Language Ideologies

Oxford Studies in Anthropological Linguistics

Book 16
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"Language ideologies" are cultural representations, whether explicit or implicit, of the intersection of language and human beings in a social world. Mediating between social structures and forms of talk, such ideologies are not only about language. Rather, they link language to identity, power, aesthetics, morality and epistemology. Through such linkages, language ideologies underpin not only linguistic form and use, but also significant social institutions and fundamental nottions of person and community. The essays in this new volume examine definitions and conceptions of language in a wide range of societies around the world. Contributors focus on how such defining activity organizes language use as well as institutions such as religious ritual, gender relations, the nation-state, schooling, and law. Beginning with an introductory survey of language ideology as a field of inquiry, the volume is organized in three parts. Part I, "Scope and Force of Dominant Conceptions of Language," focuse on the propensity of cultural models of language developed in one social domain to affect linguistic and social behavior across domains. Part II, "Language Ideology in Institutions of Power," continues the examination of the force of specific language beliefs, but narrows the scope to the central role that language ideologies play in the functioning of particular institutions of power such as schooling, the law, or mass media. Part III, "Multiplicity and Contention among Ideologies," emphasizes the existence of variability, contradiction, and struggles among ideologies within any given society. This will be the first collection of work to appear in this rapidly growing field, which bridges linguistic and social theory. It will greatly interest linguistic anthropologists, social and cultural anthropologists, sociolinguists, historians, cultural studies, communications, and folklore scholars.
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Publisher
Oxford University Press
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Published on
May 28, 1998
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Pages
352
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ISBN
9780199880362
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Language
English
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Genres
Language Arts & Disciplines / Linguistics / General
Language Arts & Disciplines / Linguistics / Sociolinguistics
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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A vibrant and surprisingly powerful civic and political movement for an independent Catalonia has brought renewed urgency to questions about what it means, personally and politically, to speak or not to speak Catalan and to claim Catalan identity. In this book, Kathryn Woolard develops a framework for analyzing ideologies of linguistic authority and uses it to illuminate the politics of language in Spain and Catalonia, where Catalan jostles with Castilian for legitimacy. Longitudinal research across decades of political autonomy contextualizes this ethnographic study of the social meaning of Catalan in the 21st century. Part I lays out the ideologies of linguistic authenticity, anonymity, and naturalism that typically underpin linguistic authority in the modern western world, and gives an overview of a shift in the ideological grounding of linguistic authority in contemporary Catalonia. Part II examines discourses in the media surrounding three public linguistic controversies: an immigrant president's linguistic competence, a municipal festival, and an international book fair. Part III explores individuals' linguistic practices and views, drawing on classroom ethnographies and interviews with two generations of young people from the same high school. The book argues that there is an ongoing shift at both public and personal levels away from the ethnolinguistic authenticity that powered relations in the early transition to political autonomy, and toward new discourses of anonymity, rooted cosmopolitanism, and authenticity understood as a project rather than a matter of origins and essence. This shift is reflected in the current sovereignty movement.
In Always On, Naomi S. Baron reveals that online and mobile technologies--including instant messaging, cell phones, multitasking, Facebook, blogs, and wikis--are profoundly influencing how we read and write, speak and listen, but not in the ways we might suppose. Baron draws on a decade of research to provide an eye-opening look at language in an online and mobile world. She reveals for instance that email, IM, and text messaging have had surprisingly little impact on student writing. Electronic media has magnified the laid-back "whatever" attitude toward formal writing that young people everywhere have embraced, but it is not a cause of it. A more troubling trend, according to Baron, is the myriad ways in which we block incoming IMs, camouflage ourselves on Facebook, and use ring tones or caller ID to screen incoming calls on our mobile phones. Our ability to decide who to talk to, she argues, is likely to be among the most lasting influences that information technology has upon the ways we communicate with one another. Moreover, as more and more people are "always on" one technology or another--whether communicating, working, or just surfing the web or playing games--we have to ask what kind of people do we become, as individuals and as family members or friends, if the relationships we form must increasingly compete for our attention with digital media? Our 300-year-old written culture is on the verge of redefinition, Baron notes. It's up to us to determine how and when we use language technologies, and to weigh the personal and social benefits--and costs--of being "always on." This engaging and lucidly-crafted book gives us the tools for taking on these challenges.
A vibrant and surprisingly powerful civic and political movement for an independent Catalonia has brought renewed urgency to questions about what it means, personally and politically, to speak or not to speak Catalan and to claim Catalan identity. In this book, Kathryn Woolard develops a framework for analyzing ideologies of linguistic authority and uses it to illuminate the politics of language in Spain and Catalonia, where Catalan jostles with Castilian for legitimacy. Longitudinal research across decades of political autonomy contextualizes this ethnographic study of the social meaning of Catalan in the 21st century. Part I lays out the ideologies of linguistic authenticity, anonymity, and naturalism that typically underpin linguistic authority in the modern western world, and gives an overview of a shift in the ideological grounding of linguistic authority in contemporary Catalonia. Part II examines discourses in the media surrounding three public linguistic controversies: an immigrant president's linguistic competence, a municipal festival, and an international book fair. Part III explores individuals' linguistic practices and views, drawing on classroom ethnographies and interviews with two generations of young people from the same high school. The book argues that there is an ongoing shift at both public and personal levels away from the ethnolinguistic authenticity that powered relations in the early transition to political autonomy, and toward new discourses of anonymity, rooted cosmopolitanism, and authenticity understood as a project rather than a matter of origins and essence. This shift is reflected in the current sovereignty movement.
Beliefs and feelings about language vary dramatically within and across Native American cultural groups and are an acknowledged part of the processes of language shift and language death. This volume samples the language ideologies of a wide range of Native American communities--from the Canadian Yukon to Guatemala--to show their role in sociocultural transformation.

These studies take up such active issues as "insiderness" in Cherokee language ideologies, contradictions of space-time for the Northern Arapaho, language socialization and Paiute identity, and orthography choices and language renewal among the Kiowa. The authors--including members of indigenous speech communities who participate in language renewal efforts--discuss not only Native Americans' conscious language ideologies but also the often-revealing relationship between these beliefs and other more implicit realizations of language use as embedded in community practice.

The chapters discuss the impact of contemporary language issues related to grammar, language use, the relation between language and social identity, and emergent language ideologies themselves in Native American speech communities. And although they portray obvious variation in attitudes toward language across communities, they also reveal commonalities--notably the emergent ideological process of iconization between a language and various national, ethnic, and tribal identities.

As fewer Native Americans continue to speak their own language, this timely volume provides valuable grounded studies of language ideologies in action--those indigenous to Native communities as well as those imposed by outside institutions or language researchers. It considers the emergent interaction of indigenous and imported ideologies and the resulting effect on language beliefs, practices, and struggles in today's Indian Country as it demonstrates the practical implications of recognizing a multiplicity of indigenous language ideologies and their impact on heritage language maintenance and renewal.
"Language ideologies" are cultural representations, whether explicit or implicit, of the intersection of language and human beings in a social world. Mediating between social structures and forms of talk, such ideologies are not only about language. Rather, they link language to identity, power, aesthetics, morality and epistemology. Through such linkages, language ideologies underpin not only linguistic form and use, but also significant social institutions and fundamental nottions of person and community. The essays in this new volume examine definitions and conceptions of language in a wide range of societies around the world. Contributors focus on how such defining activity organizes language use as well as institutions such as religious ritual, gender relations, the nation-state, schooling, and law. Beginning with an introductory survey of language ideology as a field of inquiry, the volume is organized in three parts. Part I, "Scope and Force of Dominant Conceptions of Language," focuse on the propensity of cultural models of language developed in one social domain to affect linguistic and social behavior across domains. Part II, "Language Ideology in Institutions of Power," continues the examination of the force of specific language beliefs, but narrows the scope to the central role that language ideologies play in the functioning of particular institutions of power such as schooling, the law, or mass media. Part III, "Multiplicity and Contention among Ideologies," emphasizes the existence of variability, contradiction, and struggles among ideologies within any given society. This will be the first collection of work to appear in this rapidly growing field, which bridges linguistic and social theory. It will greatly interest linguistic anthropologists, social and cultural anthropologists, sociolinguists, historians, cultural studies, communications, and folklore scholars.
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