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Perspectives on the Yi of Southwest China$
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Stevan Harrell

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780520219885

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520219885.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 04 August 2021

Language Policy for the Yi

Language Policy for the Yi

(p.195) Chapter 12 Language Policy for the Yi
Perspectives on the Yi of Southwest China

David Bradley

University of California Press

One of the first things the Chinese Communists did with the Yi, as they did with all ethnic groups, was to define them. In the linguistic realm, this also meant classifying them into dialects, subdialects, and local vernaculars. This was done not purely for scholarly reasons but also in order to facilitate the standardization and teaching of Yi languages. This chapter provides a comprehensive view of this classifying process and of the three different projects of standardization that have resulted in very different modern scripts in Sichuan, Guizhou, and Yunnan. Although there are probably about a million members of the Yi minzu who do not speak Yi languages, this leaves nearly six million who do, and to varying degrees, Yi languages have entered the modern world, especially in Liangshan by means of school textbooks, daily newspapers, radio stations, and other modern media.

Keywords:   Chinese Communists, Yi languages, standardization, Sichuan, Guizhou, Yunnan, Liangshan

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