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Language and Literature of Chinese Ethnic Minorities Department

The Faculty of Language and Literature of Chinese Ethnic Minorities
I.                    About the Faculty
The academic discipline of Language and Literature of Chinese Ethnic Minorities was established in early 1950’s and ratified as the National Key Academic Discipline in 2002.
The faculty’s academic research scopes involve literatures and documents of 56 ethnic minorities, and 80 languages and 30 writing systems in five language families, namely the Sino-Tibetan family, the Altaic family, the Austronesian family, South-Asian language family, and the Indo-European families. Since the ratification, the faculty has been focusing on construction of academic disciplines and faculty teams, cultivation of students, and scientific research in various academic fields. Under the construction of the “211 project” and the “985 project”, the faculty has made great achievements and strengthened its advantageous position in multicultural, multilingual, and interdisciplinary studies, and comparison studies. With its prominent teamwork research and the unique ethnic characteristics, this faculty has made great contribution in education and scientific researches
II.                    Completion of the Construction Planning
1.      Completion of the goal
The faculty has achieved its goal and fulfilled its expectation through years of construction; and nowadays, it occupies a leading position in its field both in China and abroad. Studies of Sino-Tibetan languages and Austronesian languages, Altaic Studies, and Comprehensive Studies of Chinese Minority Literatures are listed among internationally advanced researches. Other prominent research subjects include Studies of the Endangered Ethnic Languages, Contrastive Linguistic Researches, Bilingual Education and Research, and Comprehensive Studies on Minority Ancient Books and Literature, which all represent the best of its kind in China. The faculty has also been engaged in basic material construction and technology platform construction. Both of them are at advanced level in the country. As the earliest research and teaching base of ethnic languages and literature in China the faculty has improved its position in the academic field and begins to exert greater influence.
  The academic discipline is listed as one of the key items in the Ninth Five-year Plan, the Tenth Five-year Plan, and the 211 project. The faculty has been entitled to confer doctoral degrees in Chinese Language and Literature (the 1st class academic discipline), and has a post-doctoral research center and a research base of language and literature of Chinese ethnic minorities (The Education Ministry, 1995). 
2.      Progress and Breakthrough
The major research orientations are: 1) the Study of Chinese Minority Languages; 2) the Study of China Minority Literature; 3) the Study of China Minority Documents. With the construction of the National Key Academic Discipline, the research scope has been extended and the research level has reached or approached the international standard. Furthermore, the faculty has even made some major breakthroughs in certain academic areas.
In terms of the minority language studies, the faculty members have made great progress in the Ontological Study and the Comparative Study of Minority Languages,the study of endangered languages and the construction of phonetic corpus of endangered languages. The present research on the current status of minority language uses will exercise significant influence on the studies of minority languages and the formulation of the national language policy in China.
Chinese Minority Literature Studies, one of the vantages of CUN, has become a platform for academic exchanges with other universities or institutes. Nowadays,  the faulty has made great achievements in Minority Literature Studies (both comprehensive and competitive ones) and the Study of Modern Works Written by Minority Authors.
The fifty-five minority nationalities in China have created and employed more than 50 different languages, among which there are over 30 ancient languages and characters. It is estimated that about 500,000 ancient documents are left over. Dedicated to the comprehensive study of Minority documents and collection of relevant materials, the faculty has produced some top-grade research accomplishments. Meanwhile, in terms of its studies on the Ancient Turk Document Language and the Ancient Uygur Document Language, it has made major breakthroughs and is getting closer to the top of it kind in the world. In addition, the leading academic discipline in this faculty is characterized with its vantages in both education and other academic activities, such as Salvage and Protection of Human Cultural Legacy, Collecting and Collating of Ancient Minority Documents, and Development and Reuse of Document Resources.
3.      Teaching Staff t
The faculty has 62 professional teachers for undergraduate education, among whom are 24 professors, 16 associate professors, and 19 instructors. Twenty-eight teachers in the faculty have obtained doctoral degrees. There are one “Changjiang Scholar”, three prizewinners of Baogang Excellent Teachers Award in Beijing, one Master Teacher awarded by the Beijing Municipal Government and one by CUN. There are also three academic pace-setters designated by the government and one by CUN, and, in addition, 13 advisors for doctor candidates.
In course of the construction of the National Key Academic Discipline, the faculty improved its personnel structure either by recruiting talents and providing education opportunities to teachers. Compared to 2000, the number of teachers with a doctoral degree has a 10.7 percent increase, and the number of those with a higher professional title a 20 percent increase. Meanwhile, the faulty now have ten more advisors for doctor candidates and thus becomes the strongest research team with the largest professional body in China.
4.      Educational Service
From 2001 to 2005, 580 undergraduates, 99 masters and 159 doctors graduated from the faculty. In order to adapt to the requirements and fast development of minority regions in China, the faculty opened 8 training sessions and added six new majors to the list (Sino-Korean Trade and Translation, Kazak-Russian-Chinese languages, Uygur-English-Chinese languages, Mogolian-Chinese Languages, Yi-Mian Languages and Culture, Zhuang-Tai languages and Culture). Three awards for excellent teaching have been presented to the faculty by the municipal government.
With the rapid progress in teaching reform, the education standard and quality has been significantly improved. Moreover, the student body has been experiencing a considerable increase. In 2001, the populations of undergraduates, graduates, and doctor candidates were respectively 427,  39, and 24; in 2005, they are 837 (410 more) , 110 (71 more), and 97 (73).
The faculty made some new attempts in order to stimulate the students’ creativity. Professor Dai Qingxia enthusiastically engaged his students into several important research topics conducted by himself and led them to different minority regions to do field research. The students and the professor worked together and produced many valuable research results. For three years, they have been to minority regions three times, every student has published 8 articles on average, and two academic works have been printed under collaboration. The prominent accomplishments are exactly the result of the students’ enhanced competence and knowledge. Through these activities, teachers have broadened their experience in promoting learning through research activities in liberal arts.
With years of efforts, the faculty has improved its teaching effects and teaching conditions. Now it is a teaching base of Minority languages and Literature, which possesses most majors and research orientations, and a complete tertiary education system.
5. Scientific Research and International Academic Exchange
The research domain embraces many aspects: the Study of Endangered Languages in China, the Ontological Study and Comparative Study of Minority Languages, the study of the language status quo and the national policy on minority languages, bilingual teaching research, the Study of Chinese Minority Literature Theories,the Comprehensive and Contrastive Study of Chinese Minority Literature, the Study of Ancient Chinese Philological Theories and Its Methodology, Sorting, Translation, and Studies of Ancient Minority Documents.
From 2001 to 2005, the faculty published 116 academic works and 520 academic articles, and accomplished 14 projects of and above the ministry level. Meanwhile, the faculty successfully bid for 7 National Fund Programs of Social Sciences and 18 provincial or international exchange programs. During the five years, eleven international symposiums and nine domestic symposiums were held by the faculty; teachers attended different academic conferences both domestic and abroad for 270 times and lectures given by foreign scholars for 50 times. In addition, the faculty has frequent academic and personnel exchanges with more than 20 different countries and has made unprecedented achievements.
At present, the faculty has strengthened its research competency and academic competitiveness. The academic level and its position in the academic field have been improved. A model which combines individual research with group research, and case studies with planned studies has been established. The faculty attaches great importance to archives building and fundamental studies.
6.      About Research Facilities
From 2001 to 2005, the modern technology-assistance platform and the modern information platform demanded by the academic discipline were constructed.
The modern technology-assistance platform: 1) a language lab with a recording studio and a control room, covering an area of 50 square meters; 2) an electrification instruction system for minority languages teaching, with 47 seats in 80 square meters, which includes functions, such as phonetic instruction, media encoding, editing and typesetting, language experimenting, etc; 3) a modern technology application center for ancient minority documents.
The modern information platform: 1) a corpus of phonetics of endangered minority languages in China. The phonetic databases for the Tujia language, the Kelao language, the De’ang language, and the Hezhe language have been constructed. 2) Long discourses of languages without a writing system. The faculty staff has finished collecting and sorting of 11 items, which are about 2,500,000 words, 120 hour recording material, and 25 hour video clips; 3) a Chinese language test bank for students of minority nationalities, including 5,000 test items and 15,000 language items; 4) a bank of modern minority writers’ publications, which primarily comprises a text bank, a writer database, and a research information bank.
  The offices of the faculty now have realized facility automation. The working condition has been greatly improved and will facilitate a long-term development with immense support of technology and information.
7.      Monetary Investment and Uses
   The total investment is about 6,200,000 RMB yuan, in which 5,500,000 RMB yuan is for the 211 project and 700,000 RMB yuan for scientific research. Here are the expense details:
Academic studies and exchanges: 3,100,000 RMB yuan
Academic teamwork construction: 600,000 RMB yuan
Training & Education and construction of the Academic Base: 400,000 RMB yuan
Purchase of instruments and equipment: 2,100,000 RMB yuan
III.               Achievements
A. Representative Achievements
1. The Study of Endangered Minority Languages in China and the Construction of the Corpus of Endangered Languages and Its Phonetics
The study of endangered minority languages is a very crucial part of the study of language evolution and may theoretically help understand the evolution rules of human languages. The evolution rules of language function, in particular, can not only help us better understand how to use language, but also provide reference in the course of governmental formulation of language policies and language planning.
The study of endangered minority languages and the construction of corpora of endangered language ant its phonetics is one of the main part of the National Key Academic discipline. Under the leadership of Prof. Dai Qingxia, a research team has been formed.
A Case Study of Endangered Languages in China, written by DAI Qingxia, The Ethnic Publishing House, the 1st edition in November, 2004
A Study of the Xianren Tujia Language, co-written DAI Qingxia co-written with TIAN Jing, The Ethnic Publishing House, the 1st edition in December, 2005
A Study of the Xiandao Language, DAI Qingxia co-written with CONG Tiehua, JIANG Ying, and LI Jie, The Ethnic Publishing House, the 1st edition in September, 2005
An Ecological Study of the Kelao Language, written by ZHOU Guoyan, The Ethnic Publishing House, 1st edition in November, 2004
With a large amount of language material, the writers have provided an accurate definition of the endangered languages and reasonably analyzed their origins, features, and classification. In the meantime, the faculty researchers also engage themselves in thorough studies of some endangered languages, such as the Manchu Language, the Hezhe Lanauge, the Tujia Language, the Kelao Language, and the Xiandao Language.
The construction of the Corpus of Endangered Languages and Its Phonetics is aimed at permanent and systematical maintenance of the endangered languages. It was built to facilitate language inquiry, search, and statistics. At present, the phonetic data captures of the Tujia language, the Kelao Language, the De’ang language, and the Hezhe language have been completed. Researchers have recorded 4,000 words,800 to 1,000 clauses, and 6 to14 lengthy discourses of the first three languages with the IPA (the International Phonetic Alphabet). They also recorded almost all the verbal discourses of the Hezhe language, including 2000 words and 200clauses. The examination of the sound, the IPA, and the meanings has been finished. Now the phonetic databases of the Tujia Language and the Kelao language have basically come into being.
2. The Study of Ancient Minority Documents
Since 2001, as an important research orientation, the study of ancient minority documents has made great progress under the support of some other research projects, such as the Research on and Protection of the Non-Material Cultural Legacy in the World, and the Construction of the Modern Technological Center for the study of the minority ancient books. The researchers have published 10 works, 30 academic articles on core journals, 20 on other type of journals. Here is the list:
The Interpretation of Ancient Minority Documents in China, (1,600,000 words) written by ZHONG Gongjin, Yunnan Education Press, in January , 2006
A Catalogue of Ancient Minority Documents in China, (the Volum of the Naxi lauguage: 1,000,000 and the Volum of the Bai Language, 650,000 words) written by ZHANG Gongjin, China Encyclopedia Press, in April, 2003
An Introduction to Ancient Turkic Insciptions, GENG Shimin, the CUN Press, in August, 2005
The Language Structure and Features of Huihu Document Language, written by ZHANG Tieshan, the CUN Press, in October, 2005
An Report on Cultural Legacy, written by YUAN Li, Social Sciences Academic Press,in July,2005
Classical Philology of Minority Nationalities in China, written by ZHU Chongxian, the Ethnic Publishing House, in January, 2005
Philology of Turkic Documents, written by ZHANG Tieshan, the CUN Press, in July, 2005
A Textbook of Ancient Uygur Documents, written by GENG Shimin, the Ethnic Publishing House, in 2006
Ancient Minority Documents and the Study of Ancient Minority Documents, written by ZHANG Gongjin, the CUN Journal, 2006, 1
All these works, articles, and researches are all at leading position in academic world. In addition , three other books are due to be published, i.e. An Illustration of Ancient Minority Rare Books, The Study of Ancient Ethnic Books, and The Study of Ancient Ethnic Documents.
B. Others
1.A Study of Classifiers in Sino-Tibetan Languages written by LI Jingfang, The CUN (Central University of Nationalities )Press, in December, 2005
2.An Introduction to Altaic Language written by LI Yuanji,  Shanxi Education Press, Augst,2002
3.An Introduction to Turkish Linguistics written by Matireyimu Shaiti, The Ethnic Publishing House, in July, 2004
4. An Introduction of Mongolian Languages written by Deligerma, The CUN Press, the 1st edition in August, 2006
5.Modern Kazak Grammar written by ZHANG Dingjing, The CUN Press, in June, 2004
6.Research of Maru(Lawngwaw)Languages written by DAI Qingxia, The Ethnic Publishing House, in January, 2005
7.Brief History of Manchu Literature in Qing Dynasty written by LI Yan, Liaoning Ethnic Publishing House, in July 2002
8.Sino-Korean Literature Relationship, written by LI Yan, Social Sciences Academic Press, in July 2003
9.Folklore Theory of Altaic Peoples In China, written by Manduhu, Inner Mongolia Education Press, in March, 2005
10.A Study of Modern Mongolian Literature Theory and Criticism, WANG Mantega, The Ethnic Publishing House,in October, 2003
11. Literature Studies of Mongolian Language, HE Xige, The Ethnic Publishing House, in September, 2003
12. A Structuralist Approach to Isbukun Bunong Language, ZENG Siqi,Taiwan Duce Culture Ltd. Co.
13. Minority Folklores in China, ZHAO Zhizhong, Inner Mongolia Education Press, in December, 2001
14.On National Literature, ZHAO Zhizhong, Liaoning Ethnic Publishing House, in October, 2005
15.Turkish Philology, ZHANG Tieshan, the CUN Press
16.Comprehensive Collection of Amis Discourse in Taiwan, TIAN Zhongshan (in ethno-language) and ZENG Siqi (translator), in June, 2005
17.(Amost the same with NO.10)