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The Other Vernacular: Commoner Knowledge Culture Circa 1919

Joan Judge    York University, Canada    

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abstract

This essay complicates our understanding of the May Fourth Movement of the late 19teens by isolating a layer of culture that was integral to the era but largely forgotten in later scholarship. This cultural layer of discourse and practice intersected with two of the Movement’s most iconic projects – connecting with “the people” and establishing a vernacular language. This view from the cultural margins helps us excavate the less known byways and potentialities of what has come down to us as an epochal history. It further leads us to question the inevitability of established historical trajectories: from May Fourth populism to the mass politics of the PRC, from the vernacular movement to the linguistic form that stabilized to become baihua.

Published
Dec. 21, 2020
Accepted
Sept. 7, 2020
Submitted
May 21, 2020
Language
EN
ISBN (PRINT)
978-88-6969-494-3
ISBN (EBOOK)
978-88-6969-465-3

Keywords: FolkloreCommon sayings“The people”Vernacular languageHu Pu’an

Copyright: © 2020 Joan Judge. This is an open-access work distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction is permitted, provided that the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. The license allows for commercial use. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.