Language and Society (week 6&7) - Language ideologies & Authenticity
Based on Prof. David Britains course for MA Students of English Languages and Literatures at the University of Bern.
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What can you remember from the definitions on language ideologies?
They are attempts to understand, justify, rationalise what language is and should be to people
incomplete and partial
they link the social and the linguistic and are stuffed with moral and political interests.
List Kroskrity's (2004) 5 dimensions of language ideologies.
The perception of language and discourse that is constructed in the interests of a specific social or cultural group;
Ideologies are multiple - different group = distinct takes on same phenomenon
Awareness of ideological nature of these views differs;
Mediation btwn. social structures and forms of language
ideologies are productively used in the creation and representation of various social and cultural identities, such as nationalism and ethnicity.
Awareness of the ideological nature of these views differs (Kroskrity's 3rd dimension). Give examples for an openly ideological and a rather 'common sense' debate about language.
Gender neutral language (recognised as ideological by most) vs. standard English and grammar as hegemonic standard (defended as common sense by most).
Mediation between social structures and forms of language (Kroskrity's 4th dimension). What are the three tools by Irvine and Gal to reveal linguistic ideologies?
Linguistic features understood as iconic of the identities of certain speakers. E.g. Southern Americans and 'drawl'.
Creation and reproduction of ideologies in general. E.g. Bosnian being created to project onto the nation-state. Reiterates and enforces the difference btwn social groups.
Ignore social groups and facts that are not in line with the ideological scheme
E.g. Catalan as dialect of Spanish, Valencian as dialect of Catalan.
Dialects don't have grammars..
Ideologies are productively used in the creation and representation of various social and cultural identities, such as nationalism and ethnicity (Kroskrity's 5th dimension). Give some examples
- nation building in general - one nation, one language
- Association of classical Arabic with Islam
- Pronunciation of BATH vowel in northern England.
What is a standard ideology?
bias towards an abstracted, idealized and homogenous spoken language which is imposed and maintained by dominant instiutions and has a written form as model. It is drawn primarily form speech of upper middle classes.
imposed and maintained by power
written language = holy
upper middle class speech
How does the belief that standard forms of languages exist affect the way we think language?
- negative thoughts about varieties are a possible consequence, as well as languages in general that don't have an established standard. This works together with fractal recursivity and erasure.
How is uniformity linked to prestige and elite?
Standard = uniform; the elite are prestigious and so characteristics of them gain prestige; language of elite = prestigious = standard. - FRACTAL RECURSIVITY RIGHT THERE