International Symposium “Language Diversity in the Sinophone World: Policies, Effects, and Tradition”

Göttingen, Germany

11 – 13th Jun 2015
Deadline: 22nd May 2015

Language diversity is a ubiquitous feature in the sinophone world. In the past and present, language planning agencies in the area commonly – if not uncontroversially – referred to as ”Greater China” have responded differently to the challenges of multilingualism. After several decades of national language policy, Mandarin is now widely used and broadly accepted in Mainland China, Singapore, and Taiwan. It is used to a much lesser degree in Hong Kong and Macao, where Cantonese, the major regional language, arguably enjoys a higher  prestige than other so‐called ”dialects” elsewhere. At the same time, there are notable differences with regard to international language planning – most important, the incorporation of English into school curricula and/or the acceptance of English as an official language.

One purpose of the symposium is to bring together scholars who are working on language planning and official responses to language diversity. Another purpose is to compare the effects of language planning and the manifestations of language diversity in the daily lives of the speakers. Lastly, we aim at situating the conference theme in a historical context. The reason behind this historical contextualization is to find out to what extent language-related phenomena are imbedded in Chinese traditions, and to what extent they can be accounted for by analytical approaches that are not bound to Chinese culture and/or history. Topics include language contact phenomena (e.g., code mixing), multilingualism in classrooms, language variation and language use in the media, and nonofficial language ideologies and activities of language revivalist groups.


Papers will be presented by invited speakers only. Everyone interested in attending the conference should contact the organizers before 22 May.


Contact: Henning Klöter
Contact Email:


Henning Klöter
Professor für chinesische Sprachdidaktik und Sprachwissenschaft
Georg-August-Universität Göttingen
Philosophische Fakultät, Ostasiatisches Seminar
Heinrich-Düker-Weg 14
37073 Göttingen

Tel (+49-551) 39-21260öter