Language ideology, language theory, and the regulation of linguistic behaviour

Seargeant, Philip (2009). Language ideology, language theory, and the regulation of linguistic behaviour. Language Sciences, 31(4) pp. 345–349.



This paper discusses the relationship between entrenched beliefs about language (‘language ideologies’) and the linguistic system, and considers how conflicts between propositional and procedural knowledge about language have an effect upon the way in which language is regulated within society. It examines the epistemological foundations for drawing a distinction between language ideology and the linguistic system, and discusses the way in which the conflicting influences of these two aspects of language behaviour create the framework by which language is regulated in both academic and institutional contexts. Drawing upon critical insights provided by theoretical work in linguistic anthropology, and combining these with a philosophical consideration of language behaviour, the paper poses the question of whether there is a fundamental interdependency between patterns of entrenched belief about language and the nature of language itself. It then examines the implications of such a question for our understanding of the role that language plays in the lived experience.

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