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Pluricentric Languages and Non-Dominant Varieties Worldwide

Part I: Pluricentric Languages across Continents. Features and Usage

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Edited By Rudolf Muhr

This is the first of two thematically arranged volumes with papers that were presented at the "World Conference of Pluricentric Languages and their non-dominant Varieties" (WCPCL). It comprises papers about 20 PCLs and 14 NDVs around the world. The second volume encompasses a further 17 papers about the pluricentricity of Portuguese and Spanish. The conference was held at the University of Graz (Austria) on July 8th-11th 2015. The papers fall into five categories: (1) Theoretical aspects of pluricentricity and the description of variation; (2) Different types of pluricentricity in differing environments; (3) African pluricentric languages and non-dominant varieties; (4) The pluricentricity of Arabic and Asian languages; (5) The pluricentricity of European languages inside Europe (Austrian German, Bosnian/Serbian/Croatian, Hungarian, Belgium Dutch, French, Greek, Swedish, Russian).

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Perspectives on “Chinese” pluricentricity in China, Greater China and beyond

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Abstract

Not everyone has the same take on the story of Chinese pluricentricity. As a result, not everyone’s version of it is the same. It is important to take note of the cacophony of different voices and opinions out there that shape this story. By and large, there is a valid reason behind each of these voices and opinions, and it is not only worthwhile but, in fact, crucial to come to grips with those in order to arrive at a comprehensive, objective and informed account of Chinese pluricentricity. This chapter reports on the most current and representative voices and opinions – i.e. perspectives – on Chinese pluricentricity. These perspectives include those of linguists, those of the language norm “setters” or norm-setting entities and those of the common folks. From these perspectives, we examine Chinese pluricentricity not only within the boundaries of Chinese mainland but also outside it to encompass “Greater China”.

1.   The Preliminaries

There is a cacophony of different voices and opinions out there that are shaping the story of Chinese pluricentricity. Sometimes these voices and opinions may seem converging or even unified, sometimes they may appear incompatible or even completely at odds with one another. This chapter reports on the most current and representative voices and opinions – i.e. perspectives – on Chinese pluricentricity as they stand today. These perspectives include, among others, those of linguists (noting, in particular, those who operate within the culture-internal context i.e. “Chinese” speaking linguists), those of the...

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