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ERIC Number: EJ899040
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Nov
Pages: 20
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 55
ISSN: ISSN-0957-1736
Reconceptualizing Language Ownership. A Case Study of Language Practices and Attitudes among Students at the University of KwaZulu-Natal
Parmegiani, Andrea
Language Learning Journal, v38 n3 p359-378 Nov 2010
The notion that language is not simply a politically neutral medium of communication, but a social practice that determines power relations and shapes subjectivity has become widely accepted in critical language and literacy studies. Within any socio-linguistic community, certain ways of using language are considered "proper," "educated," "standard" or "legitimate," while others are not. According to this theoretical framework, legitimacy is determined not so much by intrinsically superior linguistic features, but by power relations: the language of the elite is imposed as the norm and functions as a gate-keeper. Language rights activists have been pushing for a greater use of marginalized languages in domains of power in order to reduce socio-economic inequality. In this paper, I argue that changing attitudes about the ownership of the dominant language is just as important. Drawing on a critical analysis of the corpus and on a case study, I show the importance of moving from a "birthright paradigm" to an "appropriation model" when thinking about who owns English in the context of discussions about language, identity and power relations. (Contains 11 tables.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: South Africa