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Linguistic Diversity and Social JusticeAn Introduction to Applied Sociolinguistics$
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Ingrid Piller

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780199937240

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199937240.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 19 January 2022

The Subordination of Linguistic Diversity

The Subordination of Linguistic Diversity

(p.31) Chapter 3 The Subordination of Linguistic Diversity
Linguistic Diversity and Social Justice

Ingrid Piller

Oxford University Press

This chapter explores the discursive processes and language ideological debates through which linguistic diversity is dissimulated and subordinated. Linguistic diversity is rendered invisible through the territorial principle, which sets some speakers up as legitimate members of a society while excluding others. Those who are being excluded, delegitimized, and subordinated are usually mobile speakers whose ties to a territory are contested because they result from migration. One discourse about language that is central to their subordination is the construction of language learning as a matter of personal responsibility, where language learning is conceived of as a relatively easy undertaking, and failure to measure up to an imaginary linguistic norm regarded as a sign of laziness or self-isolation. Subordinating ways of speaking always means subordinating speakers. The injustices of cultural domination that are apparent in these processes are compounded in inflexible communicative spaces that institute the inequality between dominant and subordinated speakers.

Keywords:   cultural domination, exclusion, inequality, language ideology, language learning, linguistic norm, migration, personal responsibility, subordination, territorial principle

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