|Areas of study|
Language planning (also known as language engineering) is a deliberate effort to influence the function, structure or acquisition of languages or language varieties within a speech community.Robert L. Cooper (1989) defines language planning as "the activity of preparing a normative orthography, grammar, and dictionary for the guidance of writers and speakers in a non-homogeneous speech community” (p. 8 ). Along with language ideology and language practices, language planning is part of language policy - a typology drawn from Bernard Spolsky's theory of language policy. According to Spolsky, language management is a more precise term than language planning. Language management is defined as "the explicit and observable effort by someone or some group that has or claims authority over the participants in the domain to modify their practices or beliefs” (p. 4) Language planning is often associated with government planning, but is also used by a variety of non-governmental organizations such as grass-roots organizations as well as individuals. Goals of such planning vary. Better communication through assimilation of a single dominant language can bring economic benefits to minorities but is also perceived to facilitate their political domination. It involves the establishment of language regulators, such as formal or informal agencies, committees, societies or academies to design or develop new structures to meet contemporary needs.
Four overarching language ideologies are purposed to explain motivations and decisions:
Eleven language planning goals have been recognized (Nahir 2003):
Language planning has been divided into three types:
Status planning is the allocation or reallocation of a language or dialect to functional domains within a society, thus affecting the status, or standing, of a language.
Language status is distinct from, though intertwined with, language prestige and language function. Language status is the given position (or standing) of a language against other languages.A language garners status according to the fulfillment of four attributes, described in 1968 by two different authors, Heinz Kloss and William Stewart. Both Kloss and Stewart stipulated four qualities of a language that determine its status. Their respective frameworks differ slightly, but they emphasize four common attributes:
Together, origin, degree of standardization, juridical status, and vitality express a language's status.
William Stewart outlines ten functional domains in language planning:
Robert Cooper, in reviewing Stewart's list, makes several additions. First, he defines three sub-types of official functions: statutory, working, and symbolic.A statutory language is a language that a government has declared official by law. A working language is used by a government for daily activities, and a symbolic language is used as a state symbol. Cooper also adds two functional domains to Stewart's list: mass media and work.
Corpus planning refers to the prescriptive intervention in the forms of a language, whereby planning decisions are made to engineer changes in the structure of the language.Corpus planning activities often arise as the result of beliefs about the adequacy of the form of a language to serve desired functions. Unlike status planning, which is mostly undertaken by administrators and politicians, corpus planning is generally the work of individuals with greater linguistic expertise. There are three traditionally recognized types of corpus planning: graphization, standardization, and modernization.
Graphization refers to development, selection and modification of scripts and orthographic conventions for a language.The use of writing in a speech community can have lasting sociocultural effects, which include easier transmission of material through generations, communication with greater numbers of people, and a standard against which varieties of spoken language are often compared. Linguist Charles A. Ferguson made two key observations about the results of adopting a writing system. First, the use of writing adds another form of the language to the community's repertory. Although written language is often viewed as secondary to spoken language, the vocabulary, grammatical structures and phonological structures of a language often adopt characteristics in the written form that are distinct from the spoken form. Second, the use of writing often leads to a folk belief that the written language is the 'real' language, and speech is a corruption of it. Written language is viewed as more conservative, while the spoken form is more susceptible to language change. Isolated relic areas of the spoken language may be less innovative than the written form, or the written language may have been based on a divergent variety of the spoken language.
In establishing a writing system for a language, corpus planners have the option of using an existing system or designing a new one. The Ainu of Japan chose to adopt the Japanese language's katakana syllabary as the writing system for the Ainu language. Katakana is designed for a language with a basic CV syllable structure, but Ainu contains many CVC syllables which cannot easily be adapted to this syllabary. Therefore Ainu uses a modified katakana system, in which syllable-final codas are consonants by a subscript version of a katakana symbol that begins with the desired consonant.
An example of an original script includes the development of the Armenian script in 405 AD by St. Mesrop Mashtots. Though the script was modeled after the Greek alphabet, it distinguished Armenian from the Greek and Syriac alphabets of the neighboring peoples.Likewise, in the early 19th century, Sequoyah (Cherokee) designed an orthography for Cherokee in the Southeast of the present-day United States. It uses some Latin characters but also introduces new ones.
The process of standardization often involves one variety of a language taking precedence over other social and regional dialects of a language.Another approach, where dialects are mutually intelligible, is to introduce a poly-phonemic written form that is intended to represent all dialects of a language adequately but with no standard spoken form. If one dialect is chosen, it comes to be perceived as supra-dialectal and the 'best' form of the language.
Choosing the standard language has important social consequences, as it benefits the speakers whose spoken and written dialect conforms closest to the chosen standard.The chosen standard is generally spoken by the most powerful social group within society, and it is imposed upon other groups as the form to emulate, making the standard norm necessary for socioeconomic mobility. In practice, standardization generally entails increasing the uniformity of the norm, as well as the codification of the norm.
The history of English provides an example of standardization over an extended time period, without formally recognized language planning. The standardizing process began when William Caxton introduced the printing press in England in 1476. This was followed by the adoption of the south-east Midlands dialect, spoken in London, as the print language. Because of the dialect's use for administrative, government, business, and literary purposes, it became entrenched as the prestigious variety of English. After the development of grammars and dictionaries in the 18th century, the rise of print capitalism, industrialization, urbanization, and mass education led to the dissemination of this dialect as the cultural norm for the English language.
Modernization occurs when a language needs to expand its resources to meet functions. Modernization often occurs when a language undergoes a shift in status, such as when a country gains independence from a colonial power or when there is a change in the language education policy.The main force in modernization is the expansion of the lexicon, which allows the language to discuss topics in modern semantic domains. Language planners generally develop new lists and glossaries to describe new technical terms, but it is also necessary to ensure that the new terms are consistently used by the appropriate sectors within society. While some languages, such as Japanese and Hungarian, have experienced rapid lexical expansion to meet the demands of modernization, other languages, such as Hindi and Arabic, have failed to do so. Such expansion is aided by the use of new terms in textbooks and professional publications. Issues of linguistic purism often play a significant role in lexical expansion, but technical vocabulary can be effective within a language, regardless of whether it comes from the language's own process of word formation or from extensive borrowing from another language. While Hungarian has almost exclusively used language-internal processes to coin new words, Japanese has borrowed extensively from English to derive new words as part of its modernization.
Acquisition planning is a type of language planning in which a national, state or local government system aims to influence aspects of language, such as language status, distribution and literacy through education. Acquisition planning can also be used by non-governmental organizations, but it is more commonly associated with government planning.
Acquisition planning is often integrated into a broader language planning process in which the statuses of languages are evaluated, corpuses are revised and the changes are finally introduced to society on a national, state or local level through education systems, ranging from primary schools to universities.This process of change can entail an alteration in student textbook formatting, a change in methods of teaching an official language, or the development of a bilingual language program, only to name a few. For example, if a government chooses to raise the status level of a certain language or change its level of prestige, it can establish a law which requires teachers to teach only in this language or that textbooks are written using only this language's script. This, in turn, would support the elevation of the language's status or could increase its prestige. In this way, acquisition planning is often used to promote language revitalization, which can change a language's status or reverse a language shift, or to promote linguistic purism. In a case where a government revises a corpus, new dictionaries and educational materials will need to be revised in schools in order to maintain effective language acquisition.
The education ministry or education sector of government is typically in charge of making national language acquisition choices based on state and local evaluation reports. The duties of education sectors vary by country; Robert B. Kaplan and Richard B. Baldauf describe the sectors' six principal goals:
Although acquisition planning can be useful to governments, there are problems which must be considered.Even with a solid evaluation and assessment system, the effects of planning methods can never be certain; governments must consider the effects on other aspects of state planning, such as economic and political planning. Some proposed acquisition changes could also be too drastic or instituted too suddenly without proper planning and organization. Acquisition planning can also be financially draining, so adequate planning and awareness of financial resources is essential. Therefore it is important that government goals be organized and planned carefully.
There is also growing concern over the treatment of multilingualism in education, especially in many countries which were once colonized.Choosing the language of instruction which would be most beneficial to effective communication on the local and state level requires thoughtful planning, and it is surrounded by debate. Some states prefer to teach only in the official language, but some aim to foster linguistic and thus social diversity by encouraging teaching in several (native) languages. The use of a single language of instruction supports national unity and homogeneity whereas the incorporation of different languages may help students to learn better by offering alternative perspectives.
In addition to the education sector, there are non-governmental sectors or organizations that have a significant effect on language acquisition, such as the Académie française of France or the Real Academia Española of Spain.These organizations often write their own dictionaries and grammar books, thus affecting the materials which students are exposed to in schools. Although these organizations do not hold official power, they influence government planning decisions, such as with educational materials, affecting acquisition.
Before the partition of Ireland, a movement began which aimed at the restoration of Irish, as the nation's primary language, based on a widespread sentiment for Irish nationalism and cultural identity.During and after colonisation, Irish had competed with English and Scots; the movement to restore the language gained momentum after the Irish War of Independence. The Gaelic League was founded to promote the acquisition of Irish in schools, thus "de-Anglicizing" Ireland. Immediately after Ireland gained independence in 1922, the League declared that Irish must be the language of instruction for at least one hour in primary schools nationwide. Irish-speaking teachers were recruited, and preparatory colleges were established to train new teachers.
The program implementation was mostly left to the individual schools, which did not consistently carry it out. Additionally, educating a generation is a long process, for which the League was not prepared. There was no consensus as to how the Irish language should be reinstituted; the League and schools did not develop a system assessment plan to monitor progress. Thus the movement lost strength, and the number of native Irish speakers has been in steady decline.
Peru's history of language planning begins in the 16th century with Spanish colonization. When the Spanish first arrived in Peru, Quechua served as a language of wider communication, a lingua franca, between Spaniards and Peruvian natives. As the years passed, Spaniards asserted the superiority of the Spanish language; as a result, Spanish gained prestige, taking over as a language of wider communication and the dominant language of Peru.In 1975, under the leadership of President Juan Velasco Alvarado, the revolutionary government of Peru declared Quechua an official language of the Peruvian state, "coequal with Spanish." Four years later, the law was reversed. Peru's 1979 constitution declares Spanish the only official language of the state; Quechua and Aymara are relegated to "official use zones," equivalent to Stewart's provincial function described above. Quechua has officially remained a provincial language since 1979. Today, Quechua also serves a limited international function throughout South America in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, and Ecuador; communities of Quechua speakers outside Peru enable communication in Quechua across borders. Still, because of Quechua's low status, Spanish is almost always used as the lingua franca instead. Recently, Quechua has also gained ground in the academic world, both as a school subject and a topic of literary interest.
The three main types of corpus planning are all evident in the development of Quechua languages in Peru since the colonial era. Graphization has been in process since the arrival of the Spanish in the region, when the Spanish imperialists attempted to describe the exotic sounds of the language to Europeans.
When Quechua was made an official language in Peru in 1975, the introduction of the language into the education and government domains made it essential to have a standard written language.The task of adopting a writing system proved to be a point of contention among Peruvian linguists. Although most agreed to use the Latin alphabet, linguists disagreed about how to represent the phonological system of Quechua, particularly in regards to the vowel system. Representatives from the Peruvian Academy of the Quechua language and the Summer Institute of Linguistics wanted to represent allophones of the vowels /i/ and /u/ with separate letters <e> and <o>, which creates an apparent five-vowel system. They argued that this makes the language easier to learn for people who are already familiar with written Spanish. However, other Peruvian linguists argued that a three-vowel system was more faithful to the phonology of Quechua. After years of debate and disagreement, in 1985 Peruvian linguists proposed the Pan-Quechua alphabet as an accurate representation of the language, and this was adopted in intercultural bilingual education programs and textbooks. However, the Peruvian Academy and the SIL both refused to adopt it and continued to propose new alphabets, leaving the issue unsettled. For more information, see Quechua writing system and Quechuan and Aymaran spelling shift. Another disagreement was about how to reflect the phonological differences apparent in different dialects of Quechua. For example, some distinct dialects utilize aspirated and glottalized versions of the voiceless uvular stop /q/, while others do not and some language planners found it important to reflect these dialectal differences.
The search for a unified alphabet reflects the process of standardization. Unlike other cases of standardization, in Quechua this has been applied only to the written language, not to the spoken language, and no attempt was made to change the spoken language of native speakers, which varied by regions. Rather, standardization was needed to produce a uniform writing system to provide education to Quechua speakers in their native language.
Language planners in Peru have proposed several varieties to serve as the supradialectal spoken norm. Some saw Qusqu-Qullaw as the natural choice for a standard since it is recognized as the form which is most similar to that spoken by the Incas. Others favor Ayacucho Quechua since it is more conservative, whereas Qusqu-Qullaw has been influenced by contact with the Aymara language.
Rodolfo Cerrón-Palomino proposed a literary standard, Southern Quechua that combines features of both dialects. This norm has been accepted by many institutions in Peru.
Lexical modernization has also been critical to the development of Quechua. Language planners have attempted to coin new Quechua words by combining Quechua morphemes to give new meanings. Generally, loanwords are considered only when the words cannot be developed through existing Quechua structures. If loanwords are adopted, linguists may adjust them to match typical Quechua phonology.
Since Quechua is no longer an official language of Peru, Quechua literacy is not consistently encouraged in schools.Peru's education system is instead based on Spanish, the nation's official language. Despite its low prestige, Quechua is still spoken by millions of indigenous Peruvians, a great deal of whom are bilingual in Quechua and Spanish. There is a desire to preserve the uniqueness of Quechua as a language with its own attributes and representations of culture. Some argue that promoting a diverse literacy program gives students diverse perspectives on life, which could only enhance their educational experience. Before 1975, Peru had bilingual education programs, but Quechua was not taught as a subject in primary and secondary schools. After the 1975 education reform, Quechua and Spanish both had standing in bilingual programs, but only in restricted speech communities. These experimental programs were then canceled due to a change in government planning, but again reinstated in 1996. Even with national intercultural bilingual education programs, teachers at local schools and members of the community often prefer using Spanish, destabilizing support for bilingual education. This underscores the importance of community support as a goal for the education sector as mentioned earlier. Some believe that due to Spanish's higher national prestige, it is more socially and economically beneficial to learn and speak Spanish. It is debatable whether these education programs will benefit education or raise the status of Quechua.
The term dialect is used in two distinct ways to refer to two different types of linguistic phenomena:
Quechua, usually called Runasimi in Quechuan languages, is an indigenous language family spoken by the Quechua peoples, primarily living in the Peruvian Andes. Derived from a common ancestral language, it is the most widely spoken pre-Columbian language family of the Americas, with a total of probably some 8–10 million speakers. Approximately 25% of Peruvians speak a Quechuan language. It is perhaps most widely known for being the main language family of the Inca Empire. The Spaniards encouraged its use until the Peruvian struggle for independence of the 1780s. As a result, Quechua variants are still widely spoken today, being the co-official language of many regions and the second most spoken language family in Peru.
A standard language is a language variety that has undergone substantial codification of grammar and usage and is employed by a population for public communication. The term standard language occasionally refers to the entirety of a language that includes a standardized form as one of its varieties. Typically, the language varieties that undergo substantive standardization are the dialects spoken and written in centers of commerce and government. By processes that linguistic anthropologists call "referential displacement" and that sociolinguists call "elaboration of function", these varieties acquire the social prestige associated with commerce and government. As a sociological effect of these processes, most users of this language come to believe that the standard language is inherently superior or consider it the linguistic baseline against which to judge other varieties of language.
In linguistics, diglossia is a situation in which two dialects or languages are used by in fairly strict compartmentalization a single language community. In addition to the community's everyday or vernacular language variety, a second, highly codified lect is used in certain situations such as literature, formal education, or other specific settings, but not used normally for ordinary conversation. In most cases, the H variety has no native speakers but various degrees of fluency of the low speakers.
A vernacular, or vernacular language is a term for a type of speech variety, generally used to refer to a local language or dialect, as distinct from what is seen as a standard language. The vernacular is contrasted with higher-prestige forms of language, such as national, literary, liturgical or scientific idiom, or a lingua franca, used to facilitate communication across a large area. The vernacular is usually native, normally spoken informally rather than written, and seen as of lower status than more codified forms. It may vary from more prestigious speech varieties in different ways, in that the vernacular can be a distinct stylistic register, a regional dialect, a sociolect, or an independent language.
In sociolinguistics, an abstand language is a language variety or cluster of varieties with significant linguistic distance from all others, while an ausbau language is a standard variety, possibly with related dependent varieties. Heinz Kloss introduced these terms in 1952 to denote two separate and largely independent sets of criteria for recognizing a "language":
In an English-speaking country, Standard English (SE) is the variety of English that has undergone substantial regularisation and is associated with formal schooling, language assessment, and official print publications, such as public service announcements and newspapers of record, etc. It is local to nowhere: its grammatical and lexical components are no longer regionally marked, although many of them originated in different, non-adjacent dialects, and it has very little of the variation found in spoken or earlier written varieties of English. According to Trudgill, Standard English is a dialect pre-eminently used in writing that is largely distinguishable from other English dialects by means of its grammar.
Language revitalization, also referred to as language revival or reversing language shift, is an attempt to halt or reverse the decline of a language or to revive an extinct one. Those involved can include parties such as linguists, cultural or community groups, or governments. Some argue for a distinction between language revival and language revitalization. It has been pointed out that there has only been one successful instance of a complete language revival, that of the Hebrew language, creating a new generation of native speakers without any pre-existing native speakers as a model.
In linguistics, codification is the process of selecting, developing, and laying down (prescribing) a model for standard language usage.
A pluricentric language or polycentric language is a language with several interacting codified standard forms, often corresponding to different countries. Examples include Chinese, English, French, German, Korean, Portuguese, Spanish and Tamil. The converse case is a monocentric language, which has only one formally standardized version. Examples include Japanese and Russian. In some cases, the different standards of a pluricentric language may be elaborated until they become autonomous languages, as happened with Malaysian and Indonesian, and with Hindi and Urdu. The same process is under way in Serbo-Croatian.
Autonomy and heteronomy are complementary attributes of a language variety describing its functional relationship with related varieties. The concepts were introduced by William A. Stewart in 1968, and provide a way of distinguishing a language from a dialect.
In sociolinguistics, prestige is the level of regard normally accorded a specific language or dialect within a speech community, relative to other languages or dialects. Prestige varieties are language or dialect families which are generally considered by a society to be the most "correct" or otherwise superior. In many cases, they are the standard form of the language, though there are exceptions, particularly in situations of covert prestige. In addition to dialects and languages, prestige is also applied to smaller linguistic features, such as the pronunciation or usage of words or grammatical constructs, which may not be pronounced enough to constitute a separate dialect. The concept of prestige provides one explanation for the phenomenon of variation in form, among speakers of a language or languages.
Standard Swedish denotes Swedish as a spoken and written standard language. While Swedish as a written language is uniform and standardized, the spoken standard may vary considerably from region to region. Several prestige dialects have developed around the major urban centers of Stockholm, Helsinki, Gothenburg and Malmö-Lund.
Many languages are spoken in Mexico, though Spanish is the most widespread. The indigenous languages are from eleven language families, including four isolates and one that immigrated from the United States. The Mexican government recognizes 68 national languages, 63 of which are indigenous, including around 350 dialects of those languages. The large majority of the population is monolingual in Spanish. Some immigrant and indigenous populations are bilingual, while some indigenous people are monolingual in their languages. Mexican Sign Language is spoken by much of the deaf population, and there are one or two indigenous sign languages as well.
Linguistic rights are the human and civil rights concerning the individual and collective right to choose the language or languages for communication in a private or public atmosphere. Other parameters for analyzing linguistic rights include the degree of territoriality, amount of positivity, orientation in terms of assimilation or maintenance, and overtness.
Metaphorical code-switching refers to the tendency in a bilingual or multilingual community to switch codes in conversation in order to discuss a topic that would normally fall into another conversational domain. "An important distinction is made from situational switching, where alternation between varieties redefines a situation, being a change in governing norms, and metaphorical switching, where alternation enriches a situation, allowing for allusion to more than one social relationship within the situation." For example, at a family dinner, where you would expect to hear a more colloquial, less prestigious variety of language, family members might switch to a highly prestigious form in order to discuss school or work. At work interlocutors may switch to a low prestige variety when discussing family.
Intercultural bilingual education(Educación bilingüe intercultural) is a language-planning model employed throughout Latin America in public education, and it arose as a political movement asserting space for indigenous languages and culture in the education system. IBE is designed to address the educational needs of indigenous communities, and consists of various bilingual curriculum designs.
In Singapore, language planning is associated with government planning. In this top-down approach, the government influences the acquisition of languages and their respective functions within the speech community through the education system. Language planning aims to facilitate effective communication within the speech community, which can result in a language shift or language assimilation. The goals of language planning are very much dependent on the political and social forces present in Singapore during two distinct periods: Colonisation by the British and the Post-Independence period after 1965.
The sociolinguistics of sign languages is the application of sociolinguistic principles to the study of sign languages. The study of sociolinguistics in the American Deaf community did not start until the 1960s. Until recently, the study of sign language and sociolinguistics has existed in two separate domains. Nonetheless, now it is clear that many sociolinguistic aspects do not depend on modality and that the combined examination of sociolinguistics and sign language offers countless opportunities to test and understand sociolinguistic theories. The sociolinguistics of sign languages focuses on the study of the relationship between social variables and linguistic variables and their effect on sign languages. The social variables external from language include age, region, social class, ethnicity, and sex. External factors are social by nature and may correlate with the behavior of the linguistic variable. The choices made of internal linguistic variant forms are systematically constrained by a range of factors at both the linguistic and the social levels. The internal variables are linguistic in nature: a sound, a handshape, and a syntactic structure. What makes the sociolinguistics of sign language different from the sociolinguistics of spoken languages is that sign languages have several variables both internal and external to the language that are unique to the Deaf community. Such variables include the audiological status of a signer's parents, age of acquisition, and educational background. There exist perceptions of socioeconomic status and variation of "grassroots" deaf people and middle-class deaf professionals, but this has not been studied in a systematic way. "The sociolinguistic reality of these perceptions has yet to be explored". Many variations in dialects correspond or reflect the values of particular identities of a community.
A social domain refers to communicative contexts which influence and are influenced by the structure of such contexts, whether social, institutional, power-aligned. As defined by Fishman, Cooper and Ma (1971), social domains "are sociolinguistic contexts definable for any given society by three significant dimensions: the location, the participants and the topic". Similarly, Bernard Spolsky defines domains as "[a]ny defined or definable social or political or religious group or community, ranging from family through a sports team or neighborhood or village or workplace or organization or city or nation state or regional alliance".