Article published in:The Historical Sociolinguistics of Spelling
Edited by Laura Villa and Rik Vosters
[Written Language & Literacy 18:2] 2015
► pp. 201–207
Language ideological debates over orthography in European linguistic history
This introductory article to the special issue on the historical sociolinguistics of spelling sketches an overview of the current interest in the field for the sociopolitical nature of the written language. Spelling is understood as a powerful tool for sociopolitical mobilization and thus becomes a recurrent source of conflict. Orthographic debates are the object of study chosen by the authors in this special issue to analyze the non-linguistic dimension of language matters. Approaching them as language ideological debates allows us to carry out a deeper examination of the political projects, social structures, identity issues and cultural practices that are at stake when an orthographic conflict emerges. Adopting such theoretical approach to the study of spelling, the editors of this volume have gathered works that look at the past and present of a number of European languages (Dutch, German, Lithuanian, Macedonian, Portuguese and Spanish) since the Early Modern period until recent times.
Keywords: historical sociolinguistics, discourse studies, writing and literacy, language and politics, standardization, linguistic variation, orthography, language ideological debates
Published online: 31 August 2015
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