Linguistic imperialism: still a valid construct in relation to language policy for Irish Sign Language

Autor/a: ROSE, Heath; BOSCO CONAMA, John
Año: 2017
Editorial: Language Policy (2017) pp. 1-20
Tipo de código: Copyright
Soporte: Digital




Linguistic imperialism - a term used to conceptualize the dominance of one language over others - has been debated in language policy for more than two decades. Spolsky (Language policy, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2004), for example, has questioned whether the spread of English was a result of language planning, or was incidental to colonialism and globalization. Phillipson (Lang Policy 6(3):377–383, 2007) contests this view, arguing that linguistic imperialism is not based on ‘conspiracy’, and is underpinned by evidence of explicit or implicit language policy that aims to intentionally advantage some languages at the expense of others. This paper analyses Irish Sign Language policy, or lack thereof, in terms of linguistic imperialism. It does this by presenting evidence within a conceptual framework of linguistic imperialism to explore how discrimination and inequality occurs in relation to Irish Sign Language users in Ireland. The findings highlight many policies and practices that fit the linguistic imperialism paradigm including linguicism, audism, and the denial of linguistic rights. The paper, therefore, challenges some views in language policy that linguistic imperialism lacks credibility by highlighting a current case of minority language (ISL) users under imperialistic-like control of policy geared towards a dominant language (English).