The Use of Putonghua Subject as a Vehicle for a Pan-Chinese Identity

Authors

  • Adam Scott Clark University of Edinburgh

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.1558/jld.18489

Keywords:

Hong Kong, Putonghua, Mandarin, Cantonese, Language policy, bilingualism, education

Abstract

In April 2015, a meeting of a Hong Kong Legislative Council Panel discussed the potential for using Putonghua, as opposed to Cantonese, to teach the ‘Chinese Language Subject’ within the Hong Kong curriculum. Their primary reason for making this suggestion was based on the idea that Putonghua and the Han Chinese ethnicity are somehow inherently linked – if you are Han Chinese, you should be able to speak Putonghua. This paper discusses the validity of this assertion and examines language-in-education policy related to Putonghua in Hong Kong from the late-colonial period and the contemporary period to establish whether Putonghua is used by the Hong Kong Legislative Council to encourage Hong Kong pupils to identify with a pan-Chinese ethnicity and by dint, a pan-Chinese language, Putonghua.

Author Biography

Adam Scott Clark, University of Edinburgh

Adam Scott Clark has a doctoral degree in Linguistics from the University of Edinburgh. His areas of academic interest are language and identity and minority language preservation. He currently works as a language curriculum designer

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Published

2020-10-24

How to Cite

Clark, A. S. (2020). The Use of Putonghua Subject as a Vehicle for a Pan-Chinese Identity. Journal of Language and Discrimination, 4(2), 172–196. https://doi.org/10.1558/jld.18489

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