European Journal of Language Policy

La politique linguistique chinoise entre le 20ème et le 21ème siècle

Une interprétation économique

European Journal of Language Policy (2019), 11, (1), 3–23.

Abstract

Cet article propose une revue et une lecture économique de la politique linguistique chinoise des 20ème et 21ème siècles. La littérature dans ce domaine est riche. Pourtant, elle offre très souvent soit des lectures essentiellement sociolinguistiques soit des analyses purement quantitatives, parfois très approfondies mais qui ne sont pas accompagnées par des réflexions du point de vue de la politique linguistique. Cet article vise à combiner une discussion de la politique linguistique chinoise avec un commentaire des principaux résultats ressortissant des études économiques relatifs à ces politiques. À l’aide des outils analytiques de l’économie des langues et de trois exemples de politiques linguistiques chinoises, à savoir la standardisation et diffusion de la langue nationale, l’ouverture vers l’anglophonie et la promotion du mandarin à l’étranger, je montre que la politique linguistique engendre toujours des effets extralinguistiques, notamment sur le plan socio-économique. En particulier, je discute l’idée que les questions de politique linguistique, ayant des causes et des conséquences qui dépassent largement la sphère strictement linguistique, doivent être traitées de manière complexe afin de mettre en place de mesures qui soient efficaces et bien ciblées.

This article proposes a review and an economic reading of the Chinese language policy of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. The literature in this area is rich. However, it very often offers either essentially sociolinguistic readings or purely quantitative analyses, sometimes very thorough but which are not accompanied by reflections from the point of view of language policy. This article aims to combine a discussion of Chinese language policy with a commentary on the main findings of the economic studies related to these policies. Using the analytical tools of the language economy and three examples of Chinese language policies, namely the standardisation and dissemination of the national language, openness to English-speaking world and the promotion of Mandarin abroad, I show that linguistic policy always produces extralinguistic effects, particularly on the socio-economic level. In particular, I discuss the idea that language policy issues, with causes and consequences that go well beyond the strictly linguistic sphere, need to be addressed in a complex way in order to put in place measures that are effective and well targeted.

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Civico, Marco