Sound and Script in Chinese Diaspora by Jing Tsu

Sound and Script in Chinese Diaspora

Jing Tsu
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Details

  • ISBN
    9780674055407 / 0674055403
  • Title Sound and Script in Chinese Diaspora
  • Author Jing Tsu
  • Category Bilingualism & Multilingualism
    Sociolinguistics
  • Format
    Hardcover
  • Year 2010
  • Pages 306
  • Publisher
    Harvard University Press
  • Imprint Harvard University Press
  • Language English
  • Dimensions 167mm x 27mm x 234mm

Annotation

What happens when language wars are not about hurling insults or quibbling over meanings, but are waged in the physical sounds and shapes of language itself? This title explores the global language trade, arguing that it aims at more sophisticated ways of exerting influence besides simply wielding knuckles of power.

Publisher Description

What happens when language wars are not about hurling insults or quibbling over meanings, but are waged in the physical sounds and shapes of language itself? Native and foreign speakers, mother tongues and national languages, have jostled for distinction throughout the modern period. The fight for global dominance between the English and Chinese languages opens into historical battles over the control of the medium through standardization, technology, bilingualism, pronunciation, and literature in the Sinophone world. Encounters between global languages, as well as the internal tensions between Mandarin and other Chinese dialects, present a dynamic, interconnected picture of languages on the move. In “Sound and Script in Chinese Diaspora,” Jing Tsu explores the new global language trade, arguing that it aims at more sophisticated ways of exerting influence besides simply wielding knuckles of power.
Through an analysis of the different relationships between language standardization, technologies of writing, and modern Chinese literature around the world from the nineteenth century to the present, this study transforms how we understand the power of language in migration and how that is changing the terms of cultural dominance. Drawing from an unusual array of archival sources, this study cuts across the usual China-West divide and puts its finger on the pulse of a pending supranational world under 'literary governance.'

Review
Jing Tsu opens up the field of modern Chinese literary studies by leaving its national moorings behind. She tells exquisite stories and offers illuminating analyses of the many ways the national language of China was open to global access in France, the U.S., Taiwan, and Malaysia. The diversity of sound and script she uncovers in the language leads to a much needed redrawing of the boundaries of modern Chinese literature and an important contribution to Sinophone studies.—Shu-mei Shih, author of Visuality and Identity: Sinophone Articulations across the Pacific

Author Biography

Jing Tsu is Associate Professor of Chinese Literature at Yale University

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Sound and Script in Chinese Diaspora

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