Language planning, maintenance and shift: Chinese and European perspectives

These workshops aims to bring together and confront expertise on two different yet closely related fronts within the domain of language planning and language policy: on the one hand, experts working on language planning, maintenance and shift in Chinese communities overseas, and on the other hand, experts working on language planning, maintenance and shift within China concerning both traditional Chinese dialects and (un)recognized minority languages in China. Both of these research strands fall within the broader domain of language planning within the field of (socio)linguistics. In bringing together experts working on these two different topics, we aim to maximally exchange and showcase expertise on issues of language proficiency and use, language planning and the effectiveness of language policies, linguistic and cultural identities, and attitudes and ideologies, and also to enhance our knowledge of language maintenance and shift in Chinese communities overseas more generally.

We will organize a first, exploratory workshop on language policy, minority languages and dialect loss in China, where Chinese perspectives on language planning are laid out, and where we discuss the lessons that can be learnt from Chinese minority language policy and dialect maintenance efforts for language maintenance and shift in Chinese communities outside of the PRC more generally. This first workshop will be sponsored by Beijing Language and Culture University and Vrije Universiteit Brussel, and is to take place in Beijing on 30 June and 1 July 2018.

Next, we will organize a follow-up workshop on language maintenance and shift within overseas Chinese communities, where both European and Chinese perspectives on language planning and migration are confronted with each other, and where we discuss the interaction (or lack thereof) between policy and planning on the one hand, and patterns of language use in diaspora contexts on the other hand. This workshop will take place at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel on 19-20 September 2018.

These workshops are sponsored by Beijing Language and Culture University, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, the VUB Center for Linguistics and the Brussels Institute for Applied Linguistics, and the Brussels Academy for China and European Studies.