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Tenney: Modernizing the Chinese Language -1 > So they built up in the symbol writing a literature so valuable that they

fixed it forever in the esteem of their descendants. A literary style has been developed which has not connection with spoken language. The literature of China appeals to the eye and not to the ear. -2 >The uneducated masses cannotunderstand properly composed literature, and any writing in the colloquial is as offensive to the Chinese scholar as English literature in ungrammatical slang would be to any scholar of taste in America or England. China is now trying the experiment of a democratic form of government and her success must depend on quickening the intelligence of the mass of the people. It must be made possible to open their minds to the new of their own country and of the outside world. In my judgment, this will be impossible unless certain radical changes are made in the Chinese language. Chinese must be written phonetically, and a new literary style must be developed based upon the colloquial. The Ministry of Education has adopted a phonetic system of writing Chinese sounds -3 > The matter of replacing the old literature by a new literature based upon the colloquial is more difficult than it may seem. Since the written Chinese appeals to the eye rather than to the ear great condensation has become a mark of literary excellence. > Written Chinese is monosyllabic, which the colloquial ispolysyllabic. So the diffuseness of the spoken language has become anathema to all aspirants of for an elegant literary style. In Europe long ago the same battlebetween the scholars and the people. The language of the street replaced the overinflected Latin of the scholars. All of the many newspapers are now published in a form somewhat simplified and some of them are even printed in the colloquial. -4 > As long as the old system prevails the mass of the people must be condemned to illiteracy, for they have not time for the work required. The phonetic system of writing can be learned in two or three weeks and if then a literature is open to the minds of the people we may hope to see the rapid spread of intelligence among Chinese Republicans and the consequent success of their experiment in government by the people.

The Columbia History of Chinese Literature -20 >Unlike in Europe, India, and elsewhere, the many spoken Sinitic languages never developed vernacular literatures of their own. Throughout Chinese history, there have basically been only two types of written Sinitic, the national literary language (LS) and the national koine (VS); VS is filled with classical elements that make it a poor model for actual speech. >From its earliest stages, Chinese writing has been focused on concision; scholars viewed this pared-down writing as elegant, often dropping subjects and omitting as many

words as possible without completely losing the reader. The vernacular writing, in which all elements of speech were left intact, was considered vulgar. -52 >Even before the overthrow of the Ching government and inspired at least in part by the alphabetical initiatives of the Jesuit Scholars Matteo Ricci (1522-1610) and Nicolas Trigault (1577-1628), Chinese language reformers had been arguing in favor of a script that would be easier for Chinas masses to master. The defects of the Chinese characters were wittily examined in the twelve sections of Men-wai wen-tan (An Outsiders Chats on Script), a small book written in 1934 by Lu Hsun, Chinas most renowned If the Chinese characters are not eradicated, China will certainly perish! -53 >The Republican government that followed the Ching dynasty actually went part way toward realizing the aims of the Chinese script reformers in devising two auxiliary phonetic scripts, the National Phonetic Symbols (also informally referred to as po-po-mofo) and National Romanization (Gwoyeu Romatzyh), an ingenious system of tonal spelling. The custodians of the Republican government took both of these systems to Taiwan in 1949 when they were defeatedThe latter [Communists] wasted little time in carrying out even more radical language reform policies. Rather than using the National Phonetic Symbols and National Romanization, the Communists established a Romanization called pinyin. China Learns from the Soviet Union, 1949-present -483 China attempted to keep the Soviet out of actual policymaking; however, the Soviets eventually became involved in reforming the Chinese language -484 >Soviet linguists and the ethnologist Serduychenko arrived in Beijing in Oct. 1954; Serduychenkos early work was reforming the Chinese writing system. >In early 1950s, debate in China over whether to adopt a Cyrilic, Roman, or kanastyle script to replace Chinese characters. China's Assimilationist Language Policy -22 >At the PRCs very first national conference on language reform in Oct. 1955, two goals: 1) simplify the traditional Han script to promote literacy and apply the Romanbased alphabet to create a phonetic writing system for modernizationPinyin, which was officially adopted in 1957; the original intent was for Pinyin to replace the Han script altogether in the near-future; 2) standard spoken languagePutonghua Planning Chinese Characters: Reaction, Evolution or Revolution? -32 >To make Hanzi more accessible to all, reformers popularized the idea of simplifying traditional characters in the early Republican period, especially as part of the efforts of the May Fourth Movement of 1919 to push for cultural reformLu Xuns proposition that either Chinese characters die out, or Chinese does.


>The simplification proposal raised issues of cultural continuity; Chinese characters had been handed down for thousands of years through ancestors. Chinese scholars revered traditional hanzi, for their very antiquity and purity. -34 >Initial sanctification of the traditional written language impeded modernization and simplification. Right after the founding of the Republic of China in 1912, the Commission for Unifying Reading Pronunciation()was established. One of its tasks was to determine the phonological standard of Modern Chinese. In the same year, on July 10th, the Temporary Educational Meeting () was convened in Beijing by the Ministry of Education. On November 23rd, 1918, the Ministry of Education promulgated Zhyn zm (, Mandarin Phonetic Alphabet) as the first officially-recognized phonographic writing of Chinese, including the chart of Zhyn zm, voiced symbols, and the dot-marking way to indicate the four tones (a dot was placed in one of the four corners of the Chinese character). The symbols were adopted from old Chinese characters used in ancient times. In 1930, the Ministry of Education renamed Zhyn zm as Zhyn fho ( Mandarin Phonetic Symbols), which name precisely indicates the system's auxiliary function in language instruction. Later termed Mandarin Phonetic Symbols (Bopomofo) this system has been used in Taiwan ever since 1935. Efforts to simplify Chinese characters never ceased during the development of the Chinese language. When it entered the modern period, more efforts were put into this move and simplification of characters became a new trend. Educationist Lu Guikui became the first person to advocate the use of simplified characters. He published an essay titled Sutizi Should Be Employed in General Education in the Education Magazine in 1909. After the May Fourth Movement, Qian Xuantong was the scholar who made great contributions to simplification of Chinese characters. He came up with a plan to reduce strokes of current characters together with Lu Ji, Li Jinxi and Yang Shuda, suggesting using simplified characters in all regular written materials. In 1932, the Education Department of that time released the list of characters commonly in use.