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Deconstruction of the Native Speaker and Ideology of the Standard Language: Language Users Caught Between Descriptivism and Manipulation


Kalogjera, Damir; Starčević, Anđel
Deconstruction of the Native Speaker and Ideology of the Standard Language: Language Users Caught Between Descriptivism and Manipulation // English Studies as Archive and as Prospecting
Zagreb, Hrvatska, 2014. (predavanje, domaća recenzija, sažetak, znanstveni)


Naslov
Deconstruction of the Native Speaker and Ideology of the Standard Language: Language Users Caught Between Descriptivism and Manipulation

Autori
Kalogjera, Damir ; Starčević, Anđel

Vrsta, podvrsta i kategorija rada
Sažeci sa skupova, sažetak, znanstveni

Skup
English Studies as Archive and as Prospecting

Mjesto i datum
Zagreb, Hrvatska, 18-21.09.2014

Vrsta sudjelovanja
Predavanje

Vrsta recenzije
Domaća recenzija

Ključne riječi
Native speaker; ideology of the standard language; prescriptivism

Sažetak
Native speakers and their privileged intuitions and judgements regarding both the structure and the appropriate use of language were uncritically trusted throughout twentieth century linguistic and some sociolinguistic research, as well as language teaching. The theoretical construct of the native speaker relied to a considerable extent on de Saussure's ([1916] 1995) postulation of langue as a system “où tout se tient” (Meillet [1921] 1982) and even more so on Chomsky's (1965) later idealization of the competence of the member of the speech community. Recently, however, the traditional and widespread concept of the native speaker has been addressed from a critical perspective as various scholars have questioned its validity and made attempts to stress the difficulty of capturing the content of the construct. Most of the debate has focused on the English language. This native speaker controversy can be linked to another trend in linguistics which aims to analyse and deconstruct the equally widespread phenomena of linguistic prescriptivism and the ideology of the standard language (Milroy 2001, Milroy and Milroy 2012). Linguists generally consider prescriptivism and the ideology of the standard language as a set of uninformed and prejudice-based expectations and beliefs about language. Interestingly enough, some of the ideas and arguments about vernaculars, standard languages and language acquisition put forward by descriptive linguists who have dealt with the concept of the native speaker have become a starting point for prescriptive authors in their attempts to impose arbitrary bans, condemn widespread elements and structures, and establish unsustainable usage models. More specifically, the descriptive finding that it is “logically impossible” to be a native speaker of the standard language (Piller 2001) has been reinterpreted as a prescriptivist carte blanche and license-to-kill dogma which has repeatedly been used to disempower a majority of speakers, reinforce class boundaries, and promote “psychologically unnatural” (Pinker 1994) patterns. Drawing on examples from anglophone countries and Croatia, the second section of the paper will show how findings in descriptive linguistics can be manipulated at the expense of unsuspecting language users and serve as a tool to further advance the spread of the ideology of the standard language, with its unsubstantiated claims about languages, varieties, and their speakers.

Izvorni jezik
Engleski

Znanstvena područja
Filologija



POVEZANOST RADA


Ustanove
Filozofski fakultet, Zagreb