This paper examines excerpts from interviews in which informants from six European border communities formulate explicit or implicit reflections on the 'linguistic universe' - including language use, linguistic diversity and language variation. Our results show that not only is linguistic diversity considered a fundamental element Of ethnic and cultural identity, but that the very concept of diversity is used to assert, confirm or defend power interests. Evaluation of the individual languages is legitimated through apparently rational arguments incorporating marks of prestige or stigma which emerge from language attitudes based on linguistic prejudice and stereotyping. The linguistic ideology at work here is founded both on the concept of the 'mother tongue' (informants on both the east and west sides of the border claim that the unique 'character' or 'mentality' of each 'people' is created by their mother tongue), as well as on the 'one nation, one language' principle. This linguistic ideology gives rise to three key issues of linguistic ecology: the restriction of societal bilingualism to minority groups; the risk of minority language endangerment or obsolescence; and the close ties between the prestige or stigma of the language and resulting social power. In general, communities on the western side of the border are not interested in learning the language of their eastern neighbours. Eastern communities, on the other hand, are strongly motivated to learn western languages. The importance attributed to English as the 'language of globalisation' is common to both sides.

Asserting ethnic identity and power through language / Carli, Augusto; Guardiano, Cristina; M., Kaucic Basa; E., Sussi; M., Tessarolo; M., Ussai. - In: JOURNAL OF ETHNIC AND MIGRATION STUDIES. - ISSN 1369-183X. - STAMPA. - 29:(2003), pp. 865-883.

Asserting ethnic identity and power through language

CARLI, Augusto;GUARDIANO, Cristina;
2003

Abstract

This paper examines excerpts from interviews in which informants from six European border communities formulate explicit or implicit reflections on the 'linguistic universe' - including language use, linguistic diversity and language variation. Our results show that not only is linguistic diversity considered a fundamental element Of ethnic and cultural identity, but that the very concept of diversity is used to assert, confirm or defend power interests. Evaluation of the individual languages is legitimated through apparently rational arguments incorporating marks of prestige or stigma which emerge from language attitudes based on linguistic prejudice and stereotyping. The linguistic ideology at work here is founded both on the concept of the 'mother tongue' (informants on both the east and west sides of the border claim that the unique 'character' or 'mentality' of each 'people' is created by their mother tongue), as well as on the 'one nation, one language' principle. This linguistic ideology gives rise to three key issues of linguistic ecology: the restriction of societal bilingualism to minority groups; the risk of minority language endangerment or obsolescence; and the close ties between the prestige or stigma of the language and resulting social power. In general, communities on the western side of the border are not interested in learning the language of their eastern neighbours. Eastern communities, on the other hand, are strongly motivated to learn western languages. The importance attributed to English as the 'language of globalisation' is common to both sides.
29
865
883
Asserting ethnic identity and power through language / Carli, Augusto; Guardiano, Cristina; M., Kaucic Basa; E., Sussi; M., Tessarolo; M., Ussai. - In: JOURNAL OF ETHNIC AND MIGRATION STUDIES. - ISSN 1369-183X. - STAMPA. - 29:(2003), pp. 865-883.
Carli, Augusto; Guardiano, Cristina; M., Kaucic Basa; E., Sussi; M., Tessarolo; M., Ussai
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11380/590857
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