The purpose of this study is to explore the interplay of language policy and ethnic politics in the context of native/mainlander competition. First of all, languages will be examined as an instrument of group solidarity, be it a national or ethnic one. A comparison of Hoklo- and Hakka-Taiwanese spoken by the Natives with Mandarin spoken by the Mainlanders is thus warranted. Secondly, we will examine how the seemingly simply selection of a phonetic system of street signs initially embarked upon in Taipei, the capital of Taiwan, have evolved into a national controversy involving heated debated within not only the National Language Promotion Committee but also the National Legislature, and have eventually led to the disgraceful dismissal of the Minister of Education. Thirdly, the focus will be on the recent call by some national legislators for the adoption of Hoklo as a second national language in addition to Mandarin. Both the pros and cons will be scrutinized in terms of how the issue is discoursed to their respective constituencies. Finally, in the spirit of multiculturalism and reconciliation, we will suggest the introduction of a Bill of Language Rights, either independently or within the broad framework of the forthcoming Bill of Rights that is under consideration in the government.
淡江大學全球化、教育及語言國際研討會論文集=Proceedings of Tamkang International Conference on Globalization, Education and Language, pp.153-168