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ERIC Number: ED276267
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1985-Jul-17
Pages: 24
Abstractor: N/A
To the Language Born: Thoughts on the Problem of National and International Languages.
Mey, Jacob
The principal motivation for and main value of the national language concept is its character as a standard for all users, but that standard most often reflects the norms and beliefs of a cultural and economic elite and the "nation" becomes synonymous with the ruling class. It would be more useful to talk about a standard usage imposed on the language's users by the state's institutions and classes, removing the ideological veil surrounding the concept of "nation." The need for a standard exists only in written communication, since the people with enough power to demand to be understood usually make themselves understood. As written communication is accomplished increasingly by computer, the computer could be allowed to standardize and sanitize output. It could then reduce discrimination based on spelling or handwriting. The problem of enforcing a linguistic standard in an "international language" such as English could be resolved by forbidding native speakers of those languages to speak them among non-native speakers, forcing them to speak a language not native to them and ending linguistic imperialism. (MSE)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: In: What Are National Languages Good For? Florian Coulmas, Ed.; see FL 016 231.