“LANGUAGE LIFE” IN THE PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF CHINA OVER THE PAST SEVEN DECADES

Guo Xi
Jinan University, College of Chinese Language and Culture, Guangdong, Guangzhou, People’s Republic of China

Annotation

Over the past seven decades, the Chinese language has seen continuous changes that emerged as the result of radical changes in the socio-political-cultural context of China. Drawing from an extensive literature review of previous studies on the Chinese language development trajectory, this paper revisits and reflects on language practices in China and the respective features of language life in several key milestone periods since the establishment of the People’s Republic of China (PRC). The findings show that in general, China’s language planning and policy implementation have succeeded in managing language life for both the public and institutions. The success is demonstrated in the following aspects: nationwide popularization of the national common language (Guojia Tongyongyu); realization of the linguistic goal of the unification of speech and writing for the first time in the Chinese history; continuous improvement of overall language life across the society; and healthy development of language life towards diversity and harmony. This paper concludes that the use and development of Chinese over the past seven decades deserve further studies.

Key words: China; PRC seventieth anniversaty, language life; language policy, language planning

For citation: Guo Xi. “Language life” in the People’s Republic of China over the past seven decades. Sociolinguistic Studies, 2020, no. 3(3) [online], pp. 83–100.

DOI: 10.37892/2713-2951-2020-3-3-83-100