Chapter 5 powerpoint

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Sociolinguistics
Chapter 5
National Languages and
Language Planning
Learning Objectives
 National and official languages
 Planning for a national official language
 The linguist’s role in language planning
National Language
A national language is the language of a
political, cultural and social unit. It is used to
identify the nation and unite the people of the
nation.
Example 1
Guaraní in Paraguay
Exercise 1
Official Language
An official language is simply a language
which may be used for government business.
Its function is primarily characterised by
usefulness rather than symbolic sense.
Example 2
Bislama in Vanuatu
Official status and minority
languages
English often shares official status with an
indigenous language:
Malay in Malaysia
Swahili in Tanzania
Example 3
What price a national language?
Many countries regarded the development of a
single national language as a way of
symbolising the unity of a nation.
Planning for a National Official Language
 Selection
 Codification
 Elaboration
 Acceptance
Language Planning in Different Countries
 Lingua franca as a national official language
e.g. Tanzania
Exercise 4
 A “H” and a new standard form based on “Ls”
as two competing official languages
e.g. Norway
Exercise 7
 Several national languages and official
languages
e.g. India
The linguist’s role in language planning
 Codification of orthography
 Developing vocabulary
 Acceptance
 Acquisition planning
Exercise 9
Language Planning in Hong Kong
 Historical and political development
 Economic development
 The impact of historical, political, and economic
development on the language situation in Hong
Kong
 Ordinances on official languages in Hong Kong
 Definition problems
 The national language
 Language policy
Historical and Political Development
1840-1842 First Opium War
1856-1858 Second Opium War
1898
The New Territories and the outlying
islands were leased to Britain for 99
years
1997
China resumed sovereignty in Hong
Kong
Economic Development
1841
Fishing port
1945-1950s
Entrepôt
1960s-1970s
Manufacturing hub
1980s-present
International financial centre
NyLonKong
Impact on the language situation
The existence of English alongside Chinese,
even after China resumed sovereignty in
Hong Kong
Ordinances on official languages
1. The Official Languages Ordinance (1974)
2. The Official Languages Ordinance
amendment (1987)
3. The Basic Law (1997)
The Official Languages Ordinance
(1974)
The official languages possess equal status
and, subject to the provisions of this
Ordinance, enjoy equality of use for the
purposes of communication between the
Government or any public officer and
members of the public and for court
proceedings.
(Chapter 5, Section 3)
The Basic Law (1997)
In addition to the Chinese language, English
may also be used as an official by the
executive authorities, legislature and judiciary
of the Hong Kong Special Administrative
Region.
(Chapter 1 Article 9)
Definition problems
The variant(s) of spoken and written Chinese
are not defined in the legal documents.
Chinese in Hong Kong
Modern
Standard
Chinese
Cantonese
Written
Modern
Standard
Chinese
Written
Cantonese
Putonghua
Spoken
Cantonese
Modern Standard Chinese
Putonghua
PU-TONG
普通
HUA
話
common
language
The National Language
The concept of ‘national language’ was vague
to Hong Kong people during the colonial
period.
In the post-colonial period, the Hong Kong
government starts to promote the national
language – Putonghua.
Language Policy
Putonghua
Chinese
Cantonese
Official
Languages
English
English
Biliteracy
All children studying at local governmentaided schools learn both Chinese and English
from Primary 1 for 12 years through the end
of senior secondary education.
Trilingualism
Proportion of the population able to speak
English as another language
Year
1991
1996
2001
2006
2011
Percentage
29.4%
34.9%
39.8%
41.9%
42.6%
Source: Census and Statistics Department, Hong Kong Government
Trilingualism
Proportion of the population able to speak
Putonghua as another language
Year
1991
1996
2001
2006
2011
Percentage
16.9%
24.2%
33.3%
39.2%
46.5%
Source: Census and Statistics Department, Hong Kong Government
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