De-Hegemonizing Language Standards: Learning from (Post) by Arjuna Parakrama

By Arjuna Parakrama

This learn establishes the discriminatory and elitist nature of ordinary languages and standardization itself, contemplating as counter-example the case of Sri Lankan English as symptomatic of the opposite or post-colonial Englishes. at the foundation of this realizing of the normal, whereas while accepting the need of criteria, even if attenuated, the author argues for the lively broadening of the normal to incorporate the best type attainable - privileging that means over different principles - and holds that this might in truth paintings in the direction of extending the boundaries of linguistic tolerance.

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Extra resources for De-Hegemonizing Language Standards: Learning from (Post) Colonial Englishes about English

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471). Kachru notes that in this case Prator has not been affected by the vast empirical evidence to the contrary which he cites, and concludes, 'that it is this view which makes him (Prator) adopt an unrealistic attitude to homogeneity and linguistic conformity in non-native varieties of English' (p. 102). This extrapolation is cryptic, however, since it is precisely Prator's contention that there is little if any homogeneity in the so-called non-native varieties of English. It must be that the unjustifiable homogenization in the 'American' case stems from the same cause as the equally unjustifiable heterogenization of Indian English.

Other dialects or forms of the language in question will, the argument goes, 6. As improvements on Volosinov's classic formulation in Marxism and the Philosophy of Language, which states that 'Sign becomes an arena of the class struggle' (1986, p. 23) 2 De-Hegemonizing Language Standards discriminate even more against these peripheral elements within the community. In mainstream linguistics even this piety about languageas-the-site-of-struggle is dissimulated by a privileging of the investigator as transparent (both 'neutral' and 'detached'), and the positing of the act of investigation as merely a meticulous recording of what takes place, which leaves everything as it was before the investigation.

At the same time, it raises a whole new problematic, involving now the precise characterization of the new broadened standard and, most particularly, of the criteria on the basis of which forms and practices are to be assigned or denied a place within this standard. Parakrama recognizes the challenge, and in his third and fourth chapters explicitly addresses the new issues it raises. But the positions he develops raise, for me, some rather worrying questions. It is not just that his criteria do not at times entirely convince, though that is in fact so.

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