You are on page 1of 15

LANGUAGE, IDEOLOGY AND

ENGLISH WITHIN A GLOBALIZED


CONTEXT
PHILIP SEARGEANT
WORLD ENGLISHES,VOL. 27, NO.2,PP. 217-232, 2008.

INTRODUCTION
Seargeant analyses the role played by ideology in the
research and regulation of English within a
globalized context (EGC).
Since the 90s many research have been carried out on
a political perspective (Phillipson (1992); Pennycook
(1994); Quirk (1990); Kachru (1991).
This led to a biforcation of EGC : Local vs. Universal.
AIM: The paper is aimed at considering EGC in both
an ideological and linguistic point of view.

INTRODUCTION
RESEARCH QUESTIONS:
1. Is politics the only mean by which all issues
concernig English within the world today should be
approached?
Risk of relativism
2. What part linguistics as a science should play?

PRELIMINARY KNOWLEDGE
Internal

IDEOLOGY

Code
External

TRIPARTITE SYSTEM OF LINGUISTICS


Context

Rationale

EGC = English within a globalized context

It describes the language as it exists in such contexts rather


than as it should normatively be used in them.

THE CULTURAL NATURE OF NATURAL LANGUAGES


WHY languages are so ideologically inflected?

History
2. Language differences (bilinguism)
. In the past, researchers only focused on the communicative
function of language Orientation towards unity (Bakhtin, 1981)
. In the XX century, linguists such as Chomsky and Saussure did
not consider language differences
focusing mainly on the fact tha language is aimed at
communication.
Paradox of Bilinguism
1.

. Natural languages = Cultural languages

of context)

(importance

THE CULTURAL NATURE OF NATURAL LANGUAGES


Language differences started being studied

Process:
1. Differentiation
2. Categorization
3. Regulation

assigning functions

the function of EGC is


INTERNATIONAL COMMUNICATION

THE CULTURAL NATURE OF NATURAL LANGUAGES

ACRONYMS as EMT, ESL, EFL,EIL, ELF are


sociolinguistic categories coined to express the
different roles played by the language.
These categories constitute the framework of the
language.
once they are under regulation, there is a distinction
to be made between the official language and the
practise.
The process of differentiation + categorization+
regulation lead to an IDEOLOGICAL JUDGEMENT

A FRAMEWORK FOR ANALYSIS


Language ideology (LI) + Linguistic system (LS) = the
Framework for language practice.
Code= LS

Context=LI1

Rationale=LI2

THE UNIVERSAL LANGUAGE


UL
Monocentric view
of English

This models promotes


the existence of
a universal language

Polycentric model

This model promotes


the existence of localized languages
or language varieties,
According to the context

Jenkins (2006)

THE UNIVERSAL LANGUAGE


Approaches to the study of language:
1.
Explanatory
2. Descriptive
Explanatory= It considers language as the system oriented
towards the execution of a function.
This approach promotes the restoration of a unique language.
According to Eco (1994), the Universal language is often
synonymous with the perfect language.
Language, instead of creating barriers, or upholding systems
of membership and exclusion, should promote
cooperation and understanding between peoples from
different walks of life. Modiano (1999: 27).

THE UNIVERSAL LANGUAGE


The author claims tha the universalist approach is
misleading because it does not consider language
diversity.
Universal communication is possible in a way because if
ideology determines the function , then in order to change
the function it is necessary to change the ideology.
But: what shape can an ideology of intercultural
communicatio take that is compatible with the
constraints of the nature of language itself?
It is important to consider social, psychological and political
factors ( ex. Babel Myth)

THE LOCAL LANGUAGE


Descriptive approach= it focuses on the functions
rather than on the form, it does not consider
different accents, dialects and pragmatic conventions
as a deviation from the norm but as normal
linguistic behaviour.
Standardazing tendence determines hierarchies and
judgements.
Ideology

THE LOCAL LANGUAGE


Ideology creates variety (function)

Ex. Linguistic nationalism ( Australian English)


+
Ownership of the language
metaphor of language
as a possession
the English language is nobodys special property
(). Plimpton (1988: 279)
+ poststructuralist idea: language owns us

CONCLUSION
RESEARCH QUESTIONS:
1. Is politics the only mean by which all issues concernig
English within the world today should be approached?
YES, politics influences language.
Bolton s 3 approaches: - Linguistic approach
- Linguistic and sociopolitical
approach
- Sociopolitical and political
approach

CONCLUSION
2.

What part linguistics as a science should play?

NO, because ideology is analysed together with


linguistics.