Panel's Introduction
2022-04-12, 09:00–09:30 (Europe/Vienna), Room 1

The reflection on language standardisation and standard languages has been the subject of priority attention in publications such as Kristiansen & Coupland (Eds. 2011), Hüning, Vogl & Moliner (2012), Dollinger (2019) or the Manual of Standardisation in Romance Languages (Lebsanft & Tacke Eds. 2020). Nevertheless, the contributions from the comparative standardology approach are still limited (cf. Joseph 1987: 11) to develop a general theory of language standardisation, and to understand the underpinnings of a complex linguistic, sociohistorical and political process. For some sociologists, anthropologists and linguists, the advent of postmodernism and globalisation is producing a worldwide restructuring that can shake the European linguistic culture based on the standard language models. In fact, processes of language re-standarisation, demotisation and de-standardisation (Amorós-Negre 2008; Lenz y Plewnia 2010. Auer & Spiekermann 2011; Ayres Bennet 2019) have recently been noticed in some European language communities in which the specific complex processes of standardisation of minoritised languages are merged with the dynamics prone to the de-standardisation of the contemporary era. As a result, it is interesting to explore to what extent we can talk about what Van der Horst (2018: 59) calls "the meltdown of the Renaissance standard language culture"

Every process of standardisation inevitably leads to the emergence of a linguistic complaint tradition (Milroy and Milroy 1985). The indexical value of correction, prestige, and linguistic exemplarity are unchanging factors in the emergence of the various Western standard languages which simultaneously qualify their respective speakers positively. We think it will be very interesting to compare the processes of iconisation (Irvine & Gal 2000) and enregisterment (Agha 2003; Silverstein 2003) of the different standard varieties in Europe (cf. Auer 2013). From the very beginning, the concept of pluricentricity (Kloss 1967, Ammon 1989, Clyne Ed. 1992; Muhr et al. Ed. 2012; etc.) had a glottopolitical scope, insofar as the pluricentric standardisation model involves an openness in the legitimisation of endonormative models of use. To what extent structural, linguistic and objective distances between regional / national varieties of a pluricentric language correlate with the subjective ones, the result of the speakers’ perception. Pluricentricity has been welcomed in big languages. But, what about medium-sized and minority languages?

Key questions
1) What sociohistorical, cultural and political factors determine how standard languages are understood in different European language communities? How do standard varieties relate to other languages spoken in the same territory?

2) Are we witnessing an erosion on the ideology of standardisation in present-day Europe? How pluricentricity and multilingualism are challenging the conception and configuration of standard languages in Europe?

3) How new speakers affect the understanding of standard varieties?) What is the situation in the border zones where a dialectal continuum undergoes different language policies in each side of the border? (Austrian-German border, Catalan’s Tortosí, etc.)

4) Which methodological tools and approaches can help to measure attitudes and perceptions towards standardness/ non-standardness?

5) How certain linguistic variants have become emblematic and naturalised as part of the standard varieties?


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Carla Amorós Negre is Ph.D in Linguistics and Tenured Professor at the University of Salamanca in the General Linguistics Area (Spanish Linguistics Department). Her main areas of scholarly interest include Language Policy and Planning, Sociolinguistics, Applied Linguistics, Foreign Language Teaching and Learning and Anthropological Linguistics She has been a visiting researcher in the School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences in the University of Edinburgh and in Fachbereich 10: Sprach- und Literaturwissenschaften in the University of Bremen. She is the director of the Máster Universitario en Lengua y Cultura Hispánicas (MULCH). Carla Amorós has participated in funded research projects, such as La prescripción manifiesta y la prescripción encubierta en la gramática española contemporánea. Actitudes normativas y usos lingüísticos (HUM2005-03774); Innovation and Development of Spanish as a Foreign Language (IDELE) (530459-TEMPUS-1-2012-1-ES-TEMPUS-JPCR) and E-Learning Novelties towards the Goal of a Universal Acquisition of foreign and Second Languages (2015-1-ES01-KA203-015743).

Henrique Monteagudo is Professor of Galician and Portuguese Philology at the University of Santiago de Compostela and researcher at the Instituto da Lingua Galega. He has taught at the universities of Birmingham (UK), City University of New York (CUNY), Coimbra, Lisbon (UL), Buenos Aires (UBA), California (UC-Santa Barbara), São Paulo (USP), Federal Fluminense (Niterói) and Universidad de la República (Montevideo). He has dealt with the social history of the Galician language, sociolinguistics and glotopolitics. He directed the project "The process of normalization of the Galician language, 1980-2000", that resulted in the publication of three volumes (2002-2003) and a series of studies on surveys on the evolution of the Galician sociolinguistic situation: A sociedade galega e o idioma (1992-2003) (2005), A evolución sociolingüística (1992-2008) (2011), Lingua e sociedade en Galicia. A evolución sociolingüística 1992-2013 (2017). He has been the editor of volumes such as Estudios de Sociolingüística Galega (1995), Norma Lingüística e Variación (2005), Sociedades multilingües: da identidade á diversidade (2009), Galego e Português Brasileiro: história, variação, mudança (2012), Lingua(s), sociedade e política. Un debate multidisciplinar (2012), Contacto de linguas, hibridade, cambio: contextos, procesos e consecuencias (2013). He has published Historia social da lingua galega (1999, 2nd ed. 2017).