chapter  6
The politics of linguistic revitalization
Local language education and standardization
Pages 16

This chapter reviews the process that led to the instauration of the local language curriculum, and provides a brief assessment of the programme. It overviews the issue of linguistic standardization, with a focus on one aspect that has been particularly controversial and ideologically loaded in recent decades: the development of official phonetic systems for Mandarin and Hoklo. The Taiwanese local language movement was largely an initiative from language revivalists, most of who have been Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) affiliated Taiwanese nationalists. The movement was mainly initiated at local level, as the DPP-administered Counties of Pingtung, Hsinchu and Yilan began promoting local-language education in primary schools in the early 1990s. The creation of the Hakka Affairs Council in 2002 enabled the Hakka community to focus on developing its own cultural revitalization programmes. Proponents of full-sinograph scripts see Hoklo as a language that has evolved as part of Chinese language family, and believe that the language is inseparable from Chinese script.