International Journal of Applied Linguistics

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Volume 24 Issue 3 (November 2014), Pages 293-432

Examining the role of nationalism in folk theories of language: The case of language complaints in multilingual settings (pages 337-356)

The purpose of this paper is to contribute to the Folk Linguistics agenda by making the case that nationalism comprises one ideological component to folk theories of language. The principle of nationalist diversity, the compulsion to maintain clear boundaries between nationalized things, appears prominently in at least two ways: (1) in response to dissonance between boundaries of nationalized space and nationalized language; and (2) in response to dissonance between the boundaries discerning one linguistic code from another. Both situations rely on individuals apprehending linguistic practices as nationalized icons. This argument will be developed through analytical consideration of four language complaints put forth by nonlinguists in multilingual encounters. This paper opens an underdeveloped area in Folk Linguistics, the study of folk ideologies in recognized border zones.

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