Presentation on theme: "One Language, One Nation?"— Presentation transcript:
1 One Language, One Nation? Language Policies in Multilingual Settings
2 One Language, One Nation? Language planning and policy is the management of multilingualismLanguage Planning: [Cooper (1989:45)]‘deliberate efforts to influence the behaviour of others with respect to the acquisition, structure and functional allocations of their language codes.’Language policy of a speech community (Spolsky 2004:5)language practices (which languages people select to use, and whereLanguage ideologies –(!) beliefs about language and language useEfforts to influence practices and beliefs through intervention, planning or managementIndia – languagesPapua New Guinea – languagesUK – English, Welsh, Irish, Scottish: languages in London schools alone
3 So … language planning and policy does not occur in monolingual states? No … for several reasons:1 There is ‘no such thing as no language policy’ (Schiffman, 1996)2 There aren’t any really properly monolingual societiesIceland – Mainly Icelandic …but some Danish. Sign Languages?Also English … societies exist in globalising networks with other societiesAnd even without Danish or English, who would decide on ‘standard’ IcelandicPossibly North Korea … highly isolated, but some contact with e.g. China, international community. And ‘standard’ Korean – different from non-standard dialects
5 So … if monolingual nation states rarely – if ever – exist, why do we believe in the myth of one language, one nation?Before the nation state = feudalismPeasantry lived along a dialect continuumPortuguese and Italians wouldn’t understand each other (but then, there was no Portugal or Italy)But walking from Portugal to Italy, each village would probably understand each otherNation-State: No longer feudal. 16C – 18CWisdom of Kings and ‘divine rule’ challengedPolitical power/legitimacy rested with the people
6 The State Nation / Nation State State-Nations: Conquering territory: claiming people within it a nation, seeking homogenisation (e.g. linguistic) through centralisation, education (though also possible that people are pre-disposed to act as groups)Nation-State: homogenous population with common language and culture, seeking to acquire territory.Both privilege linguistic homogeneity – monolingualism as national identity
7 One nation, one language? National identity: unity of the nationCommon culture, institutions, languageFor communication and economyTo distinguish from other nationsAnd to keep the outsider or the invader visible (non-nationals seen as threat = bilinguals seen as having ‘questionable loyalty’)Were early state-nations or nation-states monolingual though? No … see modern borders between France and Germany – borders drawn for e.g. religious unity or ethnic purity, not language
8 Language Ideologies Monolingualism: a language ideology Not single ideology just to ‘hide’ the truth (Althusser)But ONE ideology produced by a set of complex discourses (unity of the nation, defence from the outsider, for economics and communication)Other ideologies (common history, national flag) also produced by those discoursesDiscourses shift depending on power relationsThe production of knowledge (e.g. a common history, a standard common language) = an operation of power = power/knowledge as inter-linked.Ideologies do not necessarily have to be false, only play a part in the creation or maintenance of (multiple) relations of dominationE.g. It can be ‘proved’ that Black Englishes are phonologically different from standard Englishes: it does not mean it is true that they are inherently inferior – though they may be perceived that way.
9 So … in our enlightened times, have we got rid of monolingualism as the national ‘default’?
10 Early approaches to understanding multilingualism: diglossia Ferguson’s model of diglossia:H / LHigh language: standard varietyLow language: regional dialectsUseful, in that it saw multilingualism as possibly being two varieties of the same language (or related languages) used in different contextsE.g. Function (church, home, news, cartoon)Prestige (e.g. denying a language exists and claim to be speaking something else)Saw diglossia as ‘stable’ (that is, that long held beliefs about language persist)Saw linguistic features (phonology, standardisation acquisition etc.) as being fundamentally related to socio-cultural situations.But: failed to account for why prestige and stability was achieved and maintainedFailed to propose any notion of conflict between languages: they all sat happily in their functions (home etc.) without bothering each other
11 Language Planning and Policy Language Planning: [Cooper (1989:45)]‘deliberate efforts to influence the behaviour of others with respect to the acquisition, structure and functional allocations of their language codes.’Language policy of a speech community (Spolsky 2004:5)language practices (which languages people select to use, and whereLanguage ideologies –(!) beliefs about language and language useEfforts to influence practices and beliefs through intervention, planning or management
12 Status / Corpus / Acquisition Planning Status: the relative prestige a language has due to its place in society (i.e. which languages to be used, and where)Corpus: the ‘body’ of these languages: which alphabets to use, correct usage, modern terminologies, etc.Acquisition: how to get the population to learn (acquire) these languagesBut … these are not just linguistic concerns: politically, socially and economically (ideologically) motivated …
13 ‘Language Planning and Policy Goals: An Integrative Framework’(Hornberger, 2006:29)
14 India>1000North Korea1 + dialectsIceland~3Taiwan>18PNG>429relatively monolingualabundantly monolingualWhere does the UK go on this scale?What languages do we count in a multilingual society?Indigenous languages?Immigrant languages?Foreign Languages?= Various explanation: ideologically motivated about who you think you are, and how you see the society in which you liveFor sociolinguists: probably all languages in order to understand how, where and why they are used in society, and by whom?
15 Language and decolonisation But sociolinguistics not free of ideology.Reaction to decolonisation – countries across Africa (and elsewhere) were suddenly drawn up, with multilingual populationsWell meaning language planners tended to opt for a lingua franca in the areaThough this reinforced ideologies of monolingualism being the national defaultAnd of multilingualism being a ‘problem’
16 All languages are potentially equal – but for social reasons, not always so (Hymes 1992: 2 -10; in Hornberger 2006:27)But … that does not necessarily mean that we can give equal resources to every languageThough we should strive to identify inequality in opportunity, and attempt to rectify it.
17 Critical Language Policy Research Aims to analyse policies in terms of:What areas of language can policy affect?What are the goals of language policy?How can language policies alleviate inequality – or cause it?