Linguistic imperialism: who owns global Spanish?

Mar-Molinero, Clare and Paffey, Darren (2011) Linguistic imperialism: who owns global Spanish? In, Diaz-Campos, Manuel (eds.) Handbook of Hispanic Sociolinguistics. New York, US, Blackwell, 747-764.


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In this chapter we will discuss and problematize the concept of ‘linguistic imperialism’ examining some of the debates surrounding this term involving its proponents and detractors over the past fifteen years or so. In particular we will link the concept with the wider phenomenon of language in a global era and the current attitudes to, and spread and use of so-called global languages. This will also entail some mention of language policies and planning activities, as well as the prevalent language ideologies underpinning these. In particular, we will explore the implications for these concepts and phenomena for Spanish, looking at some concrete examples of Spanish as a global language, and the way its spread is being engineered in a ‘top-down’ fashion in ways that might be labelled ‘linguistic imperialism’. Finally, we will suggest situations where the current spread of Spanish counters the top-down approach, highlighting the division between supply and demand in the global linguistic market where the Spanish language as a commodity competes for space.

Item Type: Book Section
ISBNs: 1405195002 (hardback)
9781405195003 (hardback)
Related URLs:
Keywords: spanish language, linguistic imperialism, language spread, global Spanish
Subjects: P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
P Language and Literature > PC Romance languages
Divisions : University Structure - Pre August 2011 > School of Humanities > Modern Languages
ePrint ID: 72240
Accepted Date and Publication Date:
February 2011Published
Date Deposited: 02 Feb 2010
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2016 13:04

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