Caux, Basil Cahusac
Wang, Yalan & Haitao Liu
This list is based on CrossRef data as of 10 march 2021. Please note that it may not be complete. Sources presented here have been supplied by the respective publishers. Any errors therein should be reported to them.
Zhōngguó Jiàoyù Bào [Chinese Education Newspaper]
Halpern, J. & Kerman, J.
(2013) The pitfalls and complexities of Chinese to Chinese conversion. http://www.cjk.org/cjk/c2c/c2cbasis.htm 01st/04/2013.
Hu, Y. & Chen, G.
John, L.M. Trim
Kevin, K.H. Chung
Lam, H.C., Ki, W.W., Chung, A.L.S. & Ko, P.Y.
Li, H., Shu, H., Catherine Mcbridge-Chang, Liu H., Peng, H.
Liu, Ch., Yin, F., Wang, D. & Wang, Q.
Luke, A., McHoul, A.W. & Mey, J.L.
Luo, Y., Chen, X, Deacon S. Hélène, Zhang, J. & Yin, L.
Mesthrie, R., Swann, J., Deumert, A., & Leap, W.L.
National Language Resource Monitoring and Research Center
Qian, B., Qian, S. & Qian, D.
Richard B. Baldauf, Jr
Rui, J., Wu, J. & Sun, Y.
Sun, X., Yang, L., Tang, Y. & Hu, Y.
Tu, H. & Ren, X.
2004 Lùn hànzì guīfàn de shèhuìxìng yŭ kēxuéxìng – zài xīn xíngshì xià duì hànzì guīfàn wèntí de fǎnsī [Social and scientific norms of Chinese scripts – To reflect on the standardization of Chinese scripts under the new situation]. In Y. Li & J. Fei (Eds.), Hànzì guīfàn bǎijiā tán [Debates on Chinese scripts standardization] (pp. 1–18) Beijing: The Commercial Press.
Wang, Q., Yin, F. & Liu, Ch
(2013) Cóng wényán dào báihuà cóng fántĭ dào jiăntĭ — jìndài zhuănhuànqī Zhōngguó de shūmiànyŭ hé wénzì [From classical to vernacular, from fántǐ zì to jiǎntǐ zì -Chinese written language and scripts in the period of modern transformation]. In International Academic Conference of Korea Studies in Eastern Asia, 2012. Incheon, Korea.
Wang, X., Lü, X. & Tang, Zh
Zhang, M. & Guo, L.
(2004) “Xìnxī Chùlĭ Yòng GB13000.1 Zìfújí Hànzì Bùjiàn Guīfàn” zài shūrùfă yìngyòng zhōng de nándiăn tăolùn [Difficulties in the application of “Chinese Character Component Standard of GB 13000. 1 Character Set for Information Processing” for Chinese character input]. Journal of Chinese Information Processing, 18(4), 60–65.
Zhao, Sh. & R.B. Baldauf, Jr
Zhao, Sh. & Zhang Dong-Bo