- On Norms and Linguistic Categories in Linguistic Diversity Management
- Język, Komunikacja, Informacja
- Pages (from-to)
- Number of pages
- Document type
- Faculty of Humanities (FGw)
- Amsterdam School for Regional, Transnational and European Studies (ARTES)
Due to globalization there is an increase in the appearances of languages in the multilingual linguistic landscape in urban spaces. Commentators have described this state of affairs as super-, mega- or complex diversity. Mainstream sociolinguists have argued that languages have no fixed boundaries and that they are "fluid" in fact. The output of speech production and language use is actually referred to as "languaging". The terms implies that languages are rather resources but not fixed tools for communication. In this paper, I will argue that this theory to which I will refer as the superdiversity/languaging theory cannot cover multilingual data in terms of resources only, if phenomena of multilingual linguistic landscape are studied more carefully. It turns out that constructions that look like "languaging" are from a linguistic point of view in fact well-known cases of code-switching (or -mixing) with separate languages involved, a dominant language and clearly targeted messages for the speakers of the "underlying" language. Hence, I will conclude that linguistic data in multilingual urban spaces are not necessarily arranged in terms of resources but rather in terms of Fishmanian diglossia, triglossia, and so on. This implies that even in these cases of languaging there is no reason to operate with concepts of language other than recognizable languages that are characterized by a prototypical grammatical and lexical basic core. Hence, languages in this sense and not code-switched variants, like "English as a Lingua Franca" feed into strategies of transnational communication, although the output of transnational communication can
be a code-switched variant of English as well. However, I agree with the proponents of the
superdiversity/languaging theory that it is highly relevant to study the proliferation of all sorts of multilingualism in the context of complex linguistic diversity. This reveals not only the structures and rules of language and languages that I will define as linguistic categories in accordance with Chomskyan grammar but also provides insight into the quickly changing semantic and world view concepts due to globalization. However, the code-switched variants appearing in multilingual complex spaces are not suitable for linguistic diversity management that includes institutions. Institutions are by definition the outcome of norm-based governance strategies and will implement norm-based entities, like languages that are recognizable and make possible contextualized, sophisticated language use. This rules out highly individual, spontaneous production of language, like languaging-phenomena.
- With summary in Polish
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