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ERIC Number: EJ1166034
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2018-Feb
Pages: 21
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1568-4555
"Language Is a Costly and Complicating Factor": A Diachronic Study of Language Policy in the Virtual Public Sector
Berezkina, Maimu
Language Policy, v17 n1 p55-75 Feb 2018
This article examines language policy in the virtual linguistic landscape (VLL) in Norway and its development over time. The analysis is based on diachronic website data and interviews with state employees concerning the presence or absence of different languages on the websites of three central state institutions. The article reveals a linguistic homogenization of the VLL of the public sector in Norway, which is mostly due to the removal of immigrant languages from state websites. The analysis also shows an increased linguistic presence of Nynorsk (the less used written standard of Norwegian), of the indigenous Sámi language, and of English, which performs a "hypercentral" function. The virtual linguistic ethnography and follow-up interviews show that the websites of the three institutions in focus exist more or less fully only in two language versions: Bokmål (the more widespread written standard of Norwegian) and English. The translations into Nynorsk and Sámi are mainly done to comply with official regulations. Furthermore, immigration, rather than leading to an increased visibility of language diversity in the VLL, can also put pressure towards homogenization. One could perhaps even go so far as to see Norway as the harbinger of change: once multilingual provision has reached a notional peak, there is a chance that more and more state institutions will cut down on "less than necessary" languages online, opting instead for "commonsense" English together with the respective official language(s).
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Norway
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A