Abstract

Abstract:

The development of the vernacular language during the New Culture Movement was only intended as a transitional stage to the goal of abolishing the Chinese language. Intellectuals such as Qian Xuantong, Lu Xun, Hu Shi, and Chen Duxiu all advocated to varying degrees the Romanization, Latinization, and abolition of the Chinese language. Chen Yinke, however, argued that the adoption of a Europeanized grammatical structure, and the borrowing of neologisms from abroad, such as Japan, altered the fundamental property of Chinese as an independent language. Reassessing the language reform of the May Fourth today, it is evident that the development of the simplified character, the vernacular language, and the pinyin did not achieve the goal of unifying the spoken and written Chinese. Instead by eliminating the classical language, the language reform removed the ability of the vernacular-speaking masses to create a literature of the written words.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1940-5065
Print ISSN
1521-5385
Pages
pp. 71-93
Launched on MUSE
2017-05-11
Open Access
No
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