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Multilingualism and the Periphery$
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Sari Pietikainen and Helen Kelly-Holmes

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199945177

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199945177.001.0001

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Repositioning the Multilingual Periphery

Repositioning the Multilingual Periphery

Class, Language, and Transnational Markets in Francophone Canada

(p.17) Chapter 2 Repositioning the Multilingual Periphery
Multilingualism and the Periphery

Monica Heller

Oxford University Press

Using the example of francophone Canada, this paper traces the development of multilingual peripheries as a process of internal colonialism, tied to the rise of the nation-state and its colonial expansion. Based on recent ethnographic work, it then explores some of the ways in which those peripheries now change position in a globalized new economy which values commodified languages and identities, and in which multilingualism is an asset rather than a problem to be controlled. In particular, it argues that the form and practice of multilingualism cannot be understood outside the nature of political economic conditions which constrain the shape and functioning of the linguistic market. Contemporary change in those conditions calls into question our common sense ideas about language, identity, centre and periphery.

Keywords:   internal colonialism, linguistic market, Francophone Canada, new economy, globalization, commodification

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