From Paul Wang:
As you are aware,my heritage is Chinese culture and language.I was ,frankly,shocked to learn the following facts about Chinese language.
1)There are two major reforms in the 20th century alone.In both reforms,some progress have been made,but far from solving fundamental problems!
2)Can you believe there is no” grammar” for Chinese language?Several books are beginning to appear,but all aim med for non Chinese speakers how to learn Chinese!Most are self styled,some of them have very little training,like myself,in linguistics.
3)Many books,some of them I find out to be hundred/hundreds years old written by European and American experts in linguistics or highly regarded literatures authors.They all frankly pointed out the ‘weakness’ of Chinese language as compared with other languages.By no means,the Chinese language is at the bottom,but not at the top for sure!
On the other side of the coin,Chinese language has many “strong” points as well.We will avoid the debate here because this issue has always been widely and intensively debated!
An important factor must be taken into consideration at this juncture in time;that is the usage of digital computer and only then,we now know what to expect or what ought to be a language which is friendly to “computer”.An important case in point is CWW.CWW is the product of research in AI and the design of the expert system.
However,my argument is that there are so many things which are fundamental to the usage of a language.I quo t few of them here simply to show the need of a major reform:
1)In US alone,there is a trend developed that many grammar school kids choose to learn Chinese over,say,German.If the trend continues,a huge demand on learning Chinese must occur.If you look at Barnes Noble or Borders language section,many publications aimed at Chinese language learning have already crowded the book displays.
2)Historical experience has taught us that majority of Chinese speaking people are against to abandon Chinese language.Then the digital library and preservations of Chinese arts etc. must be coped with.
3)Huge knowledge base is there to help us reform Chinese language and the outcome can be a real surprise in terms of efficiency,productivity and economic growth!
The conclusion is that we must get together to discuss the issues.This is,frankly,something Chinese speaking governments everywhere must do.However,some of them are so carried over by the huge scope of research in didigtal computer and neglect the most fundamental problem important to them!
Please do wake up!
We are serious in our first effort in organizing a smaller scale workshop on CWW–Chinese language and we need your help in spread the words,suggest the topics,as well as who may be a speaker or contributors?
Some of you have indeed advised many PhD theses on this or related topics and we really do need you assistance in order to get the ball rolling!
For those of you already responded,we do appreciate your sincere effort and your high ideal of glorify a wonderful “ideographical based ” language.To make it useful,functional as well as elegance!
We look forward to your help and participation!