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ERIC Number: EJ894169
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Jul
Pages: 14
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 31
ISSN: ISSN-0143-4632
Neutrality in Language Policy
Wee, Lionel
Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, v31 n4 p421-434 Jul 2010
The unavoidability of language makes it critical that language policies appeal to some notion of language neutrality as part of their rationale, in order to assuage concerns that the policies might otherwise be unduly discriminatory. However, the idea of language neutrality is deeply ideological in nature, since it is not only an attempt to treat language itself as a homogenous entity, but also the group of speakers (typically understood as the ethnic group or the nation) for whom the language represents some policy-related concern. This paper suggests, via the examination of specific examples, various dimensions of language neutrality that might be worth attending to, if we are to gain a better appreciation of how the notion is applied in language policy. In particular, it is suggested that it is useful to consider language neutrality in terms of two dimensions: that of substance (neutrality regarding which language, what kind of neutrality, and for which group[s]?), and stance (neutrality according to whom and why?). (Contains 3 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: India; Singapore; South Africa; South Korea; Zambia