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ERIC Number: EJ1107559
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Aug
Pages: 19
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1568-4555
Language Policy and Orthographic Harmonization across Linguistic, Ethnic and National Boundaries in Southern Africa
Banda, Felix
Language Policy, v15 n3 p257-275 Aug 2016
Drawing on online and daily newspapers, speakers' language and writing practices, official government documents and prescribed spelling systems in Southern Africa, the paper explores the challenges and possibilities of orthographic reforms allowing for mobility across language clusters, ethnicity, regional and national borders. I argue that this entails a different theorisation of language, and for orthographies that account for the translocations and diasporic nature of late modern African identities and lifestyles. I suggest an ideological shift from prescriptivism- to practice-orientated approaches to harmonisation in which orthographies are based on descriptions of observable writing practices in the mobile linguistic universe. The argument for orthographic reforms is counterbalanced with an expose on current language policies which appear designed for an increasing rare monoglot "standard" speaker, who speaks only a "tribal" language. The implications of the philosophical challenges this poses for linguists, language planners and policy makers are thereafter discussed.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: South Africa
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A