Call for Papers: Journal of Asian Pacific Communication

Harold F. Schiffman haroldfs at
Tue Jul 15 14:48:11 UTC 2003

			Call for Papers

A special issue of the Journal of Asian Pacific Communication (JAPC) will
be devoted to the topic "Standard modern Chinese (Mandarin/Putonghua) and
its varieties in a multilingual Chinese society". In the past
half-century's promotion of the standard modern Chinese, varieties of the
standard language have arisen. It is well known to linguists and the
public that there are "Shanghai Putonghua ", "Guangzhou Putonghua",
"Zhuang Putonghua", "Taiwan Guoyu", etc. Amid China's rapid modernization
drive, more and more people have been speaking the "standard"  language
and have been more and more affected by their standard language ability in
their daily communication and socio-economic advancement. Thus, we believe
that a systematic study of standard modern Chinese and its varieties is
now more warranted than ever.

We post the following questions for potential contributors' consideration,
but the coverage of this special issue may not be limited to these

1. Varieties of what is perceived as "standard modern Chinese" range from
mixed codes from the standard language and dialects/minority languages, on
one extreme, to ones with only "accents", on the other extreme, with a lot
of them in between. How should varieties of standard modern Chinese be
(linguistically) defined?

2. Are varieties of standard modern Chinese transitional/interlanguages
(see C.  Saillard, forthcoming) or like varieties of English (e.g. British
English vs. American English, etc) and other languages (e.g. Spanish vs.
Catalan, Japanese vs. Okinawan, Czech vs. Slovakian, etc.)?

3. More interestingly, the People's Republic of China's (PRC) common
language law (passed in 2000 and enacted in 2001) legalizes an official
practice that accepts varieties of Putonghua (standard modern Chinese) as
different proficiency levels, a rather uncommon practice in status
planning in comparison to strict national language models (e.g. French, RP
English, Japanese, etc). Do the PRC's legislation and practice have any
implication for theories of language (status) planning?

4. In the linguistic repertoire of a speech community may exist a
more-standard version of modern Chinese, less-standard varieties of modern
Chinese, and dialects/minority languages. In what domains are these three
forms respectively allocated in everyday communication in such a

5. An individual speaker may also have these three forms of
languages/varieties in his/her repertoire. How does s/he switch from one
code to another in actual communication? What communicative functions do
the switch and/or each of the three codes serve?

6. Early studies (J. Bai, 1994; I. Kalmer, Y. Zhong and H. Xiao, 1987) of
small samples suggest different attitudes towards these three forms of
languages/varieties in a speech community. What are current attitudes (of
larger and more representative samples) towards these three
languages/varieties in speech communities where they are all used?

A paper may address one of these questions, a combination of these
questions or more important questions not raised above as well as the
theoretical significance of the Chinese case to any multilingual society
that engages in status planning. The focus of this special issue is on
standard modern Chinese and its varieties in the PRC, but papers on the
topic in other Chinese speaking societies will also be considered.

Submission deadlines:

An abstract of 250 words is due on December 1, 2003.
The complete paper is due on July 1, 2004.

The editorial board will review submitted abstracts and give helpful
comments to submitters in order to ensure the success of abstract
submitters and the success of this special issue. Thus, abstract
submission is highly encouraged, but it does not guarantee the acceptance
of the complete paper nor does it exclude consideration of any submitted
complete paper. All papers will be peer-reviewed.

Send abstracts and complete papers to the special issue editor, Minglang
Zhou (zhoum at, in a MS word document in an attachment.

The complete paper (no more than 20 double-spaced pages, including all
notes and references) should follow the JAPC style and, if written by a
non-native speaker of English, be proofread by a native speaker of
English. The style sheet and samples are available at
<> or from
the special issue editor. In the text, examples and terms may be
represented in Pinyin alone if Pinyin is sufficient to show the difference
or in combination of Pinyin and Chinese characters if Pinyin is not

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