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Fw: Proposed Charter for sci.lang.chinese newsgroup
Dear Forum Members,
There is an opportunity for the creation of a newsgroup which aims to
address Chinese language topics, and would like those interested to
send their views to me, or the people below, viz, Mike Wright and
Steve Frampton who are getting the ball rolling on this issue.
Currently, there is the news:sci.lang newsgroup which deals with
topics for all world languages, and news:sci.lang.japan which have
healthy debates about the influence of Chinese on Japanese and other
Sino-Xenic languages. However, it would be nice if there was a niche
where Chinese and its multidialectal facets can be explored too. I
have been actively promoting Hakka in the discussion in
sci.lang.japan and the discussions only surface when character
readings and historical phonology arises. In a new Chinese newsgroup,
it is hoped that older dialects of Chinese say millenia ago can be
discussed, such as Middle and Old Chinese. It is said that by reading
ancient Chinese poetry, rhymes seem to be better in Hakka than other
dialects. Here is a chance to broach such issues.
I have forward this to the Hakka forum so that we Hakka can likewise
add our voice to the important aspect of Hakka dialectology and bring
forward greater awareness of our dialect. Please help in the creation
of this newsgroup.
Dylan WH Sung.
: From: Mike Wright <firstname.lastname@example.org>
: To: email@example.com
: Cc: Steve Frampton <firstname.lastname@example.org>
: Subject: Proposed Charter for sci.lang.chinese newsgroup
: Date: 14 September 1998 03:12
Dear List Members,
Below my signature are the proposed rationale and charter for the
a new Usenet Newsgroup, to be called sci.lang.chinese. They are part
will become an official RFD (Request for Discussion). I would
comments on any of the text.
If you wish to send your comments to the CHINESE list, please quote
portion that you are commenting on, in order to keep message size
also feel free to send comments directly to me (email@example.com).
I'd like to emphasize that the new newsgroup is not intended to
e-mail list or other existing forums. Rather, it is intended to
broader member base for discussions about the Chinese language. At
moment, there are several discussions about various aspects of the
language going on on the sci.lang and sci.lang.japan newsgroups, but
see a couple of members of this list taking part. I suspect that
many people, both academics and non-academic native speakers, who
not join this list, or not spend much time on the existing
newsgroups, but who *would* participate on a newsgroup dedicated to
Chinese language. I also wonder if there might not be some members of
list who feel a bit intimidated about posting, but who would feel
more at ease
asking or answering questions on a newsgroup.
We tried this last year and failed to come up with a sufficient
votes, but we didn't know about this list at that time. I'm hoping
everyone who thinks that they might eventually get some benefit out
sci.lang.chinese will support its creation.
I'll forward all comments to my co-conspirator, Steve Frampton (who
responsible for coming up with the idea), and I'll post a
the actual RFD is posted on news.groups. I'll post another
the Call for Votes (CFV) is finally issued.
sci.lang.chinese The Chinese language, both spoken and
There exists the sci.lang group, which was chartered for discussions
about the scientific or historical study of human language(s).
Presumably this would cover all languages in existence, including
However, there are issues with the Chinese language that are less
prevalent with other languages. These include the diverse dialects
that exist, as well as the complicated ideographic-based writing
The sci.lang.japan group exists for the discussion of issues related
to the Japanese language. A variety of topics have been discussed
which include the origins and history of the language, grammar, and
writing system, language learning tips, software and hardware
solutions for using the writing system on computers, etc. For many
USENET readers, this group has proven to be an invaluable resource.
We believe people interested in the Chinese language would benefit
from the proposed group, sci.lang.chinese. Currently, aside from
sci.lang, there are no proper or popular forums in which to hold such
discussions. The alt.chinese.language.* heirarchy is not as widely
propogated as the Big-8 groups, and more importantly, are intended
for actual postings in
the Chinese character set.
We believe sci.lang.chinese would be more appropriate than
sci.lang.china (in keeping with the naming convention that
sci.lang.japan struck) because Chinese is spoken by not just people
in China. These include Taiwan, Singapore, and of course Chinese
speakers who are not natively Chinese. Furthermore, there are many
minority non-Chinese (non-Han) languages
spoken in China that would dilute the thrust of the newsgroup if
Discussion of the scientific study of the Chinese language, including
all dialects. Appropriate topics of discussion would include syntax;
language acquisition in children and adults; the historical
development of the language, including reconstruction of earlier
stages of the language; relationships among dialects; the development
of the writing system; and related linguistic issues. Peripheral
issues, such as software/hardware
information for employing the written character set on computing
platforms, would also be acceptable, but could be minimized by
covering them in the FAQ.
Note the "sci." prefix. The main concern here is with _facts_ and
theories accounting for them.
Like all "sci." newsgroups, sci.lang.chinese is not meant to
substitute for a dictionary or even a college library. If the answer
to your question can be looked up easily, then do so rather than
using the net. If you don't have a library, then ask away, but
explain your situation.
Discussions will probably be held primarily in the English language,
however postings in Chinese are welcome, and can be posted in
characters, using either the Big5 or GB encoding schemes (or both),
or by using an appropriate romanization scheme when discussing a
single dialect (such as Pinyin for Mandarin, or the common missionary
system for Holo). Romanization and an English translation will aid
the understanding of those whose systems will not display any Chinese
at all.) For cross-dialect discussions, or for discussions of
phonetics, an ASCII version of the International Phonetic Alphabet
(ASCII IPA) should be
In order to promote uniformity and ease of understanding, information
on ASCII IPA and tables of equivalence for various romanization
systems will be made available on a Web page as part of the
Posting of binaries is discouraged, but they might have a place when
discussing the evolution of character forms, since there is no other
way to show the various seal characters. However, when possible,
such images should be put up at an FTP or Web site with a pointer to
said images posted.
Commercial advertisements, political discussions (except where
applicable to the politics of language), flames, and such nonsense
are not appropriate in this group. The general "nettiquete" FAQs
posted in news.announce.newusers and news.answers all apply to