Asia's Orthographic Dilemma

by Wm. C. Hannas

Honolulu: University of Hawai`i Press, 1997.

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  • Foreword
  • Acknowledgments
  1. History and Structure of Writing in East Asia
    • Chinese
      • Spoken Chinese
      • Development of writing in the West
      • Development of writing in China
      • Chinese language and Chinese writing
      • Chinese writing reform
    • Japanese
      • Chinese characters and Japanese language
      • Development of writing in Japan
      • Prewar Japanese writing reform
      • Japan's postwar writing reforms
    • Korean
      • Relationship of Chinese characters to Korean
      • Development of writing in Korea
      • Dynamics of Korean writing reform
      • Writing reform in the Koreas
    • Vietnamese
      • Vietnamese language and Sino-Vietnamese
      • Vietnam's character writing system
      • Writing reform and the Vietnamese alphabet
      • Why romanization succeeded in Vietnam
      • China's legacy and the unfinished reform
  2. Critique of Chinese Character-Based Writing
  3. Forces for Change
    • The Chimera of Reform
      • The five paradoxes of character limitation
      • Character limitation in Japan
      • Character limitation in the Koreas
      • The futility of character "simplification"
      • Japan's simplified characters
      • Evolution and reform
    • Language, Speech, and Writing
      • The relationship between language and writing
      • The difference between writing and speech
      • The discontinuity between Chinese characters and units of speech
      • The relationship between written and spoken discourse
      • The problem with Chinese character-based discourse
      • The effects of Chinese writing on language
      • How East Asian languages may influence writing
    • Computing with Chinese Characters
      • Overview of Chinese character-based computing
      • Computer storage and output
      • Nonphonetic input of character text
      • Phonetic character conversion
    • Chinese Characters and East Asian Culture
      • East Asia's linguistic culture
      • Some aspects of the psycholinguistic culture
      • Change and Chinese character culture
  • Notes
  • Bibliography
  • Index