The idea for this proposed project has emerged naturally from our research over the last few years, which has focused in various ways on the impact of globalization phenomena on linguistic practices, with particular reference to Hispanic and German speech communities respectively (e.g. Mar-Molinero & Stevenson 2006, Mar-Molinero & Stewart 2006, Stevenson & Carl forthcoming). Specifically, we will respond to the call to explore the emerging field of the 'sociolinguistics of globalization', articulated in a special issue of the "Journal of Sociolinguistics" edited by Nik Coupland in 2003, by critically reviewing the scope and development of this field to date and offering our own perspective on what we see as the central questions. In the same journal issue, Jan Blommaert argues that 'a sociolinguistics of globalization will need to explain the various forms of interconnectedness between levels and scales of sociolinguistic phenomena'. We take this statement as a key organising principle of our study and will therefore ask how we can locate and account for the connections between the ideologies of power and influence underlying both national and transnational policies and the individual and collective practices of language users. Contributions to the growing literature on language and globalization typically relate to one of two largely distinct orientations: those works that discuss worldwide language spread and the phenomenon of 'global' languages on the one hand (e.g. "Brutt-Griffler" 2002 and "Crystal" 1997), and the impact at local levels of specific globalization phenomena on the other (e.g. "Block" 2006 and "Heller" 2003). Our book will demonstrate the necessary connection between these two strands but will focus particularly on the latter, identifying and problematising the range of processes affecting contemporary linguistic repertoires and practices. The book will adopt a thematic rather than a geographical approach. It will not be a comprehensive account of 'language around the globe', but rather an analysis of 'linguistic aspects and consequences of globalization', focusing on key issues and representative examples, many of which will be from our own spheres of knowledge and recent and current research (e.g. the global spread of Spanish, especially in the US; the position of German in the centre of Europe). While reference to the role of English is inevitable, we will aim to show how the effects of globalization extend far beyond that.
Publisher: John Wiley and Sons Ltd
Number of pages: 232
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