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A critical evaluation of linguistic minorities from a postmodern perspective: the case of Welsh

A critical evaluation of linguistic minorities from a postmodern perspective: the case of Welsh
A critical evaluation of linguistic minorities from a postmodern perspective: the case of Welsh
My aim in this thesis is to consider language policy and minority languages from the viewpoint of postmodernism – a theoretical framework that has much to offer beyond mere explanation and support for the concepts of diversity and pluralism. I argue there is a shortage of texts that interrogate language policy from a postmodern perspective – notwithstanding the contributions of a relatively small group of linguists including Pennycook (2000, 2006), Wright (2000, 2004), Cameron (1995) and Edwards (1985-2003). Thus, I combine some arguments from the domain of postmodernism articulated by theorists such as Foucault (1980), Lyotard (1997), and Connor (2004) with other arguments from the fields of language policy, language ideology and minority language rights formulated by theorists such as Phillipson (1993, 2003), Crystal (2000, 2003).

In the first chapter I consider how language policy and planning has developed as a subject of academic inquiry since World War II. In the second chapter I focus on a primary objective for language policymakers, namely minority language maintenance. I conclude that characteristics and trends associated with postmodernism are neither wholly supportive nor wholly unsupportive of minority language maintenance. In the third chapter, I concentrate on the minority language Welsh, tentatively concluding that a truly bilingual Wales is not achievable. In this fourth chapter, I analyse findings from my ethnographic research into Welsh language usage in Newport. I tentatively conclude once more that the Welsh Assembly Government’s bilingual objective is unachievable. Finally, I argue that postmodernism is a useful theoretical perspective for academics in the field of language policy and planning.
Muirden, Mark
10b3cff0-af78-4aa2-8f18-080bd7e72b6b
Muirden, Mark
10b3cff0-af78-4aa2-8f18-080bd7e72b6b
Mar-Molinero, Clare
07b0f9ce-15ba-443a-896f-708327bb4e0c

Muirden, Mark (2011) A critical evaluation of linguistic minorities from a postmodern perspective: the case of Welsh. University of Southampton, Faculty of Humanities, Doctoral Thesis, 194pp.

Record type: Thesis (Doctoral)

Abstract

My aim in this thesis is to consider language policy and minority languages from the viewpoint of postmodernism – a theoretical framework that has much to offer beyond mere explanation and support for the concepts of diversity and pluralism. I argue there is a shortage of texts that interrogate language policy from a postmodern perspective – notwithstanding the contributions of a relatively small group of linguists including Pennycook (2000, 2006), Wright (2000, 2004), Cameron (1995) and Edwards (1985-2003). Thus, I combine some arguments from the domain of postmodernism articulated by theorists such as Foucault (1980), Lyotard (1997), and Connor (2004) with other arguments from the fields of language policy, language ideology and minority language rights formulated by theorists such as Phillipson (1993, 2003), Crystal (2000, 2003).

In the first chapter I consider how language policy and planning has developed as a subject of academic inquiry since World War II. In the second chapter I focus on a primary objective for language policymakers, namely minority language maintenance. I conclude that characteristics and trends associated with postmodernism are neither wholly supportive nor wholly unsupportive of minority language maintenance. In the third chapter, I concentrate on the minority language Welsh, tentatively concluding that a truly bilingual Wales is not achievable. In this fourth chapter, I analyse findings from my ethnographic research into Welsh language usage in Newport. I tentatively conclude once more that the Welsh Assembly Government’s bilingual objective is unachievable. Finally, I argue that postmodernism is a useful theoretical perspective for academics in the field of language policy and planning.

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Published date: May 2011
Organisations: University of Southampton, Modern Languages

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Local EPrints ID: 361349
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/361349
PURE UUID: 699d169d-7e87-47b1-8d79-0a765525479c

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Date deposited: 17 Jan 2014 15:20
Last modified: 18 Jul 2017 03:03

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Contributors

Author: Mark Muirden
Thesis advisor: Clare Mar-Molinero

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