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State-appointed Institutions: authority and Legitimacy in the Spanish-speaking World

State-appointed Institutions: authority and Legitimacy in the Spanish-speaking World
State-appointed Institutions: authority and Legitimacy in the Spanish-speaking World
Language in contemporary societies, as a socio-cultural and indeed political resource, is subject to language management (Spolsky 2004), seen as ‘a story of different, conflicting, disharmonious practices performed by identifiable actors, in very specific ways, and by means of very specific instruments.’ (Blommaert 1999:426). Chief amongst these identifiable actors in language policy, planning, and practices are state-appointed institutions, hence the precise involvement of the state in the multiple and layered processes of language management are worthy of further research. This chapter sets out to analyse academies and similar organisations charged with the promotion of specific, prestigious, standardized varieties of language – in this case, Spanish. I will set the study in the context of relevant theoretical and methodological issues related to Language Ideologies (Hodge & Kress 1979, Lippi-Green 2012, Woolard 1998), and Standardization (Armstrong & Mackenzie 2012, Cameron 2012, Milroy & Milroy 1999), and will seek to identify contemporary patterns of normativity in contexts where Spanish is spoken.The main focus of my case study will be on the Real Academia Española (Royal Spanish Language Academy). The ideological embedding of standardization in the media and wider social life has been well documented (Cameron 1995, Milroy & Milroy 1999, Paffey 2007, inter alia). Due to the evolving nature of contemporary media, particularly social media – scholarly work has not yet addressed how these outputs constitute a form of status planning, underpinned by a standard language ideology, nor has there been much attention to the interface between the digital world and language standardization. In the case of Spanish, efforts by the Real Academia Española (RAE) to globalise ‘standard’ Spanish have continued apace in recent years, and have been contingent on the technological developments embraced and harnessed by the RAE as a way of promoting Spanish globally. Therefore, and building on previous work on the globalization of ‘standard’ or ‘Panhispanic’ Spanish (Del Valle 2007, Paffey 2012), I will consider how standardization practices have progressed through further technological advances, and attempt to understand these latest changes, evaluating how new practices impact on the audiences they seek to convince of the value of specific language varieties. As well as my focus on Spain’s academy, and indeed its necessary implications for the wider Spanish-speaking world, I will consider the role of academies more generally in Europe and elsewhere as what are referred to as ‘Language mavens’ (Pinker 2000) and ‘Verbal Hygienists’ (Cameron 2012). The study will critique the missions, activities, publications, and practices carried out in these state-appointed institutions, in order to understand how the specific goals of language management are achieved, and how digital discourse disseminates, legitimates, and reinforces the authority of both the institutions and also the state that appoints them.
Standardization, authority, legitimacy, Spanish, spanish language academy, Sociolinguistics
Cambridge University Press
Paffey, Darren
d226edec-b23b-4869-8279-2773f6beec61
Ayres-Bennett, Wendy
Bellamy, John
Paffey, Darren
d226edec-b23b-4869-8279-2773f6beec61
Ayres-Bennett, Wendy
Bellamy, John

Paffey, Darren (2020) State-appointed Institutions: authority and Legitimacy in the Spanish-speaking World. In, Ayres-Bennett, Wendy and Bellamy, John (eds.) The Cambridge Handbook of Language Standardization. Cambridge. Cambridge University Press. (In Press)

Record type: Book Section

Abstract

Language in contemporary societies, as a socio-cultural and indeed political resource, is subject to language management (Spolsky 2004), seen as ‘a story of different, conflicting, disharmonious practices performed by identifiable actors, in very specific ways, and by means of very specific instruments.’ (Blommaert 1999:426). Chief amongst these identifiable actors in language policy, planning, and practices are state-appointed institutions, hence the precise involvement of the state in the multiple and layered processes of language management are worthy of further research. This chapter sets out to analyse academies and similar organisations charged with the promotion of specific, prestigious, standardized varieties of language – in this case, Spanish. I will set the study in the context of relevant theoretical and methodological issues related to Language Ideologies (Hodge & Kress 1979, Lippi-Green 2012, Woolard 1998), and Standardization (Armstrong & Mackenzie 2012, Cameron 2012, Milroy & Milroy 1999), and will seek to identify contemporary patterns of normativity in contexts where Spanish is spoken.The main focus of my case study will be on the Real Academia Española (Royal Spanish Language Academy). The ideological embedding of standardization in the media and wider social life has been well documented (Cameron 1995, Milroy & Milroy 1999, Paffey 2007, inter alia). Due to the evolving nature of contemporary media, particularly social media – scholarly work has not yet addressed how these outputs constitute a form of status planning, underpinned by a standard language ideology, nor has there been much attention to the interface between the digital world and language standardization. In the case of Spanish, efforts by the Real Academia Española (RAE) to globalise ‘standard’ Spanish have continued apace in recent years, and have been contingent on the technological developments embraced and harnessed by the RAE as a way of promoting Spanish globally. Therefore, and building on previous work on the globalization of ‘standard’ or ‘Panhispanic’ Spanish (Del Valle 2007, Paffey 2012), I will consider how standardization practices have progressed through further technological advances, and attempt to understand these latest changes, evaluating how new practices impact on the audiences they seek to convince of the value of specific language varieties. As well as my focus on Spain’s academy, and indeed its necessary implications for the wider Spanish-speaking world, I will consider the role of academies more generally in Europe and elsewhere as what are referred to as ‘Language mavens’ (Pinker 2000) and ‘Verbal Hygienists’ (Cameron 2012). The study will critique the missions, activities, publications, and practices carried out in these state-appointed institutions, in order to understand how the specific goals of language management are achieved, and how digital discourse disseminates, legitimates, and reinforces the authority of both the institutions and also the state that appoints them.

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PAFFEY State-appointed Institutions FINAL REVISIONS JUNE2019
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PAFFEY draft July2018
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PAFFEY State-Appointed Institutions AMENDMENTS
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More information

Submitted date: 11 July 2018
Accepted/In Press date: 2020
Keywords: Standardization, authority, legitimacy, Spanish, spanish language academy, Sociolinguistics

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 442202
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/442202
PURE UUID: 00cbb42f-14d9-4577-a4b8-ff6c89d3c25f

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 08 Jul 2020 16:31
Last modified: 21 Nov 2021 20:42

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Contributors

Author: Darren Paffey
Editor: Wendy Ayres-Bennett
Editor: John Bellamy

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