ERIC Number: EJ1001095
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-May
Abstractor: As Provided
Cognitive Contributions to Plurilithic Views of English and Other Languages
Hall, Christopher J.
Applied Linguistics, v34 n2 p211-231 May 2013
Monolithic views of languages predominate in linguistics, applied linguistics, and everyday discourse. The World Englishes, English as a Lingua Franca, and Critical Applied Linguistics frameworks have gone some way to counter the myth, highlighting the iniquities it gives rise to for global users and learners of English. Here, I propose that developing an understanding of "plurilithic" Englishes informed by cognitively oriented linguistics (including generativism), can complement and consolidate valuable but often divisive socially oriented efforts to "disinvent" named languages. I acknowledge problems associated with mainstream generativism, but argue that a complete repudiation of mentalistic notions of language is unhelpful. I suggest that a modified "polylingually constituted" version of the Chomskyan I-language concept may be useful, capturing the bottom-up nature of individual language resources and drawing a clear contrast with folk ontologies of English as a named monolithic system (N-language). The emerging epistemological integration suggests that learning and use are determined by individuals' local experiences as non-conformist mental appropriators of external social practices, rather than by top-down notions of proficiency in monolithic national, foreign, international, or supranational varieties.
Descriptors: Applied Linguistics, English (Second Language), Language Attitudes, Language Variation, Official Languages, Linguistic Theory, Folk Culture, Epistemology, Language Proficiency, Language Role
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
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