33. Multilingualism in Greater China and the Chinese Language Diaspora

  1. Tej K. Bhatia and
  2. William C. Ritchie
  1. Sherman Lee and
  2. David C. S. Li

Published Online: 3 OCT 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9781118332382.ch33

The Handbook of Bilingualism and Multilingualism, Second Edition

The Handbook of Bilingualism and Multilingualism, Second Edition

How to Cite

Lee, S. and Li, D. C. S. (2012) Multilingualism in Greater China and the Chinese Language Diaspora, in The Handbook of Bilingualism and Multilingualism, Second Edition (eds T. K. Bhatia and W. C. Ritchie), John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781118332382.ch33

Editor Information

  1. Syracuse University, USA

Author Information

  1. Hong Kong Shue Yan University, Hong Kong

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 3 OCT 2012
  2. Published Print: 7 NOV 2012

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781444334906

Online ISBN: 9781118332382

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Keywords:

  • bilingualism;
  • Chinese language diaspora;
  • Greater China;
  • language maintenance;
  • language shift;
  • multilingualism

Summary

Greater China consists of four distinct polities: Mainland China; Taiwan; and the two Special Administrative Regions – Hong Kong and Macao. Largescale migration from these regions has also resulted in a huge Chinese language diaspora across the globe. Altogether, the communities subsumed under these two entities – Greater China and the Chinese diaspora – represent an incredible array of cultural and linguistic heritages, language situations, and multilingual resources. This chapter gives a sociolinguistic overview of those communities: their historical background, sources of linguistic diversity; and issues pertaining to bi-/multilingualism including language policies, bilingual education, language shift, language maintenance, and institutional support. Following some demographic and historical background that is necessary for understanding current linguistic diversity in China, this chapter highlights selected issues that impact the linguistic milieu and multilingual practices of this migrant population.