Language is Politics

Exploring an Ecological Approach to Language
Routledge (Verlag)
  • 1. Auflage
  • |
  • erschienen am 4. Dezember 2019
  • Buch
  • |
  • Hardcover
  • |
  • X, 150 Seiten
978-0-367-36543-1 (ISBN)
Language is Politics discusses power relations between languages in the world, with a particular focus on English. Even though English is the most widely spoken and the most powerful language worldwide, it is not the lingua franca it is often supposed to be. The basic tenet of this book is that languages do not exist in the natural world; they are artefacts made by humans.

The book debunks some common myths about language and it suggests that we should be more modest in our assumptions, for instance concerning the linguistic uniqueness of our own species. The author argues in favour of an ecological or balanced approach to language. This approach sees humans and other animals as part of the larger ecosystems that life depends on. As in nature, diversity is crucial to the survival of languages. The current linguistic ecosystem is out of balance, and this book shows that education can help to restore the balance and cope with the challenges of a multilingual and multicultural world.

With an ecological approach to language and a focus on narratives andpersonal language histories, this will be key reading for researchers and academics, as well as students of English language and linguistics.
  • Englisch
  • London
  • |
  • Großbritannien
Taylor & Francis Ltd
  • 11
  • |
  • 3 s/w Tabellen, 9 s/w Photographien bzw. Rasterbilder, 2 s/w Zeichnungen, 11 s/w Abbildungen
  • |
  • 11 b/w images, 3 tables, 9 halftones and 2 line drawings
  • Höhe: 235 mm
  • |
  • Breite: 156 mm
  • 358 gr
978-0-367-36543-1 (9780367365431)
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Frank van Splunder teaches academic writing in a multilingual context at Linguapolis, the language centre of the University of Antwerp. He holds a PhD in Applied Linguistics from Lancaster University.
He is a sociolinguist with a particular interest in relations between languages and how they are used to construct identities of people and nations. The focus of his research is English as the language of globalization and its use in higher education in non-English speaking countries.

Part One Language is Politics

The Language Myth

The Origin of Language

Imagined Communities

Language as a Construction

The Pecking Order of Languages

The Power of English

Language and War

Life and Death of Languages

Towards an Ecological Approach to Language
Part Two Personal Language Histories

Aim and Scope




Latin America




Frank van Splunder's Language is Politics is a wonderful exploration of how language contributes to what it is to be human. Van Splunder's command of scholarship is impressive, as is his ability to make links from language to human behaviour at all levels, seeing language as the ultimate liberating tool.

Paul Kerswill, University of York, UK

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