Book of Abstracts - School of English



Book of Abstracts - School of English
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
(De)Centring and (de)standardization
Book of Abstracts
The University of Hong Kong
3-6 June 2015
With support from:
Contents, A-Z
All abstracts are listed in alphabetical order by first author
A ......................................................1
B .....................................................16
D ....................................................61
E .....................................................82
F .....................................................84
G ....................................................91
H ..................................................104
I ...................................................123
J ...................................................126
L ...................................................155
M ..................................................186
N ..................................................215
O ..................................................223
P ...................................................232
Q ..................................................245
S ...................................................256
T ...................................................296
U ..................................................309
W ..................................................323
Y ...................................................340
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Abdi, Klara (University of British Columbia)
"Our students can represent themselves well”: An examination of the
linguistic landscape of a public primary school in China
Analyses of linguistic landscapes have mostly been applied to public spaces, such as cities or
neighbourhoods (e.g., Gorter, 2006; Shohamy & Gorter, 2009), but more rarely have they looked
at the linguistic landscape of institutions, such as schools (but see Brown, 2012). However, since
a school's linguistic landscape presents a certain image, to both visitors and school community
members, such an analysis forms part of understanding children's schooling experiences. In this
paper I will examine the linguistic landscape of a recently built, well-respected public primary
school in Nanjing, China. The school is unique in that it has an abundance of decorative spaces.
Focusing on several examples from one such space, containing bilingual stories of contemporary
and historical "heroes," including some from the school itself, I will conduct a critical discourse
analysis (Fairclough, 2013) to show how the school constructs a vision of an "ideal student" both
in terms of moral qualities and international outlook. I will compare this analysis to one of how
members of this school community respond to these signs through talk about them. This
presentation makes an important contribution to the linguistic landscape literature both through
its choice of research site (a school) and methodological design (CDA of both signs and
community members' reactions).
Brown, K. D. (2012). The linguistic landscape of educational spaces: Language revitalization
and schools in Southeastern Estonia. In D. Gorter, H. F. Marten, & L. V. Mensel (Eds.),
Minority languages in the linguistic landscape (pp. 281-298). Basingstoke: Palgrave MacMillan.
Fairclough, N. (2013). Critical discourse analysis: The critical study of language. New York:
Gorter, D. (Ed.) (2006). Linguistic landscape: A new approach to multilingualism. Clevedon:
Multilingual Matters.
Shohamy, E., & Gorter, D. (Eds.) (2009). Linguistic landscape: Expanding the Scenery. New York:
in Linguistic Landscape (3)
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Agha, Asif (The University of Pennsylvania)
Margins, hubs, and peripheries in a decentralizing Indonesia (Part 3)
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Aguirre, Alwin (University of the Philippines Diliman, Auckland
University of Technology)
Un/speaking of the other: New media, migrant identity, and multimodal
I aim to do a multimodal analysis of new media texts that construct the identity of Filipino
immigrants in New Zealand. Castells (2010) maintains that in this globalised period where
organizations, institutions, movements, and expressions are continuously destructured, 'identity
is becoming the main, and sometimes the only, source of meaning' (p. 3). By using the
frameworks of multimodal discourse outlined by Kress and van Leeuwen (2001) and the
'recontextualization' of practice in discursive situations explicated by van Leeuwen (2008), I
examine Internet-based media texts that demonstrate how the banality of particular words and
images potentially enact what Laclau and Mouffe (1985) term as nodal point – master signifiers
that assume a universal structuring function of entities within a discursive field. Testimonial
videos of Filipino migrants found in the government website New Zealand Now are considered
'official' texts as they carry the hegemonic voice of the state, while three websites authored by
Filipino migrants in Auckland – a personal blog, a Facebook account, and a community-oriented
WordPress account – provide instances of interrogation of the officially sanctioned portrayal of the
migrant Filipino in New Zealand. New media in this situation are not just a platform of
expression. Due to their purported democratizing affordances in content production and
distribution, they become a site of struggle between institutions and social actors in establishing
universalities and asserting particularities of immigrant subjectivity.
Castells, M. (2010). The Rise of the Network Society: The Information Age: Economy, Society, and
Culture (Vol. I). Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.
Kress, G., & van Leeuwen, T. (2001). Multimodal Discourse: The Modes and Media of Contemporary
Communication. London: Arnold.
Laclau, E., & Mouffe, C. (1985). Hegemony and Socialist Strategy: Towards a Radical Democratic
Politics. London: Verso.
Van Leeuwen, T. (2008). Discourse and Practice. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Ahmad, Rizwan (Qatar University)
Indexicalities in a mesh: English-Hindi-Urdu contact and change
In postcolonial India, while the indexicality of Urdu has plummeted from being a language of the
elite to that of the poor and uneducated Muslims, the English language has risen to be associated
with education, class, and prestige (Gupta & Kapoor 1991, Abbi et al 2004, Ahmad 2011). In this
paper, using a contact situation involving Urdu, English, and Hindi (and their conflicting
indexicalities), I show that the contact of Urdu with Hindi and English in India has differential
impacts on an ongoing sound-change in Urdu among the Muslim youth of Old Delhi. I argue that
the differential consequences are the result of the difference in speakers' language ideologies
about Urdu and English.
Driven by the stigmatization of Urdu, while young Muslims are losing /χ/, /ɣ/, and /q/—three of
the five phonemes that distinguish Urdu from Hindi, they are retaining the other two phonemes /
f/ and /z/. I argue that while the loss of /χ/, /ɣ/ and /q/, is propelled by the stigmatization of
Urdu in Delhi, the retention of /f/ and /z/ is due to the fact that these phonemes are also part of
the phonology of English, which has a positive indexical meaning. In other words, while the
stigmatization of Urdu would have lead to the loss of these two sounds, like the other three, they
survive in Urdu because of the positive indexicality they gain from English.
The stigmatization of Urdu in Delhi is related to the Partition of India and the creation of the
Muslim state of Pakistan in 1947. The Partition involved mass-migration of largely educated and
upper-middle class Muslims from Delhi to Pakistan. Consequently, after 1947, Delhi became
synonymous with poverty, illiteracy, backwardness, and fanaticism (Abbi et al 2004, Ahmad 2011,
Ahmad forthcoming). The Urdu language as a linguistic embodiment of the Delhi culture also
became stigmatized.
Abbi, Anvita, Hasnain, Imtiaz and Kidwai, Ayesha. 2004. Whose language is Urdu? Heidelberg
paper. South Asian and comparative politics, 24.1-14.
Ahmad, Rizwan. 2011. Urdu in Devanagari: Shifting orthographic practices and Muslim
identity in Delhi. Language in Society, 40 (03), 259-284.
Ahmad, Rizwan. forthcoming. Polyphony of Urdu in postcolonial North India. Modern Asian
Gupta, r. s. and Kapoor, Kapil. 1991. Introduction: English in India--issues and problems.
English in India--issues and problems, ed. by R. S. Gupta and Kapil Kapoor, 13-24. Delhi:
Academic Foundation.
English in multilingual, globalized Asia
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Ahn, Junehui (University of Seoul)
Express Yourself but Be Modest: Children's Self-Expression in the Globalized
Influenced by Western early childhood education and socialization and more broadly by
Westernization and globalization of Korean society, recent Korean early childhood language
socialization discourses are filled with discussions of how to cultivate and foster children's selves.
Yet the ways that the ideology of self-expression is understood, implemented, and practiced
within and outside the classrooms are uneven, and sometimes inconsistent and contradictory.
This paper explores the ways that the ideology of self-expression is deployed in Korean language
socialization practices, in particular the different and competing ways that it is invoked in
everyday socialization contexts. Based on ethnographic fieldwork in a Korean middle-class
preschool, this paper examines how Korean caregivers embrace the ideology of self-expression
while at the same time reinterpret and recontextualize it to meet the needs of local sociocultural
contexts. The paper shows that even though caregivers valorize the ideology of self-expression
and aim to educate a child to acknowledge and express his or her true desires, authentic
preferences, and genuine ideas, they also want the children to be modest, reserved, and
considerate in their expression of themselves. The heterogeneous and conflicting language
socialization landscape discussed in this paper reflects a new type of personhood required in the
globalized Korea and articulates the dynamisms of language socialization processes under rapid
Polycentricity and changing language-scapes in globalizing Korea
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Al-Wer, Enam (University of Essex)
Commercialisation of linguistic expertise: The asylum process as a case study
The practice of resorting to linguistic evidence in the vetting process of asylum seekers has been
on the increase in various parts of the world, especially in Europe over the past decade or so. The
parties engaged in this practice include border agencies (government-run bodies) as well as
private companies who market and sell their businesses transnationally. In some cases, the
governmental body itself has its own language analysis unit, which conducts the process of
interviewing applicants and analysing their speech. These governmental units are also engaged in
marketing linguistic analysis as a business transnationally. So, for instance the UK border agency
can buy the service from a private company in the Netherlands, or from the Swiss official language
analysis unit (aka. Lingua, which is part of the Swiss Department of Justice). Where evidence
presented by the border agency is contested by the applicant, lawyers and judges become involved.
All of these agents, government body, private companies, lawyers and judges seek the expertise of
a linguist to build their cases. But while the process throughout is untenable without linguists,
the linguists have no control over the procedure, and the outcome of the case can be incompatible
with the linguistic analysis. In my contribution, I will draw on my experience as a practitioner in
the field to highlight the tricky nature of working with external agents whose priorities, and
sometimes politics, might not be aligned with those of scholars.
Engaging the world of language work/ers
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Aleksandravičiūtė, Skaistė (University of Oxford)
Young and Urban Identities in a Post-Socialist City: indexical value(s) of
Russian in constructing power and distinction
Two decades after the restoration of the independence of Lithuania, Russian remains a powerful
symbolic resource for identity construction among urban youth in Vilnius. The paper aims to
examine the indexical field of the Russian language and the indexical orders in which it takes part
in order to understand what makes this language a potentially attractive symbolic resource in an
otherwise increasingly globally oriented westernized society.
The findings are based on qualitative analysis of 30 hours of semi-structured interviews
conducted with friendship pairs of the same gender, 18 female and 22 male 'twenty-somethings'.
The data suggest that the use of Russian elements, ranging from lexical items to morphological
and phonetic features, is characteristic of male speakers who tend to spatially centre their social
life in the former Soviet housing estates; female speakers in this group tend to avoid Russian. This
confirms previous findings that sounding Russian may index masculinity, toughness, and a local
streetwise lifestyle (Čekuolytė 2012).
However, this is not the end of the story. The research shows that the indexical field of Russian is
a complex entity in which ethnicity, socioeconomic status, gender and place can be entwined in a
variety of combinations. For example, the symbolic use of Russian is not uncommon among upand-coming urbanites who strive to signify their belonging to Vilnius and thus construct a
meaningful semiotic distinction from their peers from other towns and often from young
professionals educated abroad. This is achieved through a creative blending, or
'bricolage' (Bucholtz 2002), of various semiotic resources that belong to often contrasting
indexical orders.
Čekuolytė, Aurelija. 2012. Etnografinio metodo taikymas sociolingvistiniuose (jaunimo kalbos)
tyrimuose. Taikomoji kalbotyra 1.
Bucholtz, Mary. 2002. Youth and Cultural Practice Bricolage. Annual Review of Anthropology 31,
Global youth
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Aliagas, Cristina (The University of Sheffield)
Moore, Emilee (Universitat Internacional de Catalunya)
Linguistic, academic and social agency in a rhythm workshop in Secondary
This presentation analyses secondary students' responses to a 4-day rhythm workshop in one
multicultural public school in Catalonia (IES Lluís de Peguera), which has a predominance of
students with Maghrebi and Latin American backgrounds. It was given by Pau Llonch, the lead
vocalist of At versaris, one of the few current groups that rap in Catalan language. The workshop
was integrated by Júlia Fernàndez (the teacher) in the Music subject (year 8 and 2nd course
Baccalaureate) with the goal to help the students (75 in total) to find their own balance among
the rhythm, the verse and their critical viewpoints on society. Through the workshop, each
student wrote his/her own RAP in Catalan and performed it at the school's Christmas concert.
We documented this educational experience (2012-13) with a range of techniques for data
gathering: participant observation, video recording of the sessions, teacher's diary, interviews with
the participants, and collection of the student's drafts and final performances. In the data analysis,
we connect three analytical constructs: (a) rap music as a vernacular literacy (Newman 2005), (b)
rap as valid funds of knowledge (Moll & González 2011) that some students bring into the
classroom and (c) rap as a source of a third space of learning (Moje et al. 2004) that bridge some
things that some students do in-and-out of the classroom.
In this paper, we show some of the academic affordances of rap music as a bridge for connecting a
vernacular literacy practice with the values of the dominant academic culture. The workshop was
acknowledging, within the educational space, real uses of the Catalan language in relation to
cultural practices of urban students: it was promoting the socialization of Catalan language and
poetry both in and beyond the classroom.
“Hip-hop pedagogies”: Educational experiences to develop language, literature and critical
skills among young people
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Allan, Stuart (Cardiff University)
'It's hard to know what's real and what's been digitally constructed': Public
perceptions of citizen and professional photojournalism
Recent years have seen increasing attention being devoted to exploring the changing nature of
photojournalism across online news platforms, including the ways in which professional-amateur
interfaces are recasting the (largely unspoken) normative tenets shaping the craft. Such modes of
enquiry have usefully complemented analyses of the challenges confronting journalism more
widely, particularly with respect to the impact of digital technologies on news organisations in a
climate of economic insecurity, where the continued viability of high quality, original photoreportage is recurrently called into question. This article aims to contribute to pertinent debates
by examining public perceptions of citizen smartphone imagery and its relationship to
professional photojournalism. More specifically, it discusses the findings of an empirical study
conducted by Allan and Peters (2015) using a qualitative questionnaire with members of a
particular demographic cohort often described as 'millennial' users – that is, people born between
1980 and 1999 – in three national contexts (Canada, The Netherlands, and the UK). Findings
derived from a textual analysis of their responses will be organised into five thematics: 1)
respondents' views regarding the prospective role of bearing witness and what it may entail for
those prepared to adopt it; 2) the motivations of those engaged in this type of activity; 3) the uses
of citizen smartphone imagery by news organisations; 4) presumed distinctions between
professional and amateur or citizen photojournalism; and 5) ethical questions of trust where the
ensuing imagery was concerned. On the basis of this evidence, a conceptual framework for theorybuilding will be secured with a view to engaging with current efforts to rethink the very future of
photojournalism in a digital age.
The new news: Online revolution and the practice of journalism in the global era
Crisis: What crisis?
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Altherr Flores, Jenna (University of Arizona)
Hou, Dongchen (University of Arizona)
Diao, Wenhao (University of Arizona)
Lingua francas beyond English: Multilingual repertoires among immigrants
in a southwestern U.S. border town
Nationalistic and neoliberal rhetoric often makes English equivalent to the national language in
the U.S. and/or the global language in the world; yet these views fail to address the complex
linguistic repertoires of people living in places populated by both Anglophone speakers and
immigrants from neighboring countries and afar. Spotlighting a southwestern U.S. border town
(Tucson, Arizona), we provide a critique of both nation-state-language ideology, and of the
neoliberal view of English as the global language par excellence. Our research, drawing from
notions of linguistic scaling (Blommaert, 2007), focuses on language use in two distinct Tucson
immigrant communities—a resettled refugee apartment complex and a Mandarin church.
While Spanish use is common among Central American immigrants in Tucson (Hill, 1993), we
specifically chose two non-Hispanic immigrant communities for our study to demonstrate the
complex multilingual repertoires present in Tucson. One community is linguisticallyheterogeneous Lhotshampa adult refugees with little formal schooling, and the other is welleducated immigrants from the Sinophone world. The findings from the initial three-month
ethnographic data collection (on-site observations, semi-structured interviews with community
members, and analysis of site artifacts) shed light on nationalistic and neoliberal linguistic
ideologies at both the macro and micro levels. By examining the sociolinguistic experiences our
participants encounter, we explore how individuals in these two communities (re)negotiate
linguistic hierarchies. The Lhotshampa rescale Nepali, Spanish, and English, while the Chinese
diaspora immigrants rescale Putonghua (standard Mandarin), Cantonese, and English—Nepali
and Putonghua are treated as the "micro" lingua francas in the two communities respectively.
These immigrants engage in linguistic practices involving neither solely English nor their first
languages, thus they strategically rescale language hierarchies and effectively participate in
globalization processes in the local context of this border town.
Transnationalism (2)
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Androutsopoulos, Jannis (Universität Hamburg)
How to determine whether rap lyrics promote violence? Implications of an
expert assessment for critical language pedagogy
When the controversy provoked by Body Count's "Cop Killer" hit the global headlines in 1992, I
could never have imagined that 20 years later, a court of law would ask me to produce an expert
assessment on a local instance of such controversy in Germany. In 2010 a German rapper, Kaisa,
was accused to promote violence against homosexuals in his lyrics. In this paper I discuss the
findings and implications of the assessment I produced on this case, focusing on three points.
First, writing this assessment involved applying academic methods to a non-academic goal; in
particular, the view of culture as a network of three spheres of discourse (Androutsopoulos 2009)
provided a backdrop against which to examine not just Kaisa's lyrics but the genre orientation and
intertextual links of his tracks, how his releases are discussed in hip-hop press and web forums,
and how Kaisa himself negotiates his views in interviews. Second, the discourse position created
by the assessment reinforced my awareness of a bias that is common, I suggest, among
researchers of popular culture to the extent they have agency over the artists and texts they
choose to examine. Faced with Kaisa's homophobic and racist discourse, writing an assessment
meant keeping at bay a range of potential "critical" readings and focusing instead on whether these
lyrics can be said to promote acts of violence among their listeners. Third, the answer to this
question depends on whether lyrics are conceptualised as sealed containers of meaning or rather
meaning is conceived as the outcome of situated readings of popular texts in cultural context, i.e.
the German hip-hop community. This latter viewpoint is, I argue, a productive bottom line for
critical hip-hop language pedagogy.
“Hip-hop as a site of pedagogy”: Implications of hip-hop culture for local pedagogies
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Anfinson, Aaron (University of Hong Kong)
Aldayel-Anfinson, Nadia (University of Hong Kong)
(De)constructing national modernity: Nation branding and the staging of the
Islamic State
The Islamic State is not a branded nation; it is the nation as a brand. In a region decimated by
transnational violence, the military intervention of the 2003 Iraq War and the on-going
destabilisation of Syria, the Islamic State extends beyond its atrocities and into nation branding
and the realignments entailed by the advent of late modernity. In this talk, we consider the
enactment and attempted legitimisation of the Islamic State by scrutinising its discursive and
semiotic staging in the experiential, mediatised spaces of its official publication, Dabiq. First, we
analyse the rhetoric of its constitutive utterances and its enregisterment (cf. Agha 2003, 2007) of
liturgical language. Then we examine how symbolic national involvement (Shatz and Lavine
2007) is recognised and performed in the Islamic State flag. Following its dissemination and
construction into the Islamic State’s own use of tourism-oriented discourse, we discuss how its
constitutive utterances and symbolic national involvement are enacted as a tourist destination in
the conditions of ‘banal globalisation’ (Thurlow and Jaworski 2010). Overall, we conclude that an
analysis of the constitutive utterances of the Islamic State also questions the conception of
national modernity and the legitimacy of state-sanctioned violence.
Agha, Asif. 2003. “The Social Life of Cultural Value.” Language and Communication 23: 231-73.
————— 2007. Language and Social Relations. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Schatz, Robert T., and Howard Lavine. 2007. "Waving the Flag: National Symbolism, Social Identity, and
Political Engagement." Political Psychology 28 (3): 329-355.
Thurlow, Crispin, and Adam Jaworski. 2010. Tourism Discourse: Language and Global Mobility. Houndmills,
Basingstoke, Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan.
Linguistic landscape (3)
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Archanjo, Renata (Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte)
Academic mobility in Brazil: Moving global to transform local?
Late modernity and globalization have enhanced different forms of migratory movements and
increased communication in a very diverse multilingual way. Educational motivations in
nowadays societies are at the forefront of modern types of migration. Indeed, academic mobility
has become an important feature of higher education, all over the world. Moreover, the
internationalization of educational processes has strong relationships with language policies and
cultural, social, political and economic interests. Following the trends of this global scenario, a
governmental programme of international academic mobility – so-called Science without Borders
(SwB) – has become one of the most important initiatives in Brazilian public higher education in
recent years. Having been implemented in 2011, this unprecedented programme aimed at
awarding 101,000 scholarships for Brazilian students (64,000 of which to undergraduates) and
researchers to join institutions of excellence around the world. Initially designed to last only four
years, the programme will continue with the promise to guarantee 100.000 more scholarships in
the next few years. Through international exchange and mobility, the program seeks the
consolidation and expansion of science, technology and innovation in Brazil. Languages are, in
this context, crucial not only as a medium of instruction but as well as for the achievements of the
goals settled by the Programme regarding the Brazilian context. Thus, this paper will discuss
whether and how Foreign Language education in Brazil is prepared to grant a multilingual quality
education for the Brazilian public undergraduate students in order to enable them to achieve their
own goals as well as the governmental ones. Focused on undergraduate students who have
participated in the SwB Programme, the research aims at discussing linguistic multilingual
policies and their effect in the way people communicate in multilingual encounters.
Language and globalization (1)
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Asmar, Pascale (Lebanese University)
The "Arab Spring", the "Orange Revolution" and the "Sunflower Movement":
A Discourse Analysis of Names and Representations of 3 Revolutions in the
International Press
Through 3 examples: the "Arab spring", the "Orange Revolution" and the "Sunflower Movement", I
will reflect on the representations of 3 revolutions in 4 international newspapers: Le Monde, Le
Figaro, The Washington Post and The New York Times. For this purpose, I chose the proper name
as a keyword for my analysis.
First, I will explore the cultural, ideological and political context that determined the emergence
of the 3 names in their geographical spaces. Then, I will move to a linguistic study to examine
how these 3 names are formed in language through the morphological and semantic analysis of
the poly-lexical forms. Featured among the most particular proper names – because they do not
match the "conventional" criteria the traditional grammar and logicians have set for so long to
define the category of proper names –, my examples do not follow a "traditional" pattern, but it
does not make them less interesting and meaningful as proper names.
And since the proper name activates its linguistic productivity in discourse, in the second part of
my article, I will start working on a mini-corpus of newspaper articles in French and English to
spot its reformulations. A reformulation is a "dynamic process" (Dufour, 2007) aiming to
reconstruct, by alteration or reproduction, the semantic content of a denomination. I chose for
this paper to analyze the reformulation as a holder of representations in an attempt to highlight
the different representations of revolutions in 4 different newspapers. This analysis will be backed
by textual statistics (Lexico 3) results to show the incidence of external elements (dates, political
and historical events, etc.) on these representations.
Discourse analysis
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Auer, Peter (University of Freiburg)
Dialects and migration - A research agenda
The impact of the worldwide flow of people, commodities, cultural artifacts and texts which we
have come to call globalization has reshaped standard-dialect repertoires in ways which are still
under-researched and under-theorized. Often it is difficult to disentangle these processes from
more local concomitant ones, and they seem to co-occur and compete with processes of dialect
leveling which continue to shape the linguistic landscape. In this presentation I outline some of
the ways in which 'globalization' may change the use and evaluation of regional ways of speaking,
setting the agenda for this panel but also for future work.
While older forms of migration – for instance, during the age of colonialism -- did not always
imply changes in speakers' linguistic repertoires, modern migration often means a
complexification of the immigrants', and sometimes also of the autochthonous speakers'
repertoires, often including multilingualism. We know little about how this reshapes the dialects
of the migrants, although the impact of globalization on the autochthonous dialects has received
somewhat more attention. At least the following questions can be asked: (1) How and to which
extent are regional forms of the autochthonous language(s) acquired by allochthonous
populations in an urban, multiethnic and multilingual context? (2) How and to what extent do
autochthonous populations exploit dialectal and regional language features in order to redefine
their own identities? (3) Does within-nation migration triggered by globalized economic
processes resemble across-nation migration with respect to these two questions?
Regional ways of speaking are also in some places being commodified as a selling point by regions
competing for tourists. In this process, mediated representations of local varieties define salient
linguistic variables and exclude others.
Keywords: dialects, regional ways of speaking, migration, commodification
Dialects and migration
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Bagga-Gupta, Sangeeta (Örebro University)
Center(staging) language from earthrise perspectives. Chasing the elusive
monolingual, monocultural hegemonic human state in the global North!
My interest in this paper is twofold: first, make visible the work that individuals and institutions
"do" in the global North and global South. Second, illustrate how analyses across time and
geopolitical spaces allows for revisiting the ways in which language categories get talked-andwritten-into-being and how identity positions and culture become framed in and through social
practices and textual accountings. Taking both a socially oriented perspective and a decolonial
framework on languaging and identity positions, this contribution juxtaposes data from
ethnographic projects at the CCD research group at Örebro University, Sweden (
humes/ccd). The analysis builds upon (i) video-recordings of mundane activities, (ii) dataprompted discussions and (iii) archives and policy related to institutions in Sweden and Mumbai,
India where individuals have access to a number of language varieties.
The findings highlight the incongruence between individuals and institutional accountings in the
global North (as opposed to individuals talk and institutional accountings in the global South) as
well as the performance of languaging, identity and culture in the global North. In other words,
this study challenges dominating understandings of language, identity and culture generally and
the organization of "special" support for "immigrant" individuals in the global North more
specifically. Issues are also raised regarding the "technification" of language and diversity.
Evidence presented questions the simplistic positions and problematic "webs-ofunderstandings" (Bagga-Gupta 2012) that frame mono-bi-multilingualism and mono-bimulticulturalism in the global North. Providing emic understandings of how accountings
constitute a core dimension of "collective remembering" (Wertsch 2002) of "imagined
communities" (Anderson 1991), the paper illustrates "alternative voices" (Hasnain el al 2013) in
the Language and Educational Sciences (Bagga-Gupta 2013, 2014). This endeavor calls for a major
shift in analytical perspectives, an "earthrise" viewing from decolonial positions, instead of the
dominant "sunrise and moonrise" viewings that build upon northern hegemonies that currently
frame discourses of globalization.
Keywords: Language, Diversity, Identity, Decolonial, Ethnography
Illusions and delusions of the centre within the framework of globalization
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Barton, David (Lancaster University)
Falling out of love with Flickr: analysis of a conflict between the owners and
the users of a global website
This paper analyses a conflict between Flickr, a global photo site owned by Yahoo, and its users. In
May 2013 Yahoo carried out a major reorganisation of the layout of the site which changed the
relation between text and image and the accessibility of different kinds of information some
information became more easily accessible whilst other aspects became more buried in the site.
As soon as the changes were announced, nearly thirty thousand overwhelmingly negative
comments were posted on the Flickr discussion forum.
This paper aims to reveal users' online practices, how they act within the changing affordances of
the internet and how they express their stance towards the site owners. The analysis began with a
detailed study of the language of a small number of comments, drawing upon discourse analysis,
thematic analysis and the analysis of stance. This was supplemented with a corpus analysis of all
the comments, consisting of a corpus of more than 2 million words. In terms of methodology, the
paper in particular focusses on what is contributed by including a corpus analysis in what was
initially a qualitative study.
In the conflict between website owners and its users many of the users moved quickly from
having expressed affection and support for Flickr to expressing anger and hostility towards it.
They articulated a strong sense of ownership of the website and felt that by contributing to the
website and structuring parts of it they have created something which they should have some
rights over. The online practices which they reported can be seen as acts of curation of the
internet. Finally in the paper this particular dispute is located in broader tensions between owners
and users and growing concerns globally about the control of the internet.
Keywords: Language Online, Internet sociolinguistics, affordances, stance, online conflict
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Bassiouney, Reem (The American University in Cairo)
Dialect and stance-taking by non-Egyptian artists in Egypt
During the last five years, there have been intense debates about the traditional role of Egypt as a
cultural hub, This is due to the threat of other emerging cultural hubs—such as Dubai and
Lebanon—that have more financial resources, and that are able to impose the use of other Arabic
dialects, like Levantine or Gulf Arabic, on foreign artists. This study explores the stance of nonEgyptian artists, singers and actors living in Egypt. These non-Egyptians employ code choice and
references to shared language attitudes and ideologies to position themselves as either admirers
of Egypt or 'Egyptians by choice’.
Data for this study includes TV and newspaper interviews and articles in which Egyptian identity
and language are highlighted, as well as films, songs and performances by non-Egyptian artists.
The data also includes artists from other Arab countries who may refuse to speak in ECA and
decide to speak in another dialect of Arabic, or who may refuse to code switch between ECA and
their dialect of Arabic. I will concentrate on one artist, a Russian/Armenian Belly dancer who
migrated to Egypt in 2011 and was threatened with deportation at least twice. TV interviews by
the dancer directly after the deportation threats are examined in detail. I show how this dancer, as
well as other artists living and performing in Egypt, use Egyptian colloquial Arabic (ECA) as a
resource, access to which indexes acknowledgement of Egyptian cultural dominance. The
methods used to reflect this stance, such as dialogicality, are also examined.
Keywords: Egypt, Arabic, Artists, Media, Code-choice
Dialects and migration
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Baugh, John (Washington University in St. Louis and Stanford
Sociolinguistics and the pursuit of justice
Three types of linguistic discrimination are described in this presentation: housing discrimination,
employment discrimination, and linguistic evidence related to murder trials are the object of
analyses. Experimental studies in six American cities reveal that speakers of minority dialects are
routinely discouraged from housing based only upon the sound of their voice during telephone
calls. Similar experiments show that minorities and women in the United States are denied access
to jobs. Men and women from different racial and linguistic backgrounds called to make
appointments to obtain housing or employment, and results confirm that those who spoke with
distinctive grammar and phonology were often denied access. In the case of the murder trials,
linguistic analyses showed that African American defendants who were recorded by police while
incarcerated were misrepresented through misleading transcripts that were presented to juries in
attempts to procure convictions. Sociolinguistic analyses confirmed that police transcribers were
unfamiliar with crucial phonological and grammatical dialect differences common to speakers of
African American vernacular English, which could have resulted in the death penalty for
defendants in these cases. This presentation will not only describe the experimental studies
associated with discrimination based on speech, but will also specify the linguistic characteristics
that triggered prejudicial reactions to various American dialects.
Massey, D. and Lundy, G. (2001) "Use of Black English and Racial Discrimination in Urban
Housing Markets, New Methods and Findings. Urban Affairs Review 36:452-469.
Purnell, Thomas C., Idsardi, William J. and Baugh, John. (1999) "Perceptual and phonetic
experiments on American English dialect identification." Journal of Language and Social
Psychology. 18: 10 - 30.
Preston, Dennis. (ed.) 1999. Handbook of Perceptual Dialectology. Amsterdam: John Benjamins
Keywords: Sociolinguistics, Discrimination, Housing, Employment, Justice
Language ideology (1)
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Baynham, Mike (University of Leeds)
Towards a performative sociolinguistics: on coming out and staying out in
narrative and interaction
I have argued (Baynham 2012) that the current turn in sociolinguistics is performative, involving
a shift from the notion characteristic of classic sociolinguistics that linguistic items correlate with
stable elements of context, to one in which the language/context relationship is understood as
performative, enacted, co-produced and linguistic instability is matched as it were by contextual
instability. In terms of mobility and globalization, it might be argued that the unsticking of the
utterance from particular stable space/times, heightens and makes more salient the role of its
performativity. In this paper I will further develop this argument, suggesting that if we take
seriously the shift in the language/context relationship that performativity brings about, we also
have to re-consider conventional accounts of indexicality, understood since Bühler as a pointing
out from utterance to context. I will illustrate this discussion through a consideration of the
interactional performativity of coming out as gay and more briefly the performativity of being
outed as gay, a performativity which can be taken to involve at least symbolic if not potentially
actual violence. The data I will draw on is broader than is typical in sociolinguistics, involving
thought experiments (speech act theory was after all not an empirical project), autoethnography
and narratives of coming out. I will also consider briefly, with examples, the performativity of
artworks in coming out. I will show how coming out is not a once and for all, either/or, binary
phenomenon, but a strategic, at times risky, highly contextualised deployment of linguistic and
other resources, an ongoing project to perform, actualise, work on, construct the self. I will
conclude by drawing out implications for a performative sociolinguistics in a complex world.
Complex sociolinguistics
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Becker, Susanne (Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich)
Global hegemonies in current language ideologies in Germany
In my presentation I want to discuss language ideologies in the City of Munich, Germany.
Drawing on empirical data from my ethnographic fieldwork in the City of Munich, I will discuss
how dominant language ideologies in contemporary Germany are shaped by (post-)colonial
epistemologies and global hegemonies. My presentation will be concerned with continuities and
discontinuities of colonial power structures and their influence on representations of language(s).
Postcolonial theories pointed out that no region of this world could escape the effects of
colonialism. Although Germany has had a relatively short formal period of colonialism, its
involvement in the colonial project cannot be underestimated. Germany has been at the centre of
developing colonial epistemologies. German thinkers of the 18th and 19th century like Emanuel
Kant, Christoph Meiners or August Schleicher were prominent figures not only in developing
theories which propagated the superiority of a white European race but also the superiority of
European languages. Along with those ideas came certain strategies to establish these hegemonic
ideologies around the globe. Although the period of formal colonialism is over, some of these old
mechanisms are still at stake to reinforce old power relations between the global south and the
global north. In my presentation I want to discuss how these strategies become visible in everyday
life language ideologies in the German City of Munich.
In my presentation I will present some data from my ethnography and discuss what the fact that a
local newspaper in Munich uses the category 'Indian language' or that an interview partner talks
about 'the African language' tells us about colonial continuities in current language ideologies. I
also want to look at some data in which 'Chinese' appears as a global language which is desirable
to acquire and how historical continuities and discontinuities become visible there.
Language ideology (2)
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Bell, Allan (Auckland University of Technology)
Aguirre, Alwin (Auckland University of Technology)
Ferguson, Rachelle (Auckland University of Technology)
Shifting styles from print to online news: The case of the New Zealand
The nature of news and its presentation have been shaped by technological change (Bell 2003).
Today such change reflects continuous developments in digital and internet-based technologies,
and we address the question of how these changes are reflected in the actual writing of news. This
presentation compares linguistic style choices in print and online news, with the aim of gauging
what is changing and what is not in news language as it moves online.
As a case study we take the New Zealand Herald, the country's largest daily, using a sample of
parallel online and hard copy news from July-August 2014. We identify and track occurrences of
several linguistic variables which we know from previous work to be indexes of stylistic
orientation: auxiliary and negative contractions (Bell 1982), tense and aspect choices (Chovanec
2014), determiner deletions in naming appositions (Bell 2011), ellipses and evident
A central issue is the extent to which the norms of hard-copy press writing are carried over on to
the online platform. It appears that some are and some are not, and that journalists' practices are
in flux as they adjust to new writing situations. In particular we see stylistic features of radio
discourse creeping into the text of online press stories. Changes in the linguistic characteristics of
news index shifts in the way journalism is viewed, practised, and envisioned by particular media
institutions within the context of global and local changes.
Bell, Allan, 1982. `This isn't the BBC: colonialism in New Zealand English.' Applied Linguistics
3/3: 246 58.
Bell, Allan, 2003. 'Poles apart: globalisation and the development of news discourse across
the twentieth century.' New Media Language, In Aitchison, Jean and Diana M Lewis (Eds).
London: Routledge, pp 7-17.
Chovanec, 2014 (forthcoming)
The new news: Online revolution and the practice of journalism in the global era
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Bellononjengele, Ola (University of the Western Cape)
Kerfoot, Caroline (Stockholm University)
The postapartheid imaginary: Policy veneers, subaltern practices, and the
production of postracial ideologies in a multilingual Cape Town primary
This paper aims to contribute to a 'sociology of absences and emergences' (Santos 2013) by
illuminating practices in a multilingual primary school in the largely poor and working class Cape
Flats area in Cape Town, South Africa. Here new discourses and practices of identity, language,
'race', and ethnicity become entangled with local economies of meaning, constructing a complex
heteroglossic context which is overlaid and obscured by the veneer of naturalised relationships
between language, ethnicity, and 'race' implicit in the national Language-in-Education Policy
Drawing on classroom and playground data from observations, interviews, and recorded peer
interactions, we focus on the practices and interactions of multilingual 10-12 year olds to explore
complex processes of identification and identity formation. Findings illustrate the ways in which
learners constructed emergent ideologies of postracial solidarity and new forms of conviviality,
thus modelling the processes by which schools can create transformative practices and
pedagogies. They also illustrate the potential of such fluid, heteroglossic contexts to inform
models of cultural production, offering clues to alternatives invisible in dominant understandings
of educational (re)production.
Methodologically the research is situated within Linguistic Ethnography which brings together
Interactional Sociolinguistics (IS) and ethnography. IS yields insights into the workings of social
processes in asymmetrical encounters (Gumperz, 1982) while Hymesian ethnography as a
democratic and antihegemonic science offers voice to its subjects (Blommaert, 2009).
Blommaert, J. (2009). Ethnography and democracy: Hymes's political theory of language. Text
&Talk, 29(3), 257–276.
Gumperz, J. J. (1982). Discourse Strategies. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Santos, B. de S. (2014) Epistemologies of the South: Justice Against Epistemicide. Paradigm
Native imaginaries: Resistances and regimentations in unstable senses of space, time and self
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Bennett, Brian (Niagara University)
Unicode: Standardizing Sacred Scripts
Unicode is a computer technology that in theory allows for the encoding of all the writing systems
of the world (Gillam 2003). A certain tension is inherent in the project. On the one hand,
Unicode may help preserve the scriptal pluralism of the world and propagate the literary heritage
of different faith communities across time and space. On the other, it does so by squeezing
scripts in all their semiotic richness into a standardizing and secularizing template supported by
powerful corporations like Google, Apple, Microsoft, and Adobe (John 2013). This paper
examines the relationship between Unicode and the hieratic Church Slavonic script, the historic
version of Cyrillic still used for ecclesiastical literature in Russia, Serbia, and elsewhere. In
traditional religious discourse, the ornate Slavonic alphabet is treated as a hierophany: the
letterforms are vested with theological meaning and connected to the 'mythistory' of Orthodox
Slavdom. But when it comes to Unicode, this hierophanic discourse is displaced by a secular
technological idiom. The situation, however, is complicated. For one thing, bits of religious
discourse actually find their way into the some of the Unicode documentation. Moreover, though
religiously affiliated programmers and typographers have largely embraced Unicode and work to
implement and fine-tune it, they also offer critiques and counter-proposals (e.g., Simmons
2011-12: "Unicode Slavonic Font Manifesto"). Thus, a close-up inspection of these Church
Slavonic materials sheds light on some of the tensions and accommodations characteristic of the
globalization of religio-linguistic practices.
Binding and shifting: Two concomitants to the global spread of faith and its languages
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Bezemer, Jeff (UCL Institute of Education)
Mobility in health care: the clinical habitus and contemporary sociallinguistic complexities in the operating theatre
This paper explores the effects of the present social conditions of instability and unpredictability
on nurse-surgeon interaction in the operating theatre. Global and national migration processes
and reduced opportunities for permanent employment have led to significant mobility of nurses
and surgeons within the international health care labour market. Organizational policies in the
UK have also served to increase their mobility within jobs, requiring them to work in 'transient'
teams, i.e. teams that are reconfigured on a regular –often daily- basis. As a result, where up until
about 15 years ago, nurses and surgeons often worked with the same group of colleagues for
decades, they now step in and out of newly formed, transient teams as they move from one
operation to the next, and frequently work with people they have not met before, including
locums and agency staff, in-training and newly qualified staff, staff from outside the UK, and staff
on fixed term rotations. That puts significant constraints on the development of a local 'clinical'
language and body of practical, contextual knowledge, previously accumulated over many years of
close collaboration in relatively small, stable, settled, static, permanent teams. I will develop an
ethnographic account of concrete instances of multimodal nurse-surgeon interaction, showing
how 'mobility' is rendered visible in everyday, embodied social action of surgeons and nurses and
how their responses to signs of change are suggestive of a 'clinical' disposition that assumes and/
or insists on relative stability and predictability as conditions for achieving 'quality of care' and
'patient safety'. The account aims to also demonstrate how the social-linguistic complexities of the
contemporary globalized world and the ways in which they are recognized, denied or rejected, can
be examined through ethnography, using a range of resources and materials: 1) video recordings
of surgical teams in action; 2) written documents circulating in the operating theatre; 3) insights
in professional visions of health care work gained through close collaboration with members of
nursing and surgical communities; 4) accounts of past practice (as articulated in interviews and
historical re-enactments).
Complex sociolinguistics
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Blommaert, Jan (Tilburg University)
Introduction: Complex Sociolinguistics
This short introductory paper to this panel will sketch the latter's intellectual reasons and
motives. I shall offer an overview of work performed over the past 15 years, arguing that a
sociolinguistics of mobility has been largely constructed, while the logical next step, a
sociolinguistics of complexity remains to be done. This second step emerges out of the first one,
because accepting mobility at the heart of sociolinguistic ontologies has deeply and definitively
dislodged the core conceptual apparatus of mainstream sociolinguistics, raising questions about
the nature of language, community and meaning, to name just these "victims" of a momentous
paradigm shift. Instead of these dislodged and discredited notions, an ontology and methodology
have to emerge, driven by an acute awareness of the complex nature of semiotic activity and its
outcomes, now oriented towards multidimensional objects, patterns and modes of conduct, of
nonlinear effects and unpredictable circulation and distribution of resources. This, in turn, must
provoke the development of new (or renewed) methods capable of addressing these complex units
of analysis comprehensively. Different forms of ethnography are ready candidates for these roles.
Complex sociolinguistics
Transnationalizing Chineseness: Language, mobility, and diversityand Margins, hubs, and
peripheries in a decentralizing Indonesia (Part 1)
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Bock, Zannie (University of the Western Cape)
Cool mobilities: youth style and mobile telephony in post-transition South
The popularity of social media as sites for identity performance and friendship maintenance is
well documented, and the diversity and creativity inherent in many youth texting styles and
instant messaging registers has been the focus of research in recent years (Herring et al 2013;
Thurlow & Mroczek 2011). Despite the growing popularity of mobile telephony as the preferred
medium for social networking worldwide, little scholarship has explored the materiality of the
phone and the meanings that this has for its users. Our paper seeks to explore the relevance of
this materiality in the lives of our participants, tertiary students in South Africa, for whom it
figures as an important element of style, a lifestyle accessory imbued with affect and desire. We
extend our analysis of style to consider the ways in which these participants draw on both the
affordances of the medium as well as their multilingual repertoires to create rapidly shifting
registers of chatting which combine elements of global sophistication with local situatedness i.e.
'coolness'. Our data, which includes a focus group interview and a corpus of chats collected over
four years, show considerable stylistic diversity, and we reflect on the extent to which these shifts
in style may be linked to the changing affordances, as well as the shifting identities and ideologies
of the users.
Herring, S., Stein, D. & Virtanen, T. (Eds). 2013. Pragmatics of Computer-mediated Communication.
Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton.
Thurlow, C. and Mroczek, K. (Eds). 2011. Digital Discourse: Language in the New Media. Oxford:
Oxford University Press.
Keywords: style, materiality, youth, mobile phones, register
Global youth
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Bolander, Brook (FRIAS, University of Freiburg)
English as a commodity for the transnational Ismaili Muslim community
This paper analyses discursive constructions of English as a commodity for the transnational
Ismaili Muslim community, which consists of between 10–15 million individuals living in over 25
countries around the world, and which has adopted English as its official language and lingua
franca. Specifically I will focus on both how English is constructed as a commodity at a
transnational level in online publications and secondary literature intended for a wider (Ismaili)
audience, and how it is constructed as a commodity by local communities of Ismailis. To explore
these local discursive constructions, I will draw on data collected during ethnographic fieldwork
in a village in Hunza, Northern Pakistan and the city of Khorog, Eastern Tajikistan, two places
with majority Ismaili populations. On the basis of examples from these different data, I will
address the heterogeneous "situated […] conditions" (Heller 2003, 476) which influence
perceptions of English as a valued resource. In doing so, I will also reflect upon emergent
meanings of the terms "transnational" and "local". By exploring the commodification of English in
a type of community – a Muslim community – and two regions – Northern Pakistan and Eastern
Tajikistan – which are not typically mentioned in connection with the commodification of English,
I aim to contribute to discussions on the commodification of language (cf. e.g. Heller 2003, 2010;
Tan and Rubdy 2008).
Heller, Monica. 2003. "Globalization, the New Economy and the Commodification of Language
and Identity." Journal of Sociolinguistics 7.4: 473–492.
Heller 2010, Monica. 2010. "The Commodification of Language." Annual Review of Anthropology
39: 101–114.
Tan, Peter, and Rani Rubdy. 2008. Language as Commodity: Global Structures, Local Marketplaces.
London: Continuum.
Keywords: English, commodification of language, transnational, Ismaili Muslim
Global English
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Britain, David (Universität Bern)
Language change in London and Paris
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Brennan, Sara (Heriot-Watt University)
Commodification Against the Odds: Selling Irish to Businesses in Urban
Non-Gaeltacht Ireland
Under the politico-economic conditions of late capitalism, language is increasingly constructed as
a valuable commodity, particularly for branding: the authenticity it indexes makes language a
source of added value and thus of differentiation on saturated markets (Duchêne & Heller 2012;
Heller 2010). This presentation, however, will examine one site in which this process of
commodification faces an uphill battle: the promotion of Irish to urban business communities
located outside the Gaeltacht, the Government-defined traditionally Irish-speaking zones of
While English has long dominated in both commercial and urban contexts in Ireland, the two
community Irish-language advocacy organisations studied in this presentation promote Irish as an
economic resource to their towns' businesses. Both organisations link the commercial use of the
language to the enhanced place branding of their local urban areas, positioning the authenticating
differentiation of Irish against the culturally Celtic yet linguistically Anglo brand of Ireland on a
national scale. In addition to operating beyond the traditional boundaries of linguistic authenticity
in Ireland, however, the two organisations use Irish to construct divergent place brands: the
language is linked to the sexy, bohemian hipness of one area and to the timeless, traditional image
of the other. Grounded in critical sociolinguistics, this paper will thus seek to address the
following questions: how do these organisations attempt to overcome the obstacles they face in
promoting Irish as a valuable commercial asset outside the Gaeltacht, and what tensions emerge
from these situated processes of language commodification?
Duchêne, A., & Heller, M. (Eds.). (2012). Language in Late Capitalism: Pride and Profit. London
and New York: Routledge.
Heller, M. (2010). The Commodification of Language. Annual Review of Anthropology, 39(1),
Keywords: commodification of language, place branding, authenticity
The commodification of languages and speakers in late capitalism
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Brown, Laura C (University of Pittsburgh)
Beware bright colors and exclamation points!: SPAM filtering and the
flattening of emailed affect
Although linguistic form may be used to evaluate the referential content or social context of
writing in any situation, such substitutions are particularly prominent in emerging media
platforms around which participants struggle to define relationships and differentiate trustworthy
and spurious communications. In this paper I examine the consequences of using form to
adjudicate content for emails that seek to cross national and institutional boundaries. Drawing on
published tests of junk email filters, guides to the composition of emailed advertisements, and
instructional materials intended to assist email readers in evaluating texts, I note that elements of
visual style - such as text color, capitalization, font choice, letter size, and punctuation - are
frequently highlighted as a means to differentiate legitimate documents from dubious ones.
Guides aimed at educating email users and invisible electronic filters differentiate texts based on
linguistic and visual forms commonly linked with emotional display. Taken together, these
multiple forms of filtering define the stylistic limits of texts that may be accepted as desirable,
honest, and potentially interesting. In doing so, they simultaneously define the acceptable limits
of emotional display in ways that naturalize and benefit some writers while pushing others to the
New media, new standards? Standardization processes in digitally mediated space
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Burger, Marcel (University of Lausanne)
Merminod, Gilles (University of Lausanne)
Story Telling in the News Bulletin: a multilayered analysis of global and local
This paper focuses on story telling in news report as a crucial locus to study the tension between
global vs. local considerations in the media. An ethnographic perspective taking into account not
only the media product but also the backstage activities by the journalists leads best to describe a
variety of storytelling strategies and what is at stake with them.
We use a multimethod combining tools from narratives studies (NS) and interaction analysis (IA)
to analyze a single news report (an aircraft crash) broadcast twice the same day (12:45 and 19:30)
with two very different introductions by the anchorman. The results show a tension between
standardized global and local considerations of what a news report as story telling is or should be.
When, how and why does such a tension emerge? What is at stake with it? When, how and why
is the tension negotiated by the journalists? To what results? What is the news value related to
The data collection is the result of a broad study of the Swiss media (in three linguistic areas:
2005-2015). We focus on a data set collected (2007) at TSR1, the French Speaking broadcast.
Except the news product we consider a variety of newsmaking processes of the story telling
(editorial conferences where the topics and angles of the report are discussed; biographic
interviews leading to self-reflexive comments on the making of the reported story; the writing
processes of the narrative recorded on the journalists computers).
(De)standardization in the newsroom:
An internal perspective on news products and newsmaking proces
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Cadiente, Glenda (Leyte Normal University)
Exploring the Linguistic Landscape of Northern Leyte: The Aftermath of the
Tropical Storm Yolanda
The geographical make-up of the Philippines makes it both a land inhabited by multilingual
speakers and at the same time a land frequented by storms. Thus, language and disaster create an
interesting juxtaposition as tropical storm Yolanda brought linguistic problems even before it
landed simply because a warning fashioned in English by the term "storm surge" brought them no
schema of its impending danger. Thus, one begins to wonder why a simple linguistic problem was
not fixed so as to have saved lives. The onslaught of the tropical cyclone that hit Northern Leyte
literally wrecked the land and its aftermath created much bigger problems forcing people to go out
of the streets to reclaim walls of public spaces as their only hope. Utilizing the notion of linguistic
landscape (LL) taken from the pronouncements of Shohamy and Gorter (2009) and Pennycook
(2010), this study seeks an answer to the question: How does the linguistic landscape of the land
reflect the defenses of its people in the face of the most disastrous tropical storm? The analysis of
this study focused on the visual signs found in service roads and highways, in the commercial
district, and strategic public spaces in the communities of Tacloban and Palo Leyte, the ground
zero of the typhoon devastation. The visual displays found in these two research sites yielded two
dominating groups: 1) the locals; and 2) the capitalist, whose types of urban display create
imposing contrasts between them, each having characteristics that serve respective language
Keywords: language and disaster, linguistic landscape, public space, visual sign, tropical storm
Linguistic landscape (1)
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Camps, Diana (University of Oslo)
"It is through script that a language gets its status": a language ideological
In recent years, actors in the standardization of Limburgish, a regional language in the
Netherlands, have focused on the promotion and implementation of a set of spelling norms. In
1997, Limburgish, long regarded as a set of dialects, was recognized as a language by the state
under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages (the Charter). Standardization
efforts were mobilized to a large degree through global discourses of endangerment and
revitalization tied to the protection of language as cultural heritage.
The aim of this paper is to analyze a language ideological debate that took place in Limburg in the
early 2000s around issues of language standardization. Debates "are moments of textual
formation and transformation, in which minority views can be transformed into majority views
and vice versa" (Blommaert, 1999, p. 10). They bring ideological struggles to the fore through the
(meta) discourses and textual artifacts they produce. The debate drew on the Charter and
highlighted tensions about new claims to authority and the construction of legitimacy. Drawing
on discourse analysis of qualitative data (media, committee reports, interviews with key social
actors), I explore how earlier debates were instrumental in shaping current tensions involving
language in 21st century Limburg and in framing them with respect to globalization. My analyses
aim to show how linguistic authority and legitimacy was reshaped to suit political and economic
transformations in the Netherlands by problematizing the language issue according to the terms
suggested by the Charter.
Blommaert, J. (1999). Language Ideological Debates. New York: Mouton de Gruyter.
Standardizing language in the global periphery: Why that now?
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Cashman, Holly (University of New Hampshire)
Being (and not being) loca and fresa in Phoenix, Arizona
The past two decades have seen an explosion in the research on queer
Latinas/os and sexuality and/of migration, although the sociolinguistic ramificationsof queer
Latina/o migrations have been much less frequently studied(notable exceptions include Peña,
2004; Sanz-Sánchez, 2009; Vidal-Ortiz,2011). In this paper, I examine the situated language
practices of four participants in a larger research project: a transgender woman who performs as a
drag queen in a gay Mexican club in Phoenix, an urban centre in the U.S. Southwest, a
professional, lesbian, Mexican woman who works as a graphic artist in the same city, and a
Mexican, same-sex, male couple who work in construction and run a non-profit organization in
the suburbs. All four participants have lived in the area for over ten years, and share many
language practices (e.g. maintaining predominantly Spanish-speaking networks, preference for
Spanish over English, involvement in some English-speaking environments, and maintenance of
transnational ties); despite these similarities and shared national origin, the participants
differ in significant ways (e.g. gender identity, sexuality, migration status, social class). The aim of
this analysis is to examine how these identities are accomplished in interaction, from the
ethnographic interview to spontaneous interaction to social media to performance, with a
particular focus on sexuality and gender identity, as well as translocality. The close analysis of
participants' discursive practices explores how they draw on concepts such as translatina, travesti,
loca, and fresa, in addition to more traditional binaries (e.g. masculine/feminine, gay/straight,
Mexican/Anglo, closeted/out), as resources in constructing, negotiating and resisting identities in
Keywords: sexuality, identity, migration, interaction, ethnography
LGBTIQ and performativity: Queering the sociolinguistics of globalization
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Cavalcanti, Marilda (Universidade Estadual de Campinas)
Globalization, language ideologies and diversities in Brazil
This presentation is based on an ethnographic research which examines the weaving of diversities
in Brazil, particularly in scenarios of linguistic, social or cultural minorities. In the postcolonialist
perspective (Santos, 2004) adopted, where these scenarios (including the distinction North and
South) are seen as multifaceted and fluid, the focus of investigation is placed on language
ideologies in the official discourse and in the discourse of the media. Assuming with Woolard
(1998) that ideologies of languages are closely related to issues of power and identities, a
spotlight on diferences in diversities is called for in a country which has been very efficient in
holding a longlasting ideology of monolingualism across its history of successive migration waves
before and during the World Wars, and more recently in refugee migration waves. In the data
analysis I had to deal with diferences in diversities which neither fit the discussion in the South
(the northern South) let alone the discussion in the North-North. Thus the choice for a way
through the interfaces of a critical Applied Linguistics (Moita Lopes, 2006) and a
sociolinguistics of multilingualism (Martin-Jones et al, 2012) in order to question theoretical
concepts crystallyzed in mainstream sociolinguistics.
Superdiversity and Illusions and delusions of the centre within the framework of globalization
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Cekuolyte, Auryte (Institute of the Lithuanian Language)
Adolescents' Social Categories in Vilnius: Making Use of the Legacy of the
Russian Occupation and the New Flows of Globalization
Lithuania is geographically located on the crossroads between the East and the West. Even the
country itself is on the cultural crossroad between those two poles. Once being part of the
Russian empire, now Lithuania declares social, economic, and cultural orientation towards the
West. While taking a stroll in the downtown of Vilnius, one would spot quite a few English- (or
non-Russian and non-Lithuanian) titled restaurants and bars as well as shops of various global
brands. However, a few kilometers away from the center, Vilnius greets its visitors with a different
image: Grey housing estates, built during the Soviet times, with rare instances of visible English.
But it doesn't mean that English is absent in these urban neighborhoods. Adolescents, who live
here, take part in the (predominantly English) pop culture just like their peers in the West. At the
same time, Vilnius adolescents participate in the culture, brought to Lithuania through the
Russian occupation.
This paper, based on a sustained ethnography, conducted in a secondary school in Vilnius
(participant observation, interviews with adolescents) and outside of school (in the form of selfrecordings), seeks to examine how these new and old (linguistic) resources are employed in the
construction of new modern social categories such as swag, and in the construction of wellestablished street social categories. The paper also investigates the recognition part of the
construction process: Will the resources, involved in construction of a certain category, be
recognized glocally as makers of that category?
The study revealed that linguistically Vilnius adolescents make more use of the Russian resources.
However, despite its wide spread, Russian resources perceptually are associated with the street
social categories due to the extensive usage of various Russian resources in construction of these
Keywords: youth social categories; Russian; English; globalization; Russian legacy
Identity (1)
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Chan, Angela (The University of Hong Kong)
Constructing an "effective" meeting chair: an analysis of the discourse of
meeting management
Meetings are integral to the business world and many management handbooks have advised that
an effective meeting chair is essential to effective meetings. These handbooks advise that the
meeting chair should take charge of meeting management activities including, for example, opens
and closes a meeting, sets and goes through the meeting agenda in order, and allocates and
monitors speaking turns. However, previous studies on meeting talk reveal that the actual
enactment of these activities is complex and challenging, involving a lot of negotiation amongst
the chair and the other meeting participants. This paper further demonstrates that the activities
can be even more challenging when the meeting chair is an inexperienced manager and when the
company director (CEO) who sees himself as a coach to his employees is also present in the
meetings and often comments on the manager's meeting management skills.
This paper investigates how an inexperienced manager struggles to construct or not to construct
himself as a (competent) meeting chair in face of his CEO's explicit and implicit criticism. It
draws on 14 hours of video-/audio- recordings of authentic business meetings collected at a small
company in Hong Kong and adopts a combination of conversation analysis, social
constructionism, and the community of practice theory as its analytic tool. The analysis reveals
that discrepant views on effective meeting management between the manager and the CEO, as
well as participants' orientation to meeting conventions can become sources of struggles to both
the manager and the CEO. This study also demonstrates that the construction of a meeting chair
identity is complex and involves collaboration and negotiation among meeting participants.
Keywords: meeting management, identity construction, business meetings, Hong Kong,
Workplace communication
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Chan, Henry H. L.
(HRM and International Business for US universities in China)
Is There Any Difference between the Mother Tongue and the First Language
under the Globalization
The linguist will tell you there is a difference between the mother tongue and the first language.
Mother tongue is the in-born language, which a baby has already familiarized even in the
gestation of mother before it was born. The first language is the language which a child acquires
either through schooling or socialization, such as family. It is much debate whether the mother
tongue concept should be replaced by the first language acquisition under the impact of
globalization and this is normally refers to English language. I have three case studies to illustrate
the boundary between the mother tongue and the first language has slowly blurred or it exists
theoretically in linguistics. In Korea and China, English teachers are often confused by the
advertisement which states that only native English speakers need apply and named the five
English-speaking country; occasionally added South Africa and Ireland as in the recruitment
target. Some of the advertisement even mentions that the applicant's mother tongue must be
English. I found that such requirements have not done justice to those whose first language is
English. I have three case studies which help me understand the issue of mother tongue and the
first language with objectivity. All those actors in the case study have gone beyond the language
and move on their lives without being bothered to distinguish English whether it is their mother
tongue or their first language.
Nodes and trajectories (2)
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Chan, Brian Hok-Shing (University of Macau)
English in Multilingual Macao
Often dubbed as multilingual, Macao has had a very mixed population in which there is huge
variation in their linguistic repertoire and the degree of individual multilingualism. With a huge
number of mobile and imported workers, especially in recent years, Macau is better conceived as
several communities co-existing with each other rather than one community where speakers
speak more or less the same varieties and share similar speech norms. Under such diversity, the
status and functions of English defy simple and neat descriptions such as a "High variety" or "a
language of communication". Not having been an official language in Macao, a former
Portuguese colony, English, as argued in this paper, has its market fostered almost entirely by its
translocality and the mobility of the population as, firstly, the Macanese (people of mixed descent
of Chinese and Portuguese) have moved elsewhere, and, more recently, a huge number of nonChinese (but somehow English-speaking) workers (noticeably from the Philippines) have been
imported. In public signs and discourses, English has been an "additional language" which
somehow indexes the "tourists" and "outsiders". Interestingly, this deprivileges the non-Chinese
workers (who do not speak or read Chinese and Portuguese but have become local residents) and
perhaps also tourists from mainland China who may not read/speak English.
English in multilingual, globalized Asia
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Chang, Ya-Ling (National I-lan University)
Representations of Aboriginality in Taiwanese Tourism Discourses
During recent years, indigenous tourism has been on the rise and become an important of part of
the tourism industry. It is assumed that that such development can bring indigenous people
socio-economic development. This paper investigates Taiwanese indigenous tourism discourse in
the cultural commodification process. By closely examining tourist leaflets, this study aims to
understand the implicit dimension of how the properties of the indexicality of language scripts
and related semiotics are presented to construct ideologies and sociocultural identity that shape
and are shaped by the wider context of social structures. It will also examine what semiotic forms
have been adopted for the distribution of symbolic values between the various languages and
cultures undergoing multicultural development processes. It is assumed that interaction between
linguistic and the semiotic elements effectively enable the scripts to serve as an instrument of
inclusion and exclusion, thereby contributing to the production and reproduction of sociopolitical
and cultural equality and inequality. The data subjected to multimodal discourse analysis includes
a corpus of tourist leaflets displayed in public spaces, including flyers, brochures, posters and
signposts. This study adopts multimodal discourse analysis as its methodological analysis tool
because this study involves both the analysis of language use and different types of semiotic
resource in such communications. The use of this method is central to the analysis of identity and
ideology, the primary goal of which is to crystallise how aboriginal people are positioned and
represented through the chosen modes of communication from the displays. In turn, this will
allow us to understand how socio-cultural and political equality/inequality is produced and
distributed. Ultimately, the analysis of the texts will shed light on the processes of language use
formation for indigenous tourism and make the power relations between the dominant and the
dominated more visible.
Linguistic landscape (2)
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Chau, Ai Huy Hoa (National University of Singapore)
The Commodity of English and (De)mobility: A Commentary on Project
'Teaching and Learning Foreign Languages in the National Education System
for the Period 2008 – 2020’
This paper aims to critically examine the national foreign language teaching project, Project
'Teaching and Learning Foreign Languages in the National Education System for the Period 2008 –
2020', issued by the Ministry of Education and Training (MOET) in Vietnam from the perspective
of sociolinguistics of globalization. This paper argues that although the intention of the project is
to equip Vietnamese students of all levels with English as the commodity (Heller, 2003) to
function effectively as a global citizen, its focus on a single native-speaker standard will not
provide Vietnamese students with adequate skills and competence in English as proposed by the
project's goals. This is because the project does not reflect the polycentricity (Blommaert, 2007)
involved in the use of English within different parts of the country and the ASEAN region,
thereby not providing students with necessary semiotic resources to mobilize across geographical
and social spaces. In particular, the monocentric approach of the project fails to cater to the
linguistic needs of students from ethnic minorities and remote areas, which would would only
contribute to the reproduction of social inequality between these disadvantaged students and
students from advantaged regions. This will eventually result in the the restriction of
opportunities for socioeconomic advancement and social mobility of the disadvantaged students
due to their lack of possession of the 'prestigous' linguistic capital (Bourdieu, 1991) as required by
the project.
Keywords: Vietnam, English language teaching, language-in-education policy, polycentricity, social
Language commodification
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Chen, Xiaoxiao (Renmin University of China)
Linguascaping the Other: Newspaper travel writing about Chinese languages
This article examines how Chinese languages and China's linguistic situation at large are
represented as indexes of specific groups of people and China as a specific travel destination in
New York Times (NYT) and China Daily (CD). Incorporating language ideology into critical
discourse analysis, an examination of 293 travelogues from the two newspapers reveals three
major discourse strands: naming or translating Chinese-specific objects and concepts, referring to
Chinese languages, and metapragmatic comments on Chinese languages. A discourse strand
specific to NYT is reporting language crossing. Thus, more discursive consistency than dissonance
can be observed in two sources: Chinese languages are represented as icons of exoticity and the
varieties of Chinese languages are hierarchically considered in practice. A few discourse fragments
are evident in one source only: NYT considers Chinese languages as unnecessary identification
markers for some destinations and views Chinese languages as part of touristic landscape for the
tourist gaze; CD intends to present a safe linguascape for non-Chinese speakers when presenting
Chinese as useless in tourism. Moreover, in NYT Chinese languages are deployed as ludic
resources for travel writer's Self-construction. It is argued that contemporary travel writing in
English, irrespective of whether it emanates from the USA or China, construct Chinese languages
as signifiers of the Other to be consumed by Western tourists.
Keywords: Chinese languages, linguascape, travel writing, critical discourse analysis, language
Transnationalizing Chineseness: Language, mobility, and diversity
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Chen, Katherine (The University of Hong Kong)
New Englishes in multilingual Hong Kong: Reflection from an ethnography
of Cantonese-English bilingual returnees
This paper reports a decade long sociolinguistic and ethnographic research on Hong Kong Chinese
transnationals who once migrated to Anglophone countries and returned to Hong Kong. In
researching this "moving population" during an era of widespread globalization, this project brings
diverse areas of transnationalism, sociolinguistics and bilingualism together to develop a
knowledge base that attends to local-global articulations and micro-macro sociolinguistic
Chinese who migrate from their original homeland to the West no longer always settle
permanently in their host countries. Instead, a growing number of Chinese emigrants have
become a "moving population". Once they have acquired foreign citizenship, many return to their
original homeland to seek better economic and social opportunities. In 2000 the Hong Kong
census and statistics department reported that 118, 400 people in Hong Kong are returnees. With
this new trend in mobility and flexibility in citizenship (cf. Ong 1999), there have been studies
done in population research and the social geography of returnees in Hong Kong (Ley and
Kobayashi 2005, Sussman 2005, Waters 2005, 2007) and China (Ip 2006), but little research has
been done in Hong Kong to track returnees before and after they re-migrated to their homeland
for an up-close understanding of transnational bilinguals in movement. Yet a sociolinguistic
approach to translational studies will offer the current scholarly dialogue on transnationalism and
globalization unique insights and perspectives into the social relations of these people in
This research examines the linguistic practices and identity positioning of local Chinese in
contrast to those who migrated to Anglophone countries in their formative years and since
returned. Using ethnography, modified match guise attitudinal study, focus-group discussions,
conversation and structural linguistic analysis of spontaneous speech, I observe that the codeswitching patterns of the two groups are linguistically distinctive and socially salient. The locals
often call the returnees derogatory names such as "bananas" and "ghosts," showing that they
perceive the returnees as the "other" and as over-westernized in terms of language use and
mannerisms. In response, the returnees employ different code choice and code-switching patterns
as conversational strategies to style-shift. The linguistic boundary between local and returnee
speech styles is a fluid one, yet social participants essentialize the relationship between speech
and speaker and use such knowledge to maneuver in society. The linguistic choices made by
bilinguals are informed by societal language ideologies and the development of post-colonial
Hong Kong identities and local consciousness.
English in multilingual, globalized Asia
(See Kang, M. Agnes for Saving the "(Hong) Kong Girl" stereotype in social media discourse)
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Cheshire, Jenny (Queen Mary University of London)
Fox, Susan (University of Bern)
Gardner-Chloros, Penelope (Birkbeck College, University of London)
New quotative expressions in London and Paris
We analyse the quotative system in the speech of young people in Paris and London, focussing on
recent innovative forms. The comparison suggests general pathways of grammaticalisation for
two different types of quotative: 'similarity' and 'demonstrative' quotatives.
In London, as in most other English-speaking cities around the world, young people use BE LIKE
to introduce reported speech and thought. In Paris, new similarity quotatives have also developed,
albeit more recently. In both languages they seem to have developed from a pre-existing discourse
marker, like in English and genre, style etc in French. In both languages, too, they are used first to
introduce the speaker's reported thought.
THIS IS +speaker occurs in London English as a quotative used to introduce reported speech.
ETRE LA, 'to be there', on the other hand, introduces reported thought and non-lexicalised sound
as well as reported speech. Despite these differences, our data suggests that in both French and
English these two demonstrative quotative forms have developed in a similar way, used initially to
dramatically re-enact actions and states and then becoming more specialised to introduce 'verbal
action'. However, in London the new demonstrative quotative has emerged within the local multiethnic community as a result of (indirect) language contact, whereas in France être là is more
widespread. Furthermore, in London the new quotative is used only by young people with highly
multiethnic friendship groups, but in Paris the social distribution is broader.
Être là is one of several features used by young people in multi-ethnic areas of Paris that do not
seem to result from the language contact processes that have resulted in the features
characteristic of Multicultural London English. We conclude by briefly considering the factors that
may explain the different outcomes of language contact in the two cities.
Keywords: quotatives, French, English, youth language
Language change in London and Paris
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Chien, Shouchun (University of Glasgow)
Social Factors on Language Attitude Variation towards Varieties of English:
The Case of Taiwan
With the increasing globalisation of English, speakers of non-native varieties of English now
outnumber native speakers. Despite the growing influence of non-native varieties, research on
language attitudes suggests that native varieties of English tend to receive more favourable
assessments than their non-native counterparts. However, a key question arises from this
research: how are evaluations of native and non-native varieties of English influenced by the social
characteristics of the evaluators (e.g. Starks and Paltridge, 1996)? I examine this question in
Taiwan, where speakers are exposed to both native and non-native varieties of English on a daily
basis. Using an online survey, I investigate 317 Taiwanese EFL speakers' evaluations towards a
number of English varieties, and specifically how their gender (females or males), occupation
(students or workers) and self-perceived English level (lower level or higher level) influence their
attitudes towards different varieties. Applying data from the Verbal Guise Test, differences in the
participants' occupation and self-perceived English level exhibited significant effects to different
varieties of English on the evaluations of speaker status. Namely, participants who are students
evaluate the speakers of Australian English, General American English and Indian English
significantly higher than those participants who are in employment. Moreover, participants who
regard themselves as having a higher level of English tend to rate Standard Southern British
English significantly more highly than those who perceived themselves to have a lower level of
English. These findings suggest that social factors play a vital role in shaping attitudes towards
varieties of English. The study will contribute to the explanation for language attitude variations
in Taiwan.
Starks, D. and Paltridge, B. (1996). A Note on Using Sociolinguistic Methods to Study Nonnative Attitudes towards English. World Englishes 15, 217-224.
Global English
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Cho, Jean (Macquarie University)
Translational shift from language skills to physical attractiveness: the
commodification of the South Korean translation and interpreting industry
This paper explores the processes by which the translation and interpreting industry in South
Korea has been commodified following the neoliberal turn of Korean society since the 1997/8
Asian Financial Crisis. As English has emerged as a key terrain on which Koreans compete to
enhance individual competitiveness in the neoliberal logic of self-development (Piller and Cho
2013), the profession of English-Korean translators and interpreters has enjoyed popularity
among young and educated people for its exclusive association with English as well as its
cosmopolitan images. However, such heightened interest sparked by the enhanced status of
English as a global language has led to an oversupply of training institutes, which in turn has
produced an oversupply of translators and interpreters in the local market. The situation has been
aggravated by returnees who have significantly increased in number due to the popularity of early
English education abroad fuelled by the local phenomenon of "English fever." As the numbers of
highly proficient English speakers in Korean society have grown substantially, the reputation of
members of the profession as "Masters of English" (Choi and Lim 2002) has increasingly come
under scrutiny. With this, English-Korean translators and interpreters, once a rare phenomenon,
now flood the market, and members of the profession have been increasingly assessed not on
linguistic merits alone. One extra-linguistic feature that distinguishes a contemporary interpreter
from the pack is physical appearance. The paper will trace how perceptions of beauty have been
combined with English in the market through the recent phenomenon of eoljjang tongyuksa or
"beautiful interpreters" in order to illustrate a major shift in the identity of the profession from
"Masters of English" to "Goddesses of English."
The commodification of languages and speakers in late capitalism
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Choi, Lee Jin (Korea University)
Gender differences in the construction of 'authentic' and 'inauthentic'
As part of a general trend of celebrating English in neoliberal societies, English has become a
'must-have' language in contemporary South Korea, which demonstrates one's ability to
successfully participate in global communications and shows one's constant effort to develop his/
her skills and meet the needs of neoliberal logics (Park J., 2009; Park & Lo, 2012). Since
neoliberalism and globalization seemingly advocate the death of social class and gender difference,
South Korean people hold an unwavering belief in the 'promise' of English. Then, does the
acquisition of English allow all the South Korean people, both females and males, to be seen as an
authentic bilingual and a competitive member of the globalization world? Focusing on gender
discourses and their ideological construction, I analyze 2,245 entries of news articles written in
three major South Korean media between the 1930s and the present. The findings of my research
show that historical and contemporary discourses have constructed highly gendered chronotopic
representations of female and male bilinguals, which ratify only a tiny group of male elites as
'good' speakers of English and 'authentic' global citizens while framing female South Korean
bilinguals as 'inauthentic' and 'bad' bilinguals. They also demonstrate how this already-existing
and highly gendered image of 'good' and 'bad' bilingual has functioned as a kind of authoritative
discourse (Bakhtin, 1991), and reinscribed gender difference in contemporary South Korean
Bakhtin, M. M. (1991). Dialogic imagination: Four essays by M. M. Bakhtin. Austin, TX:
University of Texas Press.
Park, J. (2009). The local construction of a global language: ideologies of English in South
Korea. Berlin, Germany: Mouton de Gruyter.
Park, J., & Lo, A. (2012). Transnational South Korea as a site for a sociolinguistics of
globalization: markets, timescales, neoliberalism. Journal of Sociolinguistics, 16, 147164.
Articulating gender and sexuality in contemporary Asia
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Choi, Julie (The University of Melbourne)
Escaping into the landscape: Colour, performance, exhibition
In this presentation I draw on the collaborative artworks of two Japanese language exchange
students who studied in a university in Sydney for a year in 2013. Their artwork was first
displayed in Sydney in the form of a photographic exhibition and then as a ZINE in an exhibition
in Tokyo. Drawing on the notion of 'improvisation' on the habitus, I reflect on various texts they
used as artistic recreations of their performance to demonstrate: 1. how mediating artifacts such
as art, landscape, people, and exhibitions are used to reposition themselves and shift their social
conditions, and 2. how landscapes are not so much a backdrop but an interactive space where the
relationship between coloring (the landscape) and being colored (by the landscape) is reciprocal.
For these exchange students, the temporary time and unfamiliar space of Sydney provided
opportunities for finding ways to perform their escape from deeply sedimented notions such as
pride, shame and fear of failure. Unlike the more typical stories of exchange students expressing
what they have gained, learned and take back with them, these students seek to leave visible or
memorable marks of their presence either in or on physical, material or mental spaces of the
places and people they encountered.
In interviews, the performers shared information about how the project came about, the
unexpected encounters and conversations with everyday artifacts and people, how engagement
with artifacts shifted their ideas and feelings about the world, and what meaning this project and
exhibitions had for them in the end. Their story is about, in their words, "a process of how we are
'coloring' ourselves, how others have influenced our color and what we have finally become,
SOMATTA [colored]".
Linguascapes, sensescapes and semiotic landscapes
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Choi, Jinsook (UNIST)
"I am sorry, but I have to use Korean now": Framing and Self-positioning in
Public Encounters at an "English-only" University in Korea
Many studies in pragmatics and interactive sociolinguistics have shown pragmatic functions of
speech acts and framing strategies to organize interaction. However, few studies looked at the
ways in which language ideology can intervene the speaker's framing strategies and selfpositioning. To make this point, I explore interactions taking place in interlingual encounters at a
Korean university where English has been adopted as an official language. By adopting insights
from pragmatics and linguistic anthropology, I examine interactional and ideological processes
involved in metalinguistic discourses prior to public speech. As part of a larger ethnographic
research project, this study analyzes data collected through participant observation carried out in
faculty meetings and public lectures in the university. The examples in this paper involve
metalinguistic comments made by the speakers prior to their speech in contexts in which where
there was only one non-Korean participant. The ritualized metalinguistic discourse, "I am sorry,
but I have to speak Korean now," followed by the non-Korean participant's approval in public
encounters seemingly has a remedial function in interpersonal rituals. However, my ethnographic
data inform us that it serves to frame the event as well as to position the public self in relation to
the institutional language policy. Hence, while English is desired for internationalization of the
university, in everyday interaction, it turned into a hurdle for appropriate communication because
the policy of English as an official language is seen as an imposed norm. This study highlights
how speakers' language ideology contributes to the dynamic shaping of interaction and social
organization. This study makes a theoretical and practical contribution to understanding of
language practices and language policy, by suggesting the ways in which micro-level interaction is
situated within larger sociocultural processes.
Keywords: frame, self-positioning, interpersonal ritual, language ideology, metalinguistic
Polycentricity and changing language-scapes in globalizing Korea
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Chuarayapratib, Nantawan (Thammasat University)
Superdiversity resulting from translating texts using foreignization approach
According to Blommaert and Backus (2011), in the present globalized era, work on
communication in superdiverse environment…must proceed from observations of actual usage
and entails very high degree of variability. In other words, since language is the representation of
cultural practice in the world of globalization, actual language use comprises of variety, reflecting
cultural mobility. I believe that literature in translation is a representative of a mobility of
culture, especially when the translator employs foreignization, aiming to introduce SL social and
cultural elements to TL. The texts examined are culturally rich texts such as Si Phaendin,
focusing on the way address terms were translated. It was found that foreignization is useful to
keep kin terms or title terms that demonstrate the age gap or status difference. In this way, the
idea of respect in the Thai society and the address terms are introduced to the international
readers. Such introduction also emphasizes creativity and linguistic decentralization because such
terms as Chao Khun Father appear in an English book.
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Chun, Christian (City University of Hong Kong)
Co-constructing commonsense beliefs about globalization: Everyday
economists and public knowledge
Globalization has long become an important research focus in applied linguistics. However, more
research is needed on how people actually take up discourses of the global economy. This paper
aims to contribute to this nascent research by examining how everyday people co-construct their
knowledge of the global economy reflected in their online comments and observations in both
social and news media.
Building on Ruccio's (2008) work on economic representations, I first highlight the meaningmakings involved in how the global economy is usually framed and represented in the media by
mainstream economists, journalists, and politicians, producing privileged forms of what is seen as
professional and academic knowledge. I then address the ways in which everyday people take up
and mediate these officially sanctioned discourses in their process of mutually co-constructing
their own economic knowledge in public forums. These interdiscursive dialogicalities mobilizing
both hegemonic positions and accompanying counter-hegemonic responses will be illustrated and
analyzed from two data sources, one from social media, and the other from a major newspaper
website: 1) a video featuring street artwork on capitalism with passersby voting on this system
and being interviewed by the artist; 2) an opinion piece on the economy by Paul Krugman
featured in the New York Times.
Viewing language as a social semiotic (Halliday, 1978, 1994), I use a discourse analytic approach
(Scollon, 2001, 2008) in analyzing the data to explore the following question: How are these
discourses taken up and interrogated by the general lay public in creating their 'commonsense'
understandings of the economy, the economic system, and its effects on their everyday lives? The
paper concludes by exploring the extent to which it is possible that a critical Self can define
herself/himself beyond the discourses of the capitalist Other.
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Cobbinah, Alexander (SOAS London)
The dialectics of flexible alliances and identities in Lower Casamance
Lower Casamance/Senegal is an area where multilingualism is the norm and probably has been
for generations and where the application of essentialist labels and binary concepts to describe the
languages of their speakers and the relations between them is potentially misleading (Blommaert
2008, Lüpke & Storch 2013).
As a result of the slave trade and the (post-) colonial periods, the peoples of Casamance have been
exposed to high levels of instability and insecurity since the 1400s, favouring the creation of
stable but flexible defence alliances against outside forces (Hawthorne 2003). These historical
conditions, combined with their geographical location on the western fringe of the great Sahel
empires and a topography of impenetrable tidal swamps and forests with very fertile land have
shaped a cultural and linguistic area characterised by high linguistic diversity and flexible,
multiplex ties between highly multilingual populations within which virtually all cultural
practices (initiation rites, material culture, agricultural techniques etc.) are shared. Based on five
years of extended fieldwork, I will show how groups perceived as ethnic and linguistic 'minorities'
of Casamance are thus clustered under a common cultural umbrella, which is strengthening local
differences while enforcing social convergence and creating an ecological environment (see
Mufwene 2001, Mühlhäusler 1996, 2000) which is actively encouraging multilingualism as well as
language maintenance among other kinds of cultural exchange. This type of rural multilingualism
is typical for situations at the African Frontier (Kopytoff 1987), but is dramatically
underresearched (but see Good & Di Carlo, ms.). It is important for an understanding of versatile
and persisting practices of multilingualism at the margins of globalisation.
Keywords: language ecology, multilingualism, language contact, identity, language maintenance
Linguistic landscape (1)
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Cole, Deborah (University of Texas Pan-American)
Seeing through Dagadu (your eyes): The material force of signs and the
reconfigurement of superdiverse identities
This study investigates a value project to create and promote a commodity register to formulate a
"diverse identity" as emblematic of the city of Jogjakarta, Central Java. It takes as its data the
products of a popular souvenir company, DAGADU, which was launched by a group of
architecture students from Gadjah Mada University in 1994. The company's history spans the
final years of Soeharto's centralized government, the reformasi era of decentralization, and the
present. The signs produced for sale on t-shirts, stickers, key chains, and other souvenirs provide
rich data for advancing a materialist theory of signs that sees them "as material forces subject to
and reflective of conditions of production and patterns of distribution, and as constructive of
social reality…having real effects in social life" (Blommaert 2013: 38).
The analysis of these data reveal the ways that patterns of production and consumption contribute
to the (re)creation of ethnolinguistic hubs and peripheries. Further, it clarifies our understanding
of the complex dialogic and heteroglossic processes by which signs are emplaced in the linguistic
landscape, select their audiences for uptake, and participate in the enskillment and knowledging
of those who read and make use of them. Most importantly, the analysis helps us to make sense of
the ways that the superdiversity of contemporary globalization contributes to formulations of
identity categories that conflict with chronolgically prior or geographically distant formulations
and valuations of similar personae.
Agha, Asif. 2011. Commodity Registers. Journal of Linguistic Anthropology, 21/1: 22–53.
Blommaert, Jan. 2014. Ethnography, Superdiversity & Linguistic Landscapes: Chronicles of Diversity.
Multilingual Matters: Bristol.
Goebel, Zane. 2013. Competence to comprehend and knowledging. Language & Communication.
33: 366-375.
Margins, hubs, and peripheries in a decentralizing Indonesia (Part 3)
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Cope, Jennifer (The University of Sydney)
Expressions of blame and responsibility during the Global Financial Crisis
Abstract: The Global Financial Crisis has had a devastating effect on many economies, with
reverberations still being felt today. While the media has focused on the Crisis in affected
regions, there has been a surprising lack of attention on the actual language used by key players,
in particular to express blame and responsibility for the Crisis. Furthermore, little comparison has
been made between these language expressions in countries where English is the main language.
This paper is based on a critical discourse analytic study which compares the language and writing
strategies of influential opinion writers from the USA, the UK and Australia during the first half
of panic stage of the Global Financial Crisis (Wade, 2009), from September to December 2008.
The study found that the language of blame and responsibility was used by writers to ideologically
position themselves, their audiences, and the Crisis itself. Positioning was achieved through a
number of linguistic devices. These included direct and indirect quotations, with favouring or
disfavouring of quoted sources (White, 2012), seen to be used to support, or refute, arguments
relating to blame and responsibility for the Crisis. Additionally, using an adapted typology of
Benoit's (1997) crisis communication strategies, the study revealed that the negative concept of
blame was expressed in the language of the texts far more frequently than the more positive
concept of accepting responsibility, with a strong correlation between strategy use and writer
identity. This paper is highly relevant to the panel's discussion of language-based research into the
economic crisis. It will demonstrate how, in opinion texts, language relating to a crisis occurs
during the crisis, and provide insights into how the study's integrated analytical framework can be
used to examine the social construction of the Crisis in the texts.
crisis communication; discourse study; financial crisis; blame and responsibility;
Benoit, W.L. (1997). Image repair discourse and crisis communication. Public Relations Review
23(2), 177-186.
Wade, R. (2009). The global slump: Deeper causes and harder lessons. Challenge, 52(5), 5-24.
Crisis: What crisis?
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Cotter, Colleen (Queen Mary University of London)
(De)standardization in the newsroom: An internal perspective on news
products and newsmaking process
"Traceable recursivity" in online news stories
The notion of iterativity – the repetition and circulation of journalistic form and concurrent
cultural meaning – is fundamental to making and maintaining news discourse (Cotter 2010). The
recurrence of genre forms, such as the seasonal and anniversary stories that are a staple in
newspapers, have a function in reporting and writing routines and, as Goffman (1981) says, a
"specialized communicative role" that derives from these routines. However, this role is
challenged and refracted in the online news media context, as I will show with examples of single
stories and their changes and transitions over time and source. From both the academy and newscommunity points of view, the dynamics of online modalities and new media technologies have
reinforced, erased, or altered assumptions about what can be viewed as journalism, what counts
as news, who can participate, and how a news story should read. Examining iterativity and tracing
recursions of news stories through online conduits, as I do here, makes this point clear. At the
same time, it shows what discourse features and verbal and visual semiotic referents are retained
or misinterpreted outside of their source domain as a textual form makes the rounds through
space and time. One data set, for instance, shows how stock photos of London buses were used by
two separate US web media publications to illustrate a story whose news angle actually involved a
local bus in the rural north. The analysis also supports research on journalistic writing process
(Perrin 2003), story preformulation (Jacobs 1999), and the ritualization of genre form (Goffman
1981), as well as argues for the continued critical reading of media forms and meanings and the
need for an awareness of their provenance.
The new news: Online revolution and the practice of journalism in the global era
(See Vandenbussche, Wim for ‘Journalists as standard-language advocates and the dynamics of newsroom
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Coupland, Nikolas (Copenhagen University)
A sociolinguistics of the meta: Another look at reflexivity
In this presentation I argue that several of the sociolinguistic processes that are considered most
salient in the era of globalising late modernity find their basis in reflexivity – I’m thinking of the
commodification of language and culture, the mediatisation of social life, the stylisation of
identity, de-and re-traditionalisation, de- and re-authentication, and other ‘-isation’ dimensions of
sociolinguistic change highlighted for this conference. Reflexivity as a cultural condition facilitates
processes like these; reflexivity as a sociolinguistic perspective helps us to unlock them and to
integrate them theoretically.
Sociological forays into reflexivity have been made for twenty years, but there is less to show in
sociolinguistics (despite Jaworski, Coupland and Galasiński 2004). I ask why that might have
been the case, and find a partial answer in linguists’ conviction that language and discourse have
always had their meta dimensions: ‘so what’s new?’. What’s new might be that new demands for
reflexivity action and performance have arisen, also that new and diverse means of exploiting
reflexivity have become available.
The cumulative effect profoundly disturbs conventional understandings of ‘language in society’
and even of ‘sociolinguistic practices’. I would like to challenge the view that reflexivity is always
and only ‘a good thing’, and to consider both the upside and the downside (as they appear to me)
of meta-framed social conduct. But my general aim is to (re)open a debate about the implications
of sociolinguistics going more concertedly, even more knowingly, ‘meta’.
I introduce illustrative data from two ongoing collaborative projects: Peripheral Multilingualism
(ethnographic research on minority language sites, funded by the Finnish Academy) and Standard
Language in Contemporary Europe (a European network and research programme on language
(de)standardisation based in Copenhagen).
(Plenary lecture 1)
Discussant: Complex Sociolinguistics
Complex Sociolinguistics
(See also Jaffe, Alexandra For ‘Sociolinguistic Authenticities: From Traditional to Reflexive Perspectives’)
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Curdt-Christiansen, Xiao Lan (University of Reading)
Managing Language and Planning Education: Family Language Policy and
Private Language Tutoring in Singapore
Drawing on the theories of language policy and home literacy practices, this inquiry explores and
documents how Family Language Policy (FLP) is planned and managed by 414 sets of parents of
grade 2 and 3 children in Singapore with regard to parental involvement and investment in their
children's language and literacy education. With a focus on private language tutoring, this paper
examines the extent to which language policies at governmental and institutional levels influence
and interact with family language policy, and how these interactions between macro- and microlevel language policies influence language management in private domains. Data sources include
the de facto language practices in home domains, and the explicit and observable language
management, such as private tutoring in particular, provided by parents.
The study indicates that the disparate language managements, employed by parents from different
socio-economic backgrounds, reflect a complex of practices evoked by the political structure in
this multilingual society. The results of the study suggest that Singapore's educational system and
medium of instruction policy, which emphasize meritocracy and give priority to the English
language, may continue to perpetuate social inequality through unequal access to private language
management instruments.
Keywords: private language planning; language tutoring; Medium of Instruction; and Singapore
Nodes and trajectories (2)
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Curtin, Melissa (University of California, Santa Barbara)
The Semiotic Landscape of Taiwan's Sunflower Student Movement: A VerbalVisual Representation of “Alter-globalization"
In the spring of 2014, "Sunflower Student Movement" activists occupied Taiwan's Legislative Yuan
and demanded the withdrawal of the Cross Straits Services Trade Agreement which the KMTcontrolled government had negotiated with China without public input or bipartisan review. Two
key concerns were: the private, "black box" negotiations bore marks of KMT dominance and
Taiwan's authoritarian past; and excessive economic integration with the PRC will weaken
national security and diminish Taiwan's identity and set the stage for (re)unification with China.
In addition to a masterful use of social media, the movement's semiotic landscape was a central
strategy in garnering support to "save Taiwan" and to "protect democracy." An analysis of the
semiotic/linguistic landscape reveals three key themes concerning both ideologies and processes
of globalization: (1) a resistance to neoliberal economic policies that diminish local/national
oversight of the economy and environment, (2) a(n) (imagined) political cosmopolitan
connectivity with democracy movements around the world — past and present, and (3) an
amplification of Taiwan-centric identifications. These themes were cumulatively indexed via color
and flower memes (black and yellow; red and white; Sunflower, Wild Lily, Jasmine), poetic and
referential language (e.g., "Oppose the service trade, Defend democracy; Protect Taiwan from
becoming the next Hong Kong; Do not let Taiwan fall"), choice of language and script (e.g.,
traditional or simplified characters for Mandarin; Romanized Taiwanese Southern Min; English),
and language play (e.g., double entendre using Mandarin and Southern Min). As an example of
"justice globalism," the Sunflower Student Movement's semiotic landscaping is thus a striking
visual representation of one ideation of "alter-globalization" (Steger & Wilson, 2012).
Steger, M. & Wilson, E. (2012). Anti-globalization or alter-globalization? International Studies
Quarterly 56, 439-454.
Linguistic landscape (2)
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Cutler, Cecelia (City University of New York)
Mexican-American Hip hop as a force for social identity formation and
consciousness-raising among Latino Youth
How do Mexican-American and Chicano youth respond to discourses propagated by mainstream
media outlets about Latino immigrants and the dangers of Spanish and how do rap artists and
fans contest such messages? This paper explores a range of media topoi (Reisgal & Wodak, 2000)
centered on immigrants and immigration mainly from Mexico (Santa Ana, 2013), and the
counter-narratives that emerge in the raps of Chicano Hip Hop artists in various US cities.
Primarly targeting Mexican immigrants, Chavez (2008) refers to the Latino Threat Narrative – "a
set of culturally entrenched discourses that construct US Latinos as linguistically and culturally
dangerous" (cited in Carter 2014, p. 210). These discourses construct Latinos as unable or
unwilling to learn English and integrate into larger society, and as conspiring to reconquer the
southwestern US. Drawing on a corpus of 20 rap songs from five Mexican-American rappers plus
the videos of those songs posted on YouTube and 3000+ comments by YouTube viewers, the
analysis examines specific linguistic forms such as person deixis, the use of Hip Hop Nation terms
calqued into Spanish, as well as discursive moves that respond directly to specific elements in the
Latino Threat Narrative. Another way in which Chicano rappers and their fans counter this
narrative is in choosing to rap in Spanish, a language that is constructed by the media and by
classroom teachers as a threat to English, a way for Latinos to talk about or plot against
monolingual English speakers, and even as an act of racism (Santa Ana, 2002). I argue that these
discursive counter moves, deictic strategies, and linguistic choices allow Chicano youth to break
away from the constricting boundaries that limit the types of identities available to them (cf.
Carter, 2014; Zentella, 1996) and construct empowering and uplifting images of the self.
“Hip-hop as a site of pedagogy”: Implications of hip-hop culture for local pedagogies
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Dąbrowska, Marta (Jagiellonian University)
English as a we-code. Functions of English in Facebook status updates of
non-native users
English, the lingua franca of the modern era, has, among other contexts, featured markedly as a
popular language of computer-mediated communication, and notably of Facebook posts, written
not only by native or second language speakers, but also users of English as a foreign language.
The aim of this paper, motivated by my earlier study of just three national groups, is to investigate
the frequency and function of English language Facebook profile updates of 100 (50 women and
50 men) users of English as a foreign language representing 40 European, Asian, African and
Latin American countries belonging to the Expanding Circle. Approached from the point of view
of the code choice, the study will attempt to identify topics and language functions that motivate
the users to choose English as opposed to their native tongue, with the aim to demonstrate the
role of English as the we-code in a social networking service; it will also analyse the form of the
updates, in juxtaposition with samples of native speakers' posts. Additionally, the code choice will
be investigated in respect of the gender of the post authors in order to establish similarities and
differences between women and men as regards their language preference, the meanings typically
expressed in English as well as the form of the posts.
Blommaert, Jan, 2010. The Sociolinguistics of Globalization, Cambridge: CUP
Coates, Jennifer, 2004. Women, Men and Language, 3rd edition, Harlow: Pearson Education Ltd.
Danet, Brenda, Herring, Susan (eds), 2007, The Multilingual Internet: Language, Culture and
Communication Online, Oxford: OUP
Dąbrowska, Marta, 2013, Variation in Language: Faces of Facebook English, Frankfurt am Main: Peter
Lang Edition
Kachru, Braj (ed.), 1992, The Other Tongue: English across Cultures, 2nd edition, Urbana, Il:
University of Illinois Press
Keywords: online social networking, code choice, ELF, CMC, genderlects
Global English
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Daniluk, Lukasz (University of Roehampton)
Theoretical and methodological challenges to investigating identity in a
transnational Polish hip-hop community
Since the accession of Poland to the EU in 2004, over half a million Polish migrants have settled
in the UK ( forming various diasporic
communities across the country. It is a fact that these diasporic communities are in constant
dialogue with two cultural centres; Poland and Britain with varying degrees of de-centering and
re-centering occurring as the diasporas evolve as sociocultural units with attendant tensions. The
youth often constitute a dynamic cohort in these sociological processes and hip-hop scholarship
offers a framework to research relevant sociolinguistic phenomena. The regular hip-hop concerts
and cultural events (freestyle battles, break dance competitions, graffiti exhibitions, even cook
outs [!]) connect the two centres and constitute forums for observation. My objective in this
paper is to explore 'global linguistic flows' (Alim et al 2009), 'mobility' (Pennycook 2012) and
Heller's (2010) 'postnationalism', as frameworks for investigating the location of transnational
Polish hip-hop artistes in the Global Hip-Hop Nation. The research, from which this paper
springs, seeks to understand the theoretical/methodological challenges to defining sociolinguistic
notions such as community, nationality, identity, ownership and membership in relation to
globalization. The study accesses and gathers information on everyday activity and the
involvement of Polish hip-hop fans and artists from various areas of London and Warsaw in social
networks and social media sites. The paper will focus on practices of mapping and constructing
space-based identities vis-à-vis the fluidity, mobility, contact and hybridization that define the
context. The paper aims to identify and characterise Polish hip-hop and examine the influences to
which the culture is exposed in Britain, the negotiation between the various stakeholders as
reflected in their signifying linguistic and cultural practices.
Keywords: Identity, community, hip-hop, mobility, hybrydisation.
Hip-hop and rock pop
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Darvin, Ron (University of British Columbia)
Superdiversity, social class, and learner investment
As post-industrialist societies continue to be reorganized by more complex forms of migration
and knowledge circulation, or what Blommaert (2013) calls superdiversity, new modes of
inclusion and exclusion are constructed. Implicated in these modes, migrant learners, equipped
with varying levels of economic, cultural, and social capital, occupy segmented spaces, traversing
national boundaries while navigating online and offline contexts. This fluidity of movement
through transideological spaces involves the valuing and devaluing of their capital, impacting their
investment in their own identities and learning (Norton, 2013), and ultimately, their social and
educational trajectories. Drawing on Bourdieu's (1990) conceptions of habitus and symbolic
capital, this paper asserts that social class is the most powerful lens through which we can
investigate these shifts. Data from a comparative study of migrant learners from contrasting social
class locations in Vancouver (Darvin & Norton, 2014) illuminate how these differences can lead
to the development of divergent literacy practices and imagined identities. By examining issues of
structure and learner agency, this paper problematizes how social class operates even in the most
invisible of spaces. Drawing on data from the Vancouver study, it raises questions on how social
class needs to be conceptualized further (Block, 2014) to reflect the complexities of the new world
Block, D. (2014). Social class in applied linguistics. Oxon: Routledge.
Blommaert, J. (2013). Ethnography, superdiversity and linguistic landscapes: Chronicles of complexity.
Bristol: Multilingual Matters.
Bourdieu, P. (1990). The logic of practice. Stanford: Stanford University Press
Darvin, R. & Norton, B. (2014b). Social Class, Identity, and Migrant Students. Journal of
Language, Identity & Education, 13(2), 111-117.
Norton, B. (2013). Identity and language learning: Extending the conversation (2nd ed.). Bristol, UK:
Multilingual Matters.
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Davies, Catherine (The University of Alabama)
Globalization and the Sociolinguistic Ecology of an American Public
ecology, stigmatized dialect, institution, interactional sociolinguistics, ideology
This study examines the effects of globalization on the sociolinguistic ecology of the leading
American public university in a state where a stigmatized dialect of English is spoken. It
considers institutional entities tasked with teaching English, varieties of English typically spoken
in institutional roles (e.g., non-academic employees, faculty, undergraduates, graduate teaching
assistants from South Asia and China). The local context includes an influx of Spanish-speakers
in low-wage jobs and a German car manufacturing plant. Within the framework of interactional
sociolinguistics (Goffman 1974; Gumperz 1982; Tannen 1993; Heller and Martin-Jones 2001;
Davies 2007; Blommaert & Rampton 2011) the methodology employs interviews and participant
observation from a "constructionist" theoretical perspective (Ochs 1993). The study links the
situated linguistic action of individuals to the macroanalysis of the linguistic communities of the
institution, which is itself a focus for competing language ideologies (Bhatt 2002) within a
broader globalized context.
Bhatt, R. M. (2002). "Experts, dialects, and discourse." International Journal of Applied Linguistics,
12 (1): 74-109.
Blommaert, J., and B. Rampton. (2011). "Language and superdiversity." Diversities: An online
journal published by UNESCO and MPI MMG, Vol. 13, No. 2
Davies, C. E. (2007). "Language and identity in discourse in the American South," In Selves and
identities in narrative and discourse, Bamberg, M., et al (eds.). pp. 71-88. Amsterdam:
Goffman, E. (1974). Frame Analysis: An essay on the organization of experience. Cambridge, MA:
Harvard University Press.
Gumperz, J. J. (ed.) (1982). Language and social identity. Cambridge: CUP.
Heller, M., and M. Martin-Jones (eds.) 2001. Voices of Authority: Education and Linguistic
Difference. London: Ablex.
Ochs, E. 1993. "Constructing social identity: A language socialization perspective." Research on
Language and Social Interaction, 26.287-306.
Tannen, D. (1993). Framing in Discourse. New York: OUP.
Language mobility
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
De Costa, Peter (Michigan State University)
From black box to black hole: Unpacking the designer student immigration
apparatus in Singapore
Southeast Asian migration to Singapore in the 21st century has gone upscale – with the
authorities targeting designer immigrants (Simmons, 1999), that is, skilled people who can help
position it as a global city (Wee, 2014). Central to this global city narrative in the age of
superdiversity (Vertovec, 2009) is the need to attract proficient English-speaking migrants,
because English is seen to index cosmopolitanism.
However, as Blommaert (2005) reminds us, when discourses travel, their corresponding values do
not travel alongside them. This phenomenon became distinctly clear to a designer student
immigrant from Vietnam, Daniella, who is the focus of this paper. Daniella was part of a complex
recruitment apparatus set up by the Singapore government. Rather than dwelling on her linguistic
deficiencies, Daniella optimized her English language learning opportunities.
Drawing on data from a year-long school-based ethnography, I illustrate the processes underlying
the designer student immigration infrastructure. As the findings will also reveal, plans to have
Daniella take up Singaporean citizenship backfired because she used her enhanced linguistic
capital to advance migration aspirations to join members of her extended family in the United
States. By focusing on how agentive students like Daniella were able to navigate and subsequently
outsmart authorities, I call into question the vast resources that were poured into the black hole
of a failed recruitment system, which inevitably also generated social tensions with her
Singaporean classmates.
Keywords: language and migration, cosmopolitanism, superdiversity
Language and the black box of migration: Asian and African perspectives
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
De Fina, Anna (Georgetown University)
Sociolinguistic complexity in contact zones
Recent theorizations on the impact of globalization on social and communicative practices have
spurred a reflection on the implications of mobility and global interconnections for
sociolinguistics (see Blommaert 2010, Coupland 2010). Central to such reflection is the idea that
sociolinguists need to abandon linear and binary models in the analysis of language practices and
explore instead the complex interplay of factors, influences and identities that lurks behind the
apparent simplicity of linguistic communication. Such exploration can only happen through
qualitative ethnographic methodologies. In this paper I reflect on how an approach open to
complexity allows for a deeper understanding of sociolinguistic phenomena taking as a starting
point an ethnographic project that I carried out in a "contact zone" (Pratt 1994) cohabited by
Sicilian children and children from a variety of other countries: An inner city school in Sicily. I
suggest that our habitus as researchers implies reasoning in terms of binary opposition categories
about speakers and language varieties such as migrant versus local, boy versus girl, standard
versus dialect, foreign language versus local language and so forth, leading us also to think in
terms of linear pairings of identities and languages, identities and discourse practices. However,
understanding complex realities such as the ones represented by contact zones involves thinking
in terms of coexistence and cohabitation of languages, language practices, cultural images and
about multidimensionality of scales. In brief, it involves regarding sites of interaction more in
terms of nodes within systems of semiotic and personal relations at different scales, than in terms
of simple hierarchical or linear functions. Furthermore it implies looking more carefully at the
role of notions such as 'desire,' 'emotion', 'playfulness' in language practices. Although
sociolinguistics is still far from offering models that can fully account for those complexities, we
can start by paying close attention to local meaning making practices and relations. Thus, I will
discuss how in order to analyze children's use of language in this classroom (and undoubtedly in
other contact zones) we need to consider the simultaneous effects and interplay of different scales
(for example, social class, origin, geographical location, gender, group, individual), of different
modes of communication, of different technologies, of different ideologies and of different and
often conflicting language and non-language related desires.
Complex sociolinguistics
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
De Ridder, Reglindis (Dublin City University)
Pluricentric languages and the linguistic norm in translation. A case study.
Minority and smaller language areas, generally, rely more on translation activity than majority
language areas do. As a result, language users often are exposed to translations and the linguistic
norm upheld therein. The written standard, therefore, is disseminated to a significant extent
through translated, rather than original texts. In many such language areas, subtitles, in
particular, have become significant disseminators of the written standard and, thus, can be an
underestimated language-planning tool. This paper uses the Dutch language area as a case study.
In smaller, pluricentric language areas, like the Dutch language area, linguistic norms can be
contentious. In the late 1990s, a Belgian Dutch ('Flemish') national variety was recognised next to
a Netherlandic Dutch variety. The written standard shared by Belgium and the Netherlands,
however, is still exclusively Netherlandic. Both authors and translators have criticised this. This
paper investigates the use of the Belgian national variety of Dutch in a diachronic corpus of
22,000 television subtitles aiming at a Belgian audience and compares it to the common practice
in both original, and translated Dutch-language fiction using corpus-linguistics techniques. The
aim is to establish the extent to which marked Belgian Dutch lexis is used. The practice of
including marked Belgian Dutch lexis in subtitles in Belgium could provide a counterbalance to
the on-going purist approach of the transnational publishing industry in the wider Dutch
language area. This could contribute to the development of a richer, more inclusive linguistic
norm, reflecting the diversity of the pluricentric Dutch language with all its national varieties, i.e.
not only Netherlandic and Belgian, but also Surinam and Caribbean Dutch. This analysis yields
original data in relation to the use and dissemination of Belgian Dutch variants and in doing so
illustrates the language-planning scope of (audiovisual) translation in general.
Multilingualism (1)
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
De Rycker, Antoon (Taylor's University)
Reconceptualising Crisis: 'Doing Crisis' as a Recontextualised Social Practice
Abstract : This paper examines whether a discourse-analytical approach to 'doing crisis' as a social
practice can advance our understanding of how crises are perceived, experienced and constructed.
Following Van Leeuwen's (2008) socio-semantic model, collectively shared cognitions about crisis
will be viewed as situated in social practice, i.e. the more or less regulated actions that 'crisis
participants' perform in a particular context. Under this view, the recontextualisation of 'doing
crisis' instances in discourse and the linguistic substitutions involved provide a valuable resource
for uncovering what crisis entails. After outlining Van Leeuwen's analytical framework, this paper
will explore the potential of this approach, using, among other things, the media discourse data
analysed in Matus-Mendoza and De Rycker (2013). Secondly, an attempt will be made to integrate
findings with Sum and Jessop (2013), Vollmer (2013) and De Rycker and Don (2013), all three of
which emphasize the role that language plays in the crisis life cycle. Finally, it will be discussed
whether an integrated 'social practice' approach has practical relevance.
De Rycker, A. & Don, Z. M. (2013) (eds.), Discourse and crisis: Critical perspectives. Amsterdam/
Philadelphia: John Benjamins.
Matus-Mendoza, M., & De Rycker, A. (2013). Mexico City and the H1N1 health crisis: The
discursive interconnectedness of viruses, kidnappings, policy fiascos and tumbling pesos. In
A. De Rycker & Z. M. Don (eds.), Discourse and crisis: Critical perspectives (pp. 395–433).
Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins.
Sum, N. L., & Jessop, B. (2013). Towards cultural political economy: Putting culture in its place in
political economy. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.
Van Leeuwen, T. (2008). Discourse and practice: New tools for critical discourse analysis. Oxford:
Oxford University Press.
Vollmer, H. (2013). The sociology of disruption, disaster and social change: Punctuated cooperation.
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Crisis: What crisis?
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Del Percio, Alfonso (University of Oslo)
Making Refugees: Language and the Politics of Asylum
Since 2006, the Italian coast has been the destination of African and Asian migrants fleeing forms
of political and economic instability and seeking asylum. In order to regulate the migrants' access
to political recognition, the Italian state invests in a set of bureaucratic technologies such as
standardized interrogation techniques to enable the identification and categorization of these
often undocumented individuals. Language plays a central role in these hearings since the Italian
authorities believe this communicative resource provides a link to asylum seekers' countries of
origin, to assessing whether their reported life-stories are authentic, and to the credibility of the
claims of persecution these individuals make. Indeed, not communicating their own history in
what interrogators perceive to be THE appropriate way is regarded as an index of untruthfulness
and a condition that will lead to rejection and expulsion.
To support these individuals in their applications for asylum, non-profit organizations train
asylum-seekers to produce the communicatively acceptable life-stories needed to meet the criteria
of "persecution" that the political status of refugee requires. In exploring the gatekeepers' role in
creating the framework for migrants' biographies, this paper discusses the linguistic and
communicative coaching practices provided by one of the non-profit organizations operating in a
major urban center in Italy. This contribution questions the forms of communicative expertise including ideologies of language, culture, the speaker, and the nation-state – that are mobilized by
these training practices. Furthermore, it inquires into the logics regulating the migrant's access to
or exclusion from the provided communicative resources. Finally, it investigates the conditions
under which trained migrants can convert the acquired cultural capital into political legitimacy
and how they effectively capitalize on internalized communication scripts in the bureaucratic
situations encountered during their application for asylum.
Keywords: Language and migration, ideology, inequality, political economy
Language and the black box of migration: Asian and African perspectives
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Delaloye, Laura (University of Lausanne)
Restandardizing the front-page splash: how journalists argue in the
By taking an interactionist perspective on newsmaking process, this paper focuses on how
journalists refer to media norms and rules or distance from them in the decision-making process
during editorial conferences. In these settings, one observes a tension between global and local
constraints on media products: that is anticipating regional audience's expectations and coping
with the national media landscape. The aim of the paper is to better understand how rules and
routines are negotiated and lead to renew a specific practice: the choice of the front-page splash.
The analysis is based on the video and transcription of a Monday editorial conference at the
Corriere del Ticino, a regional newspaper of the Italian-language area of Switzerland. The
journalists who made the Sunday edition are criticized by the editor-in-chief for having opened
with international news, instead of having chosen an original and regional front-page splash.
Facing criticism, the journalists reconstruct, explain and justify the decision-making process that
leads them to open with international news.
We use a multimethod of analysis combining tools from Conversation analysis (CA), Interaction
analysis (IA) and argumentation theory to describe the argumentative strategies enacted to deal
with the front-page splash as a glocalized media product.
(De)standardization in the newsroom: An internal perspective on news products and
newsmaking process
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Deumert, Ana (University of Cape Town)
Beyond Southern Data and Towards Southern Theory: A Sociolinguistic
Reading of Glissant's 'Poetics of Relations’
In this paper I consider two developments which have re-shaped the discipline of sociolinguistics
in recent years: (i) the consolidation of a sociolinguistics of globalization which systematically
builds on data from both metropolitan and non-metropolitan contexts; and (ii) the slow but
steady globalization of sociolinguistics, that is, the growing involvement of scholars and
institutions outside of Euro-America as well as incipient hemispheric collaboration.
Writing 'from the South' – albeit as a Creole intellectual – and drawing on the work of the
Martinican philosopher and poet Éduard Glissant, I argue that his notion of entanglement
(intrication) provides sociolinguists with a more productive way for thinking about globalization
than the spatial metaphor of a centre-periphery dichotomy. Not only is the social world one that
is intrinsically twisted together, rhizomatic and entwined, a world where practices resonate with
one another and feed off one another (écho-monde), it is also a world which is shaped by the
fundamental opacity (opacité) of the Other. Glissant's call for a 'right to opacity' challenges what
theory building in the social sciences is all about: understanding and making the alterity of the
other transparent. Instead, Glissant asks us to develop theories of difference and singularity, not
universality, and to accept that knowledge is always fragmented and partial.
By presenting a Glissantian perspective, I also hope to contribute to the larger project of southern
theory, understood as knowledge practices that have emerged and are emerging in the South,
shaped, especially, by experiences of colonialism and large-scale socio-economic inequality
(Hountondji 1997; Chakrabarty 2000; Connell 2007, 2014; Comaroff and Comaroff 2012).
Although the paper is primarily theoretical, I illustrate my argument with examples from my own
research practice in South Africa, a geopolitical location which sits uneasily between the
prototypical North and the prototypical South.
Keywords: southern theory, Glissant, entanglement, opacity
Mainstreaming the periphery in sociolinguistics
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Diao, Wenhao (University of Arizona)
Putonghua with Shanghai Characteristics: Indexing Place in A Translocal
I examine in this paper a hybrid Mandarin literacy practice that is emerging in Shanghai. Shanghai
is known in China for its politics around place identity and language. China's massive migration
and its ambitious campaign to promote Putonghua (standard Mandarin) have further led the local
linguistic variety, Shanghainese, to directly compete with the national standard in the city.
Moreover, as communication takes place increasingly on the Internet – a translocal platform
where the physical sense of place becomes absent – construction of place is now more dependent
on language. However, because Chinese input systems are often based on the official phonetic
system for transcribing Putonghua, typing in Chinese requires knowledge of standard Mandarin
phonology and thus digital literacy practices in Chinese further contribute to the status of
Putonghua as a translocal variety.
Drawing on the notion of indexicality (Johnstone et al., 2006; Silverstain, 1976; 2003), I describe
how a local sentence-final particle, va, enters Mandarin literacy practices to index place on the
Internet. My evidence comes from the Leidon Weibo Corpus (n.d.), a searchable corpus consisting
of 5,103,566 messages posted on a popular Twitter-like social media site called Weibo. Due to the
lack of a written form in the Putonghua-based Chinese script, the particle va is a case in point in
which the regional variety cannot be accurately represented in writing. Yet, by employing both
quantitative and qualitative analyses, I demonstrate how va is not only (mis)represented online; it
is also standardized and circulated to display the linguistic local and discursively resist migration.
As I illustrate how people in Shanghai creatively engage in hybrid Mandarin practices to construct,
imagine, and rework a sense of place, the findings also shed light on the perplexing relationship
between language, place, and globalization in traditionally non-Mandarin speaking Chinese cities
Johnstone, B., Andrus, J., and Danielson, A. E. (2006). Mobility, indexicality, and the
enregisterment of "Pittsburghese." Journal of English Linguistics, 34(2), 77-104.
Leidon Weibo Corpus. (n.d.). Retrieved from
Silverstein, M. (1976). Shifters, linguistic categories, and cultural description. In: Basso, K.H.,
and Selby, H.A. (Eds.), Meaning in Anthropology. University of New Mexico Press,
Albuquerque, pp. 11-55.
Silverstein, M. (2003). Indexcial order and the dialectics of sociolinguistic life. Language &
Communication, 23, 193-229.
Keywords: Hybrid linguistic practice, Indexicality, Place, Mandarin, China
Dialects and migration
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Djenar, Dwi Noverini (The University of Sydney)
Adolescent interaction in fiction and peripheralisation of languages
During the New Order, the center-periphery relations in Indonesia were fraught with problems,
not least because for a long time, the government systematically undermined local identities.
Nearly fifteen years of decentralization following the end of that era, the relations are far more
stable than ever before. The success of decentralization is due in a large part to the opportunities
given to citizens for greater political participation and expression of local identities (Meitzner
2013). How is this revival of local identities signaled in other domains of social life? I address this
question by examining adolescent interaction in "teenlit", a fiction genre concerned with
representing youth modernity. In teenlit, adolescents are presented as individuals with awareness
of the impact of globalization on local practices. Middle-class adolescents speaking in Jakartan
Indonesian are juxtaposed with those from other ethnolinguistic groups to make a point about the
peripheral status of ethnic languages. In this sense, teenlit has become a form of discourse on
globalization through which self-conscious alignment with local identities is indexed.
My aim is to show the layered irony in this representation. In portraying adolescents as
champions of ethnic languages, the authors in effect accentuate and affirm the growing linguistic
and social inequality characteristic of globalization. This irony comes on top of another irony:
colloquial Indonesian – the language spoken by the protagonists – had itself, until very recently,
been relegated to the periphery by the state. Yet another irony, the authors' "linguistic activism" is
expressed in a genre known for its global roots. This representation of peripheral languages
alongside Indonesian and English is akin to Bakhtin's "stratification" of language.
Meitzner, Marcus. 2013. Indonesia's decentralization: The rise of local identities and the survival of the
nation-state. Paper presented at the Indonesia Update, Australian National University, 20
Margins, hubs, and peripheries in a decentralizing Indonesia (Part 1)
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Doherty, Liam (University of British Columbia)
Multidirectional Superdiversity and Language Learning: An Examination of
the Mobile and Social Networking Practices of Chinese L2 Learners
In the triumphalist received folksonomy that has become the dominant discourse regarding online
second language learning and socialization, the world population of Internet users has been
evenly carved up among a few Western social networking giants, towards which English language
learners from "innovation-deprived" parts of the world inexorably gravitate in a unidirectional flow
towards the perceived soft power of the Anglophone world and culture. However, other outcomes
and other flows of sociolinguistic capital are both possible and inevitable in a world of
increasingly superdiverse populations and power structures where meanings must be negotiated
within complex and reciprocal regimes of restriction (censorship) and enablement (innovation).
Signs of Anglophones from developed Western countries investing in linguistic identities on
Chinese social media are one example of the complex multidirectional nature of globalized
sociolinguistic power flows. This study examines the literacy practices of four Canadian Chinese
L2 learners in social networking and mobile contexts, and concludes that their views of written
literacy as being essential to oral language competence are mediated both by increasing ease-ofaccess to the tools of literate Chinese production and their prior familiarity with the digital
affordances of online texts, raising questions about whether some language learners may be
leveraging globalized "funds of knowledge" about the dynamics of social networking and mobile
communication to bypass assumed obstacles to their literacy development.
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Donzelli, Aurora (Sarah Lawrence College)
Transnational neoliberal democracy and the vintage aesthetics of the margins
in Post-Suharto Political Oratory
Following the 1998 demise of the New Order regime, Indonesia has become the stage of a
rampant ideology of transnational neoliberal democracy. Epitomized by appeals to a new lexicon
of "transparency", "vision", and "mission", this new ideology emerged as the discursive leitmotiv
underlying the structural implementation of a radical program of decentralization endorsed by
transnational neoliberal agencies (IMF, World Bank, ADB). Drawing on audiovisual data recorded
in a peripheral region of upland Sulawesi, this paper examines the re-articulation of the interplay
between speech forms and forms of political rationality in contemporary Indonesia. While at first
sight Post-New Order public discourse seems pervaded by a hegemonic ideology of transnational
neoliberal democracy that leaves little room for local interpretations, a closer look reveals a more
complex picture. This paper engages this complexity by offering an account of subversive forms of
intertextuality produced through an emerging aesthetics of "the vintage" and "the peripheral". It
discusses how the usage of regional language (Toraja) and the deployment of formulas of
anticolonial rhetoric are used to convey enhanced oratorical agency and political radicalism.
Besides undermining the authority of bureaucratic Indonesian, the deployment of linguistic
"pastness" and locality allows an aesthetic re-articulation of Indonesian historical consciousness
that challenges two pillars of the New Order's cultural politics of Time and Space: the imagining
of time as anchored in an aesthetics of "present-ness" (Pemberton 1994) and the representation of
the State as a spatial entity marked by "vertical encompassment" (Gupta & Ferguson 2002).
Through framing political discourse as a site for examining the shifts in the politics of locality and
temporality currently taking place in Indonesia, this case brings the focus on situated
communicative interaction to bear on the study of the zones of cultural friction (Tsing 2005)
underlying the global processes of late capitalism.
Margins, hubs, and peripheries in a decentralizing Indonesia (Part 2)
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Dovchin, Sender (University of Technology, Sydney)
Sultana, Shaila (University of Dhaka)
The Linguascape of Young People in the Asian Peripheries
Drawing on data from two intensive ethnographic studies conducted in Mongolia and Bangladesh,
we explore the linguascape of young adults in peripheral Asian countries, who have not been
subject to migration and transnational mobility, but nonetheless participate in the global flows of
linguistic and cultural diversity. Unravelling the intricate relationship between young people's
locatedness in different types of 'scapes' and their engagements with transnational linguistic and
cultural resources, the idea of linguascape problematizes the notion of periphery. Instead of
assuming that people and places are peripheral, linguascape explores how people and their
language practices are located in relation to the intersections of different scapes. Drawing on
Arjun Appadurai's theory of 'scapes' and the 'translingual' movement in sociolinguistics, we
develop the notion of 'linguascape' - transnational linguistic resources circulating across the
current transnational world of flows. Following translingualism, linguascape not only moves
beyond the traditional terms such as 'bi/multilingualism' and 'code-switching', but also concerns
the recombination of linguistic and semiotic resources as central to one's language practices.
Linguascape further enhances the analytic potentiality of translingualism, which has not yet
adequately addressed the diversity in individuals' language practices in relation with various other
scapes. Linguascape thus explores five dimensions of 'scapes' – ethnoscape (transnational mobility
of people), mediascape (flows of media, images, information, culture), technoscape (movement of
technology), financescape (flows of capital and money), and ideoscape (flows of ideas and
ideologies) in relation to one's language practice. This approach provides us with a better
understanding of differences in young people's translingual practices based on the intersecting
dynamics of rural/urban, privileged/unprivileged and other backgrounds, factors and
Linguascapes, sensescapes and semiotic landscapes
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Dray, Susan (Manchester Metropolitan University)
Making sense of 'non-standard' language practices: rethinking 'language' and
'languages' by looking at knowledge spaces
This paper deals with two research sites traditionally regarded as sites of 'language contact':
Jamaica in the Caribbean, and an inner city youth club in the north of England.
Both of these spaces were rich in nonstandard language practices ('Creole' or 'Patwa' in Jamaica
and 'youth language' or 'slang' in England's urban centres). The ubiquity of nonstandard spoken
and written language in these spaces suggested that these language forms were valued in
particular ways by those who produced them. However, the relationship between these forms,
prestige and 'code choice' did not seem to be adequately accounted for by the established models
for dealing with language variation in multilingual contexts, such as codeswitching, diglossia and
crossing, which made some data look nonsensical, inappropriate or like parody.
Taking a case study approach using linguistic and ethnographic data from these projects, I use the
concept of 'knowledge space' from the field of STS (Science, Technology and Society) to develop a
way of theorising language that enables me to explore the role of language in meaning-making by
looking at how it is known by those who generate it.
Taking into account what speakers know about their language practices, how they know 'language'
and how they use it to create meanings from moment to moment, I treat language as
performative: I show how meanings are performed in practices, are time- and space-specific, and
are contingent on the relations between linguistic and nonlinguistic ways of knowing, on
configurations of materials, technologies, humans (of course) and sometimes gods.
I argue that taking knowledge practices into account is important for understanding how language
works in context, and brings insights to understanding how communication breakdowns occur.
This suggests alternative ways for theorising language in terms of language 'contact' in
'multilingual' spaces and for processes of ‘globalisation'.
Language ideology (1)
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Du, Biyu (The University of Hong Kong)
Nigerians in Chinese criminal courts: the legal-lay encounter in the periphery
The past decades have witnessed China’s emergence into the global spotlight as it undergoes
economic growth and social changes. For the first time in its history, the country has become a
destination attracting many tourists, investors and an influx of migrants. While the movement of
people elsewhere is primarily from the periphery to the core, migration to China takes a new
form, manifesting “superdiversity” in terms of categories of migrants (Vertovec, 2007): composed
of professionals and entrepreneurs from developed countries as well as traders from developing
nations. Nigerians, among other south-south migration population to China, are the most visible
group. Their high profile is not merely owing to the number of migrants, but can also be ascribed
to the media coverage of social issues and criminal offences that are associated with this influx.
This paper, drawing on a four-month fieldwork in a Chinese city that is reported to be most
densely populated by Nigerian migrants, empirically illustrates how Nigerians interact with
Chinese criminal justice system. What challenges does this globalised mobility bring to China
that is traditionally an emigration country? How does the state respond to diasporas-related
multilingualism in the legal sphere? With analysis of authentic trial data, the paper reveals the
complexity of interpreter-mediated legal-lay communication in Chinese criminal courtroom and
the interaction dilemma when interlocutors with truncated linguistic repertoire rely on English as
the lingua franca. Adding to existing research on sociolinguistics of globalisation, the paper
explores how the state power is consolidated in the form of linguistic resources and the language
ideologies that lead to new forms of inequality (Blommaert, 2010). Blommaert, J. (2010). The sociolinguistics of globalization. Cambridge University Press.
Vertovec, S. (2007). Super-diversity and its implications. Ethnic and Racial Studies, 30(6),
1024-1054. Keywords: Nigerian migrants, China, multilingualism, institutional discourse, inequality
Multilingualism (1)
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Duane, Lucas (Université du Luxembourg)
Staging an alternative standard for Balearic vernaculars in Facebook
In 2011, the regional government of the Spanish Balearic Islands made language policy changes
that altered the official status of the Catalan language in the archipelago. Since then, intense
language ideological debates (Blommaert, 1999) have been taking place in the region, with
political parties, labor unions and a set of "language lobbies" participating. In a diversion strategy
similar to the one performed in Valencia (Pradilla, 2004), the government has simultaneously
discussed the relationship between the Catalan standard and the Balearic vernaculars. This debate
also explicitly surfaces in new media (Duane, 2014). This paper focuses on the construction of a
space in Facebook where language lobbies try to legitimize their non-standard writing of Catalan,
in which language policing (Blommaert et al., 2009) plays a central role. On the basis of an online
ethnographic approach (see Androutsopoulos 2013), analyzing a network of Facebook pages and
their participants, this paper explores the discourse and functional dynamics of the network. The
analysis points to the significant role of online participation in a) the ongoing language debates in
the Balearic Islands and b) the new articulation of old linguistic claims in the era of globalization.
Androutsopoulos, J. (2013). Participatory Culture and Metalinguistic Discourse: Performing
and Negotiating German Dialects on YouTube. In D. Tannen & A. M. Trester (Eds.),
Discourse 2.0. Language and New Media (pp. 47–71). Washington DC: Georgetown University
Blommaert, J. (Ed.). (1999). Language Ideological Debates. Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton.
Blommaert, J., Kelly-Holmes, H., Lane, P., Leppänen, S., Moriarty, M., Pietikäinen, S., &
Piirainen-Marsh, A. (2009). Media, multilingualism and language policing: an introduction.
Language Policy, 8(3), 203–207.
Duane, L. (2014). New Language Policy in the Balearic Islands: an Online Window to the
Linguistic Authority Shifts for Catalan and Castilian Languages. Manuscript submitted to
Journal of Linguistic Anthropology.
Pradilla, M. À. (2004). El laberint valencià: apunts per a una sociolingüística del conflicte. Benicarló,
Spain: Onada Edicions.
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Duchêne, Alexandre (University of Fribourg)
Engaging the world of language work/ers
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Duran, Chatwara (University of Houston)
"Do you speak English?": Language Ideology and Hierarchy in a Refugee
Moving across national and linguistic borders may affect life experiences of family members from
different generations in a variety of ways. This is because each member has different sociocultural
and sociopolitical constructs, viewpoints, and interests. This study employs linguistic
ethnography (Blommaert, 2007) to identify language ideologies and practices among recentlyarrived Karenni families living in Phoenix, Arizona. They are originally from Burma but had lived
in a refugee camp in Thailand for more than fifteen years prior to coming to the U.S. The parents
had experiences of flight from their homeland while the children were born in the refugee camp.
Having observed the participant families in their households, I found that the children, at a very
young age and at the very beginning of their resettlement in the U.S., have strong ideas about
English and those who do or should speak it. The analysis illuminates how the children's
responses to English used by strangers, neighbors, and caregivers, how they 'talk' about English,
and how their perceptions about English delivered through their everyday practices.
The data excerpts show that the children's exposure to formal English instruction at school
triggers a certain kind of ideological, discursive interactions and practices in their home spaces.
For example, the children freely correct and ridicule their caregivers' mispronunciation of English
words. In addition, they have learned to know the situation where they can take advantages of
English to play, to join in activities, and to make more friends. The findings suggest that the
dominance of English at the macro level influences language practices at the micro level involving
the youngest generation as key. It shows the dynamic power relation as well as contested
language ideologies within the family level when children and parents do not have equal access to
Language mobility
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Eldridge, Scott (The University of Sheffield, Department of
Journalism Studies)
Dissolving boundaries: Journalistic identity in online news
The past decades have seen many changes to the way news is mediated, particularly online. Yet
even as traditional journalists have embraced many opportunities enabled by online media,
including blogs and social media, the concept of journalistic identity continues to be understood
along traditional lines. As a result new media actors such as WikiLeaks, bloggers and 'Tweeters'
claiming to be journalistic are rebuffed by traditional news media when they associate their work
with journalism's traditional ideals. This paper will explore this contested area of journalistic
identity as a boundary dispute, focusing on discursive reactions to new media actors that claim
journalistic belonging.
Through analysis of news texts, this paper examines the ways traditional journalists articulate a
polarised in-group/out-group dynamic of belonging that valorises idealised concepts of journalism
and marginalises new actors as 'interlopers' (Eldridge 2013, 2014). Such reactions reflect a
contestation over journalistic identity and the perceived threat posed by 'interloper media' and
signal how competing identity discourses have dissolved previously distinct boundaries of
journalistic belonging.
Out of this analysis, this paper posits a new model of journalism that revisits such boundaries.
Using journalistic identity claims as its central focus, this model overlaps otherwise distinct
'spheres' of media that describe their work as journalism (such as traditional media, bloggers, or
WikiLeaks), to model a concept of journalism that better reflects the dissolved boundaries of
journalistic identity in modern, digital, online news realities.
Bell, A. 1991. The Language of News Media, Oxford: Blackwell.
Eldridge, S. 2013. Perceiving Professional Threats: Journalism's Discursive Reaction to the Rise
of New Media Entities. Journal of Applied Journalism & Media Studies 2(2), 281-299.
Eldridge, S. 2014. Boundary Maintenance and Interloper Media Reaction: Differentiating
between Journalism's Discursive Enforcement Processes. Journalism Studies, 15 (1), 1-16.
The new news: Online revolution and the practice of journalism in the global era
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Ewing, Michael (The University of Melbourne)
Localising person reference among Indonesian youth
This paper examines first and second person reference among young Indonesian speakers in the
city of Bandung. The complex multilingual nature of Indonesian society means that the rapidly
changing language of youth displays features of 'hybridity' as a means of constructing
intersubjective selves through the local deployment of diverse language resources. Bandung is a
dynamic urban environment strongly influenced by the nearby national capital Jakarta, at the
same time maintaining a discrete sense of independent identity grounded in the local indigenous
Sundanese language and culture. Like Indonesian speakers across the country, young people in
Bandung access a range of pronouns, kinship terms and names for referring to self and other.
These include pronouns associated with formal and familiar registers of standard Indonesian,
those associated with colloquial Jakarta Indonesian and Sundanese pronouns.
First I explore attitudes toward person reference expressed explicitly by speakers through informal
interviews and focus groups. Young people articulate referential choice along somewhat
essentialist dimensions of place, urban sophistication and gender identity. Yet at the same time,
they have a keen awareness of the shifting roles speakers take vis-à-vis different interlocutors and
their need to negation these relationships through choice of referential terms. Second, using these
attitudes as a backdrop, I examine actual use of referring expressions in a corpus of spoken data
comprising informal conversational interaction among young people. While the concerns
explicitly described by young people do inform their choice of person reference, the data revel that
speakers' usage is in fact subtler than this. Through shifting use of person reference, speakers
regularly reorient themselves in terms of local, national and supranational spheres and this
ongoing reorientation to wider social contexts is used in the service of moment-to-moment
indexing of stance and intersubjectivity in interaction.
Margins, hubs, and peripheries in a decentralizing Indonesia (Part 1)
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Fabricio, Branca Falabella (Federal University of Rio de Janeiro)
"Give me a break gays and lesbos, beliefs don't change overnight": infectious
communicable cartographies and resemiotization potential
In 2014, Globo TV - the leading Brazilian TV network - aired a soap-opera featuring a lesbian
couple whose relationship ended up taking central stage, shifting its original focus on a love affair
involving straight people. After having been initially rejected by the audience, the show gradually
gained popularity, triggering both backlash and support concerning same-sex marriage and
alternative family bonds. Part of that debate took place in digital environments (social networks,
blogs and websites), generating a fertile discussion. In this paper I approach one such context: the
comments section of an online newspaper where participants position themselves in relation to a
brief article on the two female characters and the alleged widespread rejection of their love story.
Concentrating on the resulting online interaction, I observe the pragmatics of iterability and probe
the tension between repetition and renewal possibilities. Drawing on contemporary studies in the
field of sociolinguistics and linguistic anthropology and interfacing the concepts of
communicability (Briggs, 2005), entextualization (Silverstein and Urban, 1986) and scales
(Blommaert, 2006), I seek to map communicative cartographies by 1) tracing part of the
discourses that precipitate and spread infectiously on the focused environment; 2) investigating
how interlocutors get interpellated by them and are located in the sociocultural world; and, 3)
keeping an eye on the interconnection between textual friction, scale jumps and resemiotization.
Upon scrutinizing audiences' uptake, the study sheds light on oscillating movements regarding
meanings attributed to sexuality - from normalization toward transformation -, showing that
communicable cartographies can be resisted, alternative meanings explored, and sedimented plots
Keywords: sexualities, communicable cartographies, scales, entextualization, resemiotization
LGBTIQ and performativity: Queering the sociolinguistics of globalization
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Fleming, Kara (The University of Hong Kong)
Reproducing local hierarchies in Hong Kong schools
This paper will take the case of young South Asians in Hong Kong to consider the question: what
is the role of language use and ideology in the formation and legitimization of ethnic and
socioeconomic hierarchies? Hierarchies involve the homogenization of complex groups, as "South
Asians" are constructed as a unified community in contrast to the "local" ethnic Chinese. These
categories are associated with particular linguistic repertoires - in the case of South Asians, with
ability in English and deficiency in Cantonese. Though students can and do challenge such
representations, many students also express deterministic views linking language, ethnicity, and
national belonging. Using ethnographic data from a multiethnic Hong Kong secondary school,
this paper takes approaches from language ideology and interactional sociolinguistics to analyze
how these links are contextually negotiated and produced. The school is a valuable site for
examining how global and local discourses intersect, and students' practices reveal the tensions
between competing models of language and place in Hong Kong.
South Asian youngsters in Hong Kong: Negotiating language, place and identity
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Flowerdew, John (City University of Hong Kong)
Wang, Simon Ho (City University of Hong Kong)
Voice appropriation and identity transformation of Chinese applicants
applying for English-speaking graduate schools
One of the major consequences of globalization in the 20th century is the dramatic increase in
students from developing countries such as China pursuing academic studies in English-speaking
universities (Sánchez, et al, 2006). Such students need to present their academic selves
discursively through writing personal statements to explain their motivation and preparation for
their target academic degree programs (Ding, 2007). Usually unfamiliar with the multiple
discourse communities they seek to enter, the prospective international students encounter
problems and difficulties in their attempts to satisfy the international academic gatekeepers. This
study examines how PhD applicants from Chinese universities construct their academic identities
through their personal statements. Based on two corpora of personal statements (early and final
versions) of 100 applicants who were eventually admitted to English-speaking graduate programs
and in-depth interviews conducted with a dozen of the applicants, it was found that student
writers relied more on the voices and linguistic resources from their home culture and
undergraduate educational contexts in their earlier drafts but turned to more international
sources such as journal articles and university websites in their final successful versions. Their
academic identities, as performed through their personal statements thus underwent a
transformation, as manifested in their changes in voice appropriation. Pedagogical implications for
this finding are discussed in relation to the more recent debate on English as a lingua franca
(Jenkins, 2013) in the fields of academic discourse and TESOL.
Ding, H. (2007). Genre analysis of personal statements. English for Specific Purposes, 26(3), 368–
Jenkins, J. (2013). English as a lingua franca in the international university.
Sánchez, C. M., (2006). Motivations and the Intent to Study Abroad Among U.S., French, and
Chinese Students. Journal of Teaching in International Business, 18(1), 27–52.
Keywords: voice appropriation; academic enculturation; identity
Nodes and trajectories (1)
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Flubacher, Mi-Cha (University of Fribourg)
The management of a multilingual workforce: an ethnography of a Swiss call
Globalization processes are said to have had a profound impact on business structures and
communication flows by offering new opportunities for accessing new markets (Duchêne et al.
2013; Kelly Holmes 2006; Piller 2001) and/or for companies to "offshore" certain sections of their
business. Call centres are often referred to as prime example for discussing the practices as well as
consequences of offshoring specific services to countries with lower operating costs, e.g. salaries,
but similar linguistic resources (Dubois et al. 2006; Heller 2010). However, such processes and
practices of economization have been taking place on a regional/national level: there are a
multilingual call centres primarily addressing domestic multilingual markets such as Switzerland.
In my paper, I will present an ethnography (2010-2011) of an in-bound call centre in the bilingual
Swiss city Biel/Bienne, which has branded itself as the "city of communication". Since the late
1990s, the city has attracted a variety of companies in the communication sector, ranging from
ICT firms and software developers to call centres. It has done so, successfully, by highlighting its
bilingual population, i.e. competent in both French and (Swiss) German, with a large group of
Italian immigrants. Within this context, I will address the following questions: 1) How is a
multilingual workforce in a highly regimented space managed? 2) How do multilingual call centre
agents assess their working conditions? 3) In what sense is this national call centre nevertheless
embedded in globalized processes and structures? My presentation finally aims to contribute to
the empirical discussion of whether there is a difference between "global" and "local" in terms of
the management of a multilingual workforce.
Keywords: ethnography, critical sociolinguistics, Switzerland, multilingualism, call centre
Virtual workplace talk
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Forey, Gail (Hong Kong Polytechnic University)
Taylor, Philip (University of Strathclyde)
MacDonald, Helen (University of Strathclyde)
"It's a better place to work than many": Views from agents within the
Research in the area of offshore outsourcing and working in a business processing organization,
including research that focuses on call centres has tended to discuss information systems,
management, human resources, economic issues and a discussion of those involved in the work
and their views about this new emerging workforce are limited. In this paper we present results
from an extensive eight page questionnaire distributed to customer service telephone agents in
three different organisations in the Philippines, in May 2013. In total 331 surveys were collected.
The findings capture the experience and perceptions of those who make and take customer
service calls. Specifically data was collected in relation to: the attributes of the agents who take
calls; labour utilization; labour intensity; autonomy on the job; their well-being and health; views
towards job satisfaction; commitment at work and to the organisation; whether they had a voice
and representation; in addition to issued related to language and communication skills. The
findings provide a comprehensive insight into the nature of the work in Philippine call centres,
and help us to understand the realities of offshore outscourced employment. Such knowledge can
enhance the effectiveness of organisations and ensure that the employee experiences can be
optimized. Moreover, analysis of the data further helps to situate the Philippines within the
context of international debate and discussion related to the linguistic globalization of English in
the workplace.
Virtual workplace talk
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Fujita-Round, Sachiyo (Rikkyo University)
Perez Murillo, Maria D. (Universidad Complutense de Madrid)
Becoming bilingual in Tokyo: two case studies of transitional and
maintenance programmes
Linguistic minorities and education in Japan have been changing. In the macro level, when
Maher (1997) described language minorities' education, the context of 'minority' was mostly by
the Japanese indigenous languages (Ainu and Ryukyuans), the old immigrants' languages (Korean
and Chinese), the influential language (English) and the Japanese deaf signing language. In the
micro level, Kanno (2004) illustrated language minority education and identity negotiation
between the foreign children who studied Japanese as a second language (JSL) and their teachers
with her fieldwork data on one Japanese state school.
In this paper, we will explore recent multilingualism in Japan and look at two different paths in
bilingual education: a transitional and a maintenance programme. We will focus on two case
studies that address the challenges of becoming bilingual in (1) Japanese, the language of the
majority and (2) Spanish, the heritage language. The first one is a JSL class in a mainstream
school and the second is a complementary class run by a religious organisation, both located in
central Tokyo. The methodology is linguistic ethnography, researching the classroom over two
years taking detailed field notes and collected audio/video data as participants' observation.
Since "one of the limitations of typology is that not all real-life examples will fit easily into the
classification" (Baker, 1995:154), we will describe the structural and contextual characteristics of
these two bilingual education provisions in the increasingly multilingual Japan.
Baker, C. (1993). Baker, C. (1995). A parents' and teachers' guide to bilingualism, Cleavedon:
Multilingual Matters.
Kanno, Y. (2004). 'Sending mixed messages: Language minority education at a Japanese public
elementary school', in A. Pavlenko and A. Blackledge (Eds.). Negotiation of Identities in
Multilingual Contexts. Clevedon, Bristol: Multilingual Matters.
Maher, J. (1997). 'Linguistic minorities and education in Japan', in Educational Review, Vol. 49,
No. 2, 115-128.
Multilingualism (1)
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Furukawa, Gavin (University of Tokyo)
The Appropriation and Re-commodification of T-Shirt English in Japan
This presentation examines the reflexive way in which symbolic use of English is commodified
and then re-commodified through fashion and mass media in Japan. The over saturated market of
late modernity has led to the use of language to add symbolic value to products being sold (Heller,
2010). One example of this is the popularity of English language T-shirts in Japan. While the
majority are required to take several years of English language instruction as part of compulsory
education, most Japanese citizens remain limited in their ability to speak and understand the
language. This resulted in language commodification where often contextually awkward or
meaningless English words and phrases used specifically on T-shirts which indexes a sense of
fashion or chic usually without the wearers understanding what their shirts are saying. These
shirts are often used anecdotally in the literature to illustrate the symbolic value of English in
Japan (Stanlaw, 1992; Seargeant, 2010). In my presentation I analyze this phenomenon and the
ways in which these fashion items are then appropriated, re-commodified and denaturalized for
entertainment both within and outside Japan through forms of mass-media such as television
programs, books, and websites. Using a sociocultural linguistics approach, I examine the visual
and discursive resources people use in the media to connect T-shirt English to larger ideologies of
native-speakerism and internationalization.
Heller, M. (2010). The commodification of language. Annual Review of Anthropology, 39,
Seargeant, P. (2010). The idea of English in Japan: Ideology and the evolution of a global language.
Bristol: Multilingual Matters.
Stanlaw, J. (1992). "For beautiful human life": The use of English in Japan. In J. J. Tobin (Ed.),
Re-made in Japan: Everyday life and consumer taste in a changing society (pp. 58-78). New Haven:
Yale University Press.
The commodification of language: Changing ideologies and identities
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Gao, Shuang (National University of Singapore)
Multilingualism and good citizenship: The making of language celebrities in
While China boasts to have the largest number of speakers of English as a foreign language
(Bolton and Graddol 2012), the majority of middle aged and senior citizens in contemporary
China know little English. This is partly because the English language was not included in the
national educational curriculum until after the infamous Cultural Revolution (1966-1976), a
historical period when Russian was the preferred foreign language and English learning was
restricted to the memorization of Maoist doctrines in order to help spread Maoist ideas to the
whole world.
But now living in different language ideological environments, middle aged and senior citizens
who somehow manage to speak English and other foreign languages become newsworthy or even
celebrative, especially after Beijing successfully won the bid to hold the 2008 Olympic Games in
2001. Speaking foreign languages no longer carries the same political implications as in Mao's
time, but I argue that the political significance of foreign languages is articulated in new ways in
post-socialist China, in terms of good citizenship.
My argument is based on the case of two highly acclaimed multilingual speakers: one in her late
60s, widely known by her nickname Mama Moon, from a southern Chinese tourism village
Yangshuo; another in his late 40s, widely known as a bilingual cop, from Beijing. Since the early
2000s, their language competence became the topic of media reports in China, and they have been
enjoying increasing publicity in major media outlets to this day. By examining written and video
reports about them over the past decade, I show that meta-linguistic comments glorify their
multilingual competence in terms of not just personal achievement but also moral values of
community service and patriotism, thereby making them national celebrities and figures of good
citizenship. Keywords: citizenship; language ideology, multilingualism, media, China
Transnationalizing Chineseness: Language, mobility, and diversity
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Gao, Xuesong (The University of Hong Kong)
The ideological framing of 'dialect': an analysis of mainland China's state
media coverage of 'dialect crisis’
This paper reports on a study that analysed the ideological framing of 'Chinese dialects' or
'regional Chinese varieties' in the mainland China's state print media reports of 'dialect crisis' and
the associated efforts to sustain the use of these 'dialects' from 2002 to 2012. The analysis
revealed that regional Chinese varieties were portrayed as essential to enriching individual
citizens' cultural experiences and maintaining cultural diversity. They were found to have been
closely related to individual users' identification with particular social groups. Meanwhile,
business corporations reportedly have used individuals' growing identification with regional
varieties to pursue commercial interests while state institutions have relied on it to propagate
messages more effectively. These findings indicate that the rising importance of individual
citizens obliges the state to accommodate their rights and business corporations to satisfy their
demands, which is likely to have a profound impact on the vitality of regional Chinese varieties in
Language and nationalism
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Gardner-Chloros, Penelope (Birkbeck College, University of London)
Secova, Maria (University of Bath)
Cheshire, Jenny (Queen Mary University of London)
Aspects of Grammatical change in London and Paris
This paper will review some of the grammatical changes described for Multicultural London
English and compare them with structures found in the putative variety 'Multicultural Paris
French'. One structure stands out because, unlike other changes, it has not been found in any
previous corpora in France: indirect questions, mainly following the verb savoir (to know), where,
contrary to convention, the question-word is placed post-verb (je sais pas il a dit quoi – 'I don't
know he said what'; je sais pas elle a fait ça comment –'I don't know she did that how'). We look at
possible sources for this development, but more importantly, discuss the parameters of its use in
the speakers' productions.
Most developments in London and Paris cannot be compared straightforwardly at a linguistic
level, and no directly comparable phenomenon to this was identified in MLE. We have therefore
concentrated instead on discovering which groups are mainly implicated in using the features
observed, and whether they follow similar processes of diffusion in Paris and London. This
structure does appear to be an instance of 'change from below', and possibly to have crossed
ethnic boundaries, as is the case for various features studied in London. But its exceptional
character in the Paris context, and its apparent absence from the speech of young people with
fewer multi-ethnic contacts, highlights a lack of evidence for the emergence of a more wideranging, distinct multiethnolect, unlike what was found in London and the other European
capitals which have been studied.
Keywords: Grammatical change, post-verb question words, multiethnolect, change from below.
Language change in London and Paris
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Gelabert, Jaume (Arcadia University)
I love you but I have to leave you: the language of national construction in
While the European Union aims at strengthening its structure by unifying policies and integrating
more countries in order to increase its political and economic power in a globalized context, the
President of Catalonia has called for a referendum (November 9, 2014) to ask the citizens of
Catalonia whether they would prefer to be an independent nation or remain in Spain. A similar
event has taken place in Scotland with the secession referendum of September 18, 2014.
Because of the recent, significant surge in support of the Catalan independence movement, most
noticeably since the Catalan National Day on September 11, 2012, CiU, the center-right party
currently in power and the independentist left party ERC, typically natural rivals, have joined
forces in order to make the November 9 referendum possible. The current paper examines, using
the tools of Critical Discourse Analysis (see Wodak 1997, 2004, Fairclough 2003), the narrative
utilized by the main Catalan parties which support independence. An analysis of the
transcriptions of selected parliamentary sessions as well as public speeches reveal two main topics
of discussion concerning the issue: national transition and nation building. While Catalans
consider themselves a stateless nation, the rest of Spain sees Catalonia as another region, and at
the crux of the debate lies what type of nation will be more attractive for the successful
consecution of independence (or at least to hold a referendum). Our paper examines whether a
certain anti-Spain sentiment leads the narrative towards Herder´s nationalism and Volkgeist or
towards Renan´s, an integrative model of ´everyday plebiscite´, traditionally preferred by the
current government´s party (CiU). Implications of the effect of such narratives in the media and
the public perception of the issues will be discussed.
Language and nationalism
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Gibson, Andy (Auckland University of Technology)
What to keep real? The power of the norm in pop song phonetics
This paper presents the results of two studies into phonetic style as performed in popular song.
The first study quantifies the huge phonetic differences between speech and singing style for
three New Zealand singers, with USA-influenced forms dominating their singing. The phonetic
results are interpreted in the context of interviews with the singers which show varying stances
towards a complex nexus of identity concerns. There are tensions between competing
authenticities - authentic belonging to the local speech community vs. authentic belonging to a
transnational musical genre. Each singer resolves these tensions with different identity goals, but
even where a New Zealand voice was desired, the singers were only successful in using NZ
variants for variables with salient indexicalities. A second study analyses the production of postvocalic /r/ in a range of genres of NZ and USA popular music. Hip hop follows AAVE in having
rhoticity largely restricted to words in the NURSE lexical set, while other genres have rhoticity in
a range of environments. Musical style trumps nationality as a predictor for the realisation of /r/,
with (nonrhotic) NZ artists tending to follow the pronunciation model of the relevant genre in
the USA. The results of these studies are theorised with reference to Bell's (2001) responsive and
initiative dimensions of language style. The responsive dimension is characterised by
automaticity, resulting in linguistic forms primed most strongly by context-relevant prior
exposure. The initiative dimension involves identity choices, taking stances with reference to the
social meanings triggered by each potential form. Initiative acts of identity depend upon greater
awareness of competing phonetic options.
Bell, Allan, 2001. 'Back in style: Re-working Audience Design.' In Penelope Eckert and John R
Rickford (eds), Style and Sociolinguistic Variation. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Keywords: popular music, performance, sociophonetics, New Zealand English, indexicality
Hip-hop and rock pop
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Gnach, Aleksandra (University of Zürich Applied Sciences)
Perrin, Daniel (Zurich University of Applied Sciences)
Organizational learning from the ground floor: Effective language policy
making in multilingual media business
This presentation draws on multimethod analyses of structure and situated activity in both the
French-speaking newsroom of the Swiss public service broadcasting company SRG SSR and the
Italian-speaking of the Swiss quality paper Corriere del Ticino. In both newsrooms, the journalists
operate in an increasingly complex and dynamic multilingual environment that requires
appropriate adjustments in explicit and implicit language policies. The presentation aims at
reconstructing effective language policy making as a multi-layered, integrative and interactive
In doing so, it first defines and connects the key concepts of journalism, public broadcasting,
integrative social theory, and inclusive multilingualism (part 1). Then, it explains divergences in
media stakeholders' expectations in competitive and multilingual media business environments
(part 2) as starting points for an inclusive way of policy making (part 3) in which inclusive
multilingualism applies not only to organizational communication, but to the process of
organizational development and understanding itself (part 4). The paper concludes by outlining
simple, but evidence-based principles for making language policies in a dynamically mediatized
and glocalized world (part 5).
(De)standardization in the newsroom: An internal perspective on news products and
newsmaking process
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Goebel, Zane (La Trobe University)
Modelling unitary and fragmented language ideologies on Indonesian
From 1968 to 1998 the bureaucracy, the education system, and the media became key to
centralization and language standardization efforts in Indonesia. During this period these
processes helped create versions of the familiar formula of language plus person plus territory
equals nation (e.g. Hobsbawm, 1990) and ultimately an ideology that Indonesian and ethnic
languages were "unitary languages" (Bakhtin, 1981). Those who spoke state-authorized versions
of Indonesian and ethnic languages become Indonesian citizens and members of ethnolinguistic
groups respectively (Goebel, In press). While this process was pushed along by the marketization
of ethnic languages on television in the early 1990s (Loven, 2008), marketization also challenged
the ideology of unitary languages through the modelling of mixed languaging practices. The
constant tension between centralization and fragmentation, pointed out by Bakhtin (1981:
270-272), is the central focus of this paper which shows how ethnolinguistic identity and mixed
languaging practices were modelled on Indonesian television. My focus will be 400 hours of
footage recorded in 2009 which shows that mixed language practices were modelled across all
television stations, most genres, and most timeslots. This co-occurred with other semiotic
content that anchored this practice to territory; helping produce older unitary formulas of
personhood. As with the early 1990s, this tension appears to be a reflex of the seeking of niche
markets (fragmentation) in an era of expanding programming and the continued copying of sellwell programming (centralization).
Bakhtin, M. (1981). The dialogic imagination: four essays. Austin: University of Texas Press.
Goebel, Z. (In press). Language, media and superdiversity: Indonesians knowledging at home and abroad.
New York: Oxford University Press.
Hobsbawm, E. (1990). Nations and nationalism since 1780: programme, myth, reality. Cambridge:
Cambridge University Press.
Loven, K. (2008). Watching Si Doel: television, language, and cultural identity in contemporary
Indonesia. Leiden: KITLV Press.
Margins, hubs, and peripheries in a decentralizing Indonesia (Part 3)
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Goh Boon Hua, Robbie (National University of Singapore)
The Ideology of Singlish: Affective Nationhood and 'the Body’
Singlish – "the name given to the colloquial variety of English spoken in Singapore" (Wee 2014),
incorporating Chinese dialect (particularly Hokkien) and Malay lexical and grammatical elements
– has for some time been the antagonist in a cultural war of linguistic purification (which has also
targeted Chinese dialects) waged by the government. Some scholars have pointed out that apart
from contestations about grammaticality and "brokenness," Singlish is also the site of contestation
about identity politics in a post-colonial national setting (Rubdy 2001; Goh 2013). Building on
this history of contestation, and taking the Singlish debate forward into an era in which political
discourse in Singapore has been increasingly inflected by social media, my paper considers the
ideological role of Singlish as a language of "affective nationhood." Looking at politicized postings
(those explicitly targeted at politicians, Government officials and political events) on Facebook,
internet chat rooms and other social media, I analyse the semantics and intentionality of a
Singlish affect that is markedly visceral and bodily, and theorise that this is a political response to
particular anxieties of Singapore citizenship within global flows of human and financial capital.
Goh, Robbie B. H. (2013) "Uncertain Locale: The Dialectics of Space and the Cultural Politics
of English in Singapore." The Politics of English: South Asia, Southeast Asia and the Asia Pacific,
ed. Lionel Wee, Robbie B. H. Goh and Lisa Lim. Amsterdam: John Benjamins, pp. 125-144.
Rubdy, Rani (2001) "Creative Destruction: Singapore's Speak Good English Movement."
World Englishes 20: 3, pp. 341-355.
Wee, Lionel (2014) "Linguistic Chutzpah and the Speak Good Singlish Movement." World
Englishes 33: 1, pp. 85-99.
English in multilingual, globalized Asia
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Graedler, Anne-Line (Hedmark University College)
The role of English in the linguistic landscape of Norway's capital
In recent years English in Norway has become more and more noticeable, and the English
language is often perceived as an "invading force" (Graedler 2014). In an opinion poll investigating
language attitudes, Norwegians were more negative towards the role of English than most
respondents in other Nordic countries, whereas a supplementary matched-guise test exposing
informants' subconscious attitudes presents Norway as the most English-positive language
community (Kristiansen 2010).
This paper presents a study which aims to further the understanding of the role and identity of
English in the Norwegian society, with a focus on the linguistic landscape: It explores one
particular contextual use of English, viz. multilingual language practice as displayed in public
space through signs, posters, billboards, etc. in the Norwegian capital, Oslo. The main focus is on
the effect of lexical items of English origin: What messages are being delivered to passers-by? A
secondary question concerns the relationship between the findings and some claims made by the
official Language Council of Norway, for instance that people in the field of business have become
more resistant towards the use of English in advertizing and marketing (Simonsen 2011).
The methodological approach falls into the sociolinguistic research field of linguistic landscape,
the "visibility and salience of languages on public and commercial signs in a given territory or
region" (Landry & Bourhis 1997: 23). The data sampling was carried out in 2014 in four areas of
Oslo with varying commercial, social and demographic characteristics, and the categorization and
analysis are based on both linguistic, pragmatic and contextual factors of approx. 900 lexical
items. The findings will also be compared to previous studies with similar focus areas, such as
Bryn (1992) and Stjernholm (2014).
English in Scandinavia
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Greenall, Annjo (Norwegian University of Science and Technology)
Functions of English-Norwegian code-switching in popular music, 1965 to
Globalized, hybrid forms of language are becoming increasingly commonplace, manifesting
themselves in a multitude of different communicative arenas, both written and spoken.
Representing a mix of the two modes, songs are a prevalent, everyday phenomenon that both
reflects and influences the linguistic habits of (especially) young people. Some of the most
significant contributions to research on code-switching (CS) in song lyrics come from scholars
studying songs written and performed by artists from various Asian countries (e.g., Lee 2004,
Moody 2006). These and others have identified a number of different functions/effects of the use
of CS in song lyrics, some being specific to the cultural context which the given artists find
themselves in, and some being of a more universal nature.
In this paper I present a list of functions of CS in popular music identified in this research,
showing how and why some of them are applicable to the Norwegian situation and others not. CS
in Norwegian popular music has not received much scholarly attention, and the present paper
tries to rectify this by taking a diachronic sweep through five decades of English-Norwegian
hybridity in song lyrics, showing how the functional emphasis has shifted, in individual songs,
from a denotative/narrative/literary use (where the English insertions function as 'part of the
story') to a more connotative/sociolinguistic use (where English functions as identity building and
an attempt at reaching out to a larger, international audience). This shift in emphasis is then
explained by reference to the changing role and importance of English language and AngloAmerican culture in Norwegian society in the given period.
English in Scandinavia
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Grenoble, Lenore (University of Chicago)
Language standardization in the aftermath of the Soviet Empire
The top-down language standardization process of the Soviet era has ongoing effects for the use
and vitality of indigenous languages in the Russian Federation today. In this paper I argue that the
modern-day situation represents a continuation of Soviet policies and ideologies that were
intimately tied to Soviet theories of nationalities and nation-building, founded on a theory of
developing national-territorial units then combined into a greater, Soviet nation.
Siberian indigenous languages and groups exemplify the ongoing repercussions of these policies.
The identification of an ethnolinguistic group was integral to Soviet ideologies. This was in direct
contrast to practice: Siberian indigenous peoples self-identified along clan lines, not ethnicities.
Ethnonyms were frequently derived from place names, not linguistic group. In Siberia, as
elsewhere in the former USSR, nationalities are recent social and ideological constructs, resting
on cultural and political assumptions that played critical roles in its development of the Soviet
nation state. There is no indication that local speakers themselves were consulted about the
process or the decisions. Nonetheless, nationalities have become the cornerstone not only for
language revitalization, but also for how Siberian peoples themselves view their identity and
position in society.
Current efforts to revitalize Siberian indigenous languages generally include formal education
efforts and involve the use of a standardized written form of the language, direct carryovers from
the Soviet model. In the broader Siberian linguistic landscape, particulars vary from language to
language and from village to village. But the overall impact of Soviet language policies of
standardization and education in the standard is roughly the same. Soviet ideologies that classify
peoples as nationalities are maintained today, and continue to be the basis for both federal
language planning and local revitalization efforts.
Standardizing language in the global periphery: Why that now?
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Grey, Alexandra (Macquarie University)
The Decoupling of Ethnic Identity and Language Practices among China's
Minority Youths
This paper reports findings from an ethnographic case study of multilingual Zhuang university
students, many of whom are commencing a personal migration away from the Zhuang language
'homelands' in South China. The Zhuang comprise China's largest official ethnic minority;
nevertheless, their language is losing vitality. While out-migration from Guangxi Zhuang
Autonomous Region has been common since the 1980s, the young people who participated in this
study are especially mobile because of their education and thus can be considered as vectors of
change for the Zhuang language. Combining interviews and ethnographic observation with
Zhuang students at seven universities across China, the study finds an association with a Zhuang
identity not characterized by Zhuang language practices. Minority language proficiency is
increasingly less relevant to inclusion within the Zhuang community, though certain participants'
self-characterization as "fake Zhuang" reveals the shift in mechanisms of inclusion is a point of
tension, not yet completely accepted. The participants' Zhuang language - even when fluent - is
often seen as "useless", it is largely absent from everyday linguistic practices, and rarely written.
Most participants had an extensive multilingual repertoire including Putonghua, English, Zhuang,
dialects including Guilinhua, and sometimes Thai or Vietnamese language. This repertoire is
stratified, however, and their linguistic resources are usually unremarked and undervalued; thus,
the students' linguistic identities are not perceived as "multilingual." Although the Zhuang have
legally-enshrined language freedoms and autonomous provincial government, such State-led
mechanisms have done little to counter language practices being jettisoned from Zhuang identity,
because these mechanisms do not alter the 'market' of resources in which minority languages are
of low value. Rather, China's legal framework plays a significant role by insisting upon minority
identities yet detaching those identities from linguistic realities. The decoupling will likely
precipitate further decline in the vitality of Zhuang language.
Ethnic-linguistic minority youths in Mainland China: Multilingual practices, ideologies and
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Gunnarsson, Britt-Louise (Uppsala University)
Transnational companies and their language requirements for jobs in Sweden
For practical and ideological reasons, large organizations often choose one corporate language.
This language is used as a lingua franca at top level meetings and in external and official writing.
The corporate language functions as a symbolic expression of an organizational unit and serves as
an instrument for top-down steering. At a local level, however, workplace practice is often more
complex with different languages used for different purposes and by different staff. Not seldom is
there a divide between educated and low skilled staff as to what languages they use at work.
In this paper, I discuss results of an investigation of the language requirements in job
advertisements for jobs in Sweden. Advertisements posted on the career-oriented subpages of
fifteen transnational companies' websites are analysed. The advertisements reveal the companies'
language and staff policy while giving a picture of the practices at Swedish workplaces. A
distinction will be made between advertisements for jobs which require further education and
those which do not. The companies under study, which represent different sectors, are major
employers in Sweden. Five companies have their head offices in Sweden, ten in other countries.
Globalization is an ongoing process, one which accelerates every year. In Gunnarsson (2009), I
reported on a study of 100 job advertisements posted on the websites of five Swedish-based
transnational companies in June 2006. The current study is partly a follow up of this earlier study,
picturing the policy of the same five companies nine years later. A key focus will be a comparison
of the language requirements expected of applicants (English, Swedish and others) between these
periods. The current study has also been extended to include ten companies with head offices
outside Sweden, and an analysis of differences due to sector and type of job.
English in Scandinavia
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Haberland, Hartmut (Roskilde University)
English as a world language in Scandinavia and elsewhere
In Scandinavia, English is the language that by now wins out when it comes to language choice
where the local (or another Scandinavian) language is not an option. Common sense explains this
with the fact that English is the world language. But as has been suggested, this might have to do
more with Scandinavians' good language skills than with English being the world language. One
could ask if (in terms of market metaphors, cf. Heller; Cameron; Park and Wee) it is the language
market demanding English skills, or Scandinavians being good at supplying English skills, or
whether the ideology of linguistic globalism (in analogy to Beck and Steger) is particularly strong
in Scandinavia.
The Scandinavian countries are famous for their successful implementation of policies that have
led to a high degree of English L2 proficiency not just for elites, both in comparison to the rest of
Europe and the rest of the world. This is corroborated by a wide range language-demographic
data, although they are difficult to interpret and occasionally contradictory. English is more
connected in the sense of de Swaan (hence, more of a world language) in Scandinavia than in
many other places. As Phillipson states, this cannot just be explained as the outcome of successful
language imperialism. Preisler suggested that the status of English in youth culture ('English from
below') as an important factor besides the education system. At any rate, the special status that
English has in Scandinavia is a recent (post-WWII) phenomenon. The question is, whether
Scandinavia can be considered a sustainable model for a global language regime.
English in Scandinavia
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Han, Bing (Simon Fraser University)
Putong Hua, identity construction and access: An ethnography of a Uyghur
young man in a mainstream university
Recently, trilingual education and preferential education policies for ethnolinguistic minority
students in China have ignited much debate about ethnic equity and national unity. Using an
ethnographic approach, we explore the lived experiences of inclusion and exclusion among
ethnolingusitic youths studying at a mainstream Han university whose education and life have
been shaped by these policies. Informed by theories of communities of practice (Lave & Wenger,
1991), symbolic capital (Bourdieu, 1977; 1986), linguistic nationalism (Haque, 2010; Han, 2014),
and identity construction in and across communities (Han, 2009, 2012, 2014), we explore the role
of Putong Hua in the construction of identity and in access to community practices and resources.
This paper is based on a larger, 1.5 year ethnography of ethnolinguistic youths from Tibet and
Xinjiang involving regular participant observations and interviews with key and secondary
participants, and employs critical discourse analysis (Cameron, 2001). It focuses on a Uyghur
young man and examines his access to and participation in two Han-dominant student
communities. We trace how he was persuaded to join the Free Boxing Club (FBC), and gradually
believed that he had become the best free boxing learner and an important leader. Participation at
FBC also led to access to the External Communication Division of the Student Association at the
university, which he was motivated to join to gain access to Putong Hua. However, gradually he
saw himself as doing nothing substantial, and eventually dropped out. We illustrate how this
Uyghur young man has internalized the ideology of speaking standard Putong Hua as being Han,
which is rooted in linguistic nationalism. We argue that self-ascribed identities, including
linguistic identities, play a crucial role in facilitating or hindering productive access to and within
various communities, and have immediate and long-term consequences for individuals and for the
larger society.
Ethnic-linguistic minority youths in Mainland China: Multilingual practices, ideologies and
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Handford, Michael (University of Tokyo)
Indexing nationality in intercultural professional interactions: corpus-based
The role of intercultural communication in globalization is reflexive and contested: reflexive in
that intercultural communication is both a 'facet of' and a 'response to' globalisation (Piller, 2011:
76), and contested in that the ontology and construction of the nation/nationality in intercultural
professional communication is the source of much debate (Piller, 2011; Handford, 2014). Rather
than seeing national culture in professional contexts as a given, this talk will attempt to answer
Piller's call to 'see the nation as a discursive construction that social actors draw upon in selective
ways' (2011:91). Drawing on spoken authentic interactions from the CANBEC (Cambridge and
Nottingham Business English Corpus) corpus of business meetings, and an in-progress corpus of
face-to face interactions from the construction industry, the explicit indexing (Bucholtz and Hall,
2005) of nationality will be analysed. The novel methodology (Handford, 2014; 2015) combines
corpus linguistic methods, such as concordance lines and discourse prosody to unearth underlying
evaluative stance, with discourse analysis and conceptions of culture as an emergent rather than a
given property, and thus moves beyond earlier essentialist applications of corpus methods to
intercultural communication. The analysis will show that speakers draw on nationality as a
relational resource, for instance a topic of small talk, and to fulfil a range of functions including
othering, distinguishing and evaluating.
Bucholtz, M., & Hall, K. (2005). Identity and interaction: A sociocultural linguistic approach. Discourse
Studies, 7, 585–614.
Handford, M. (2014). Cultural identities in international, interorganisational meetings: a
corpus-informed discourse analysis of indexical 'we', Language and Intercultural Communication,
(14) 1, 41-58.
Handford, M. (2015). Corpus Linguistics, In Zhu Hua (Ed.) Research Methods in Intercultural
Communication. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.
Piller, I. (2011). Intercultural Communication: A Critical Introduction. Edinburgh: Edinburgh
University Press.
Keywords: Intercultural-professional-communication, Corpus-methods, Construction-ofnationality
Workplace communication
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Hansen Edwards, Jette (The Chinese University of Hong Kong)
Going Beyond The Label: Problematizing The Public Positioning Of English
In Hong Kong
This talk examines the positioning of English as a monolithic exonormative non-native language
in Hong Kong in public discourse, and how this conflicts with the reality of how English(es) is
learned, used, and localized particularly among the younger generation (e.g., tertiary students) of
English speakers in Hong Kong. In specific, research studies on English language learning and
teaching in Hong Kong refer to English as either as a foreign or a second language. Both of these
labels implicitly cast students as nonnative speakers. However, most students learn English in
Hong Kong beginning at age three, when they enter kindergarten/preschool, and for many
students, especially those who enter English-medium of instruction primary and/or secondary
schools, English is their primary academic language for the majority of their schooling. For many
families, English is also used as one of several languages at home. The shifting status of
English(es) in Hong Kong raise questions about how English is conceptualized in Hong Kong – as
a "native", "non-native", "bilingual" language, or a mixture? And why? Additionally, "native",
"non-native", or "bilingual" learner/user of whose English or Englishes? To address and discuss
these issues, this talk examines two types of data: First, the talk will discuss an analysis of the
categorization of English in publications on English language teaching and learning in Hong
Kong, with a random sampling of 10 articles per year from 1997-2014, for a total of 170 articles.
These findings will be used to contextualize data from the second part of the study:
questionnaires from and interviews with 72 tertiary students in Hong Kong, all of whom use
English both in and beyond the classroom.
Keywords: language norms, Hong Kong, English, discourse analysis
Beyond bifurcation: Language speakers as complex individuals
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Harr, Adam (St. Lawrence University)
Recentering the margins? The politics of local language in a decentralizing
One unexpected consequence of Indonesia's regional autonomy legislation has been a widespread
and heterogeneous "revival of tradition" in regional politics (Davidson and Henley 2007; Vel
2008). Relatively unnoted within this revival is the emerging importance of local languages in
some district level elections. People who had been accustomed during the New Order to being
addressed by politicians in the Indonesian language found themselves addressed by district
executive (bupati) candidates in local languages that index local ethnolinguistic identities.
Drawing data from the first election of a district executive in the central Florinese district of Ende
in 2008, this paper argues that in some cases the revaluation of local languages in electoral
politics results from the intersection of the decentralized territoriality of the Indonesian state with
local "semiotic ideologies" (Keane 2007) that are constructed in terms of "centers" and
"margins" (Tambiah 1973; Fox 1997; Kuipers 1998). I close by considering whether speakers of
local languages are empowered by this revaluation.
Davidson, Jamie and David Henley, eds. 2007. The revival of tradition in Indonesian politics: The
deployment of adat from colonialism to indigenism. New York, NY: Routledge.
Fox, James J., ed. 1997. The poetic power of place: Comparative perspectives in Austronesian ideas of
locality. Canberra: ANU Press.
Keane, Webb. 2007. Christian moderns: Freedom and fetish in the mission encounter. Berkeley:
University of California Press.
Kuipers, Joel. 1998. Language, identity, and marginality in Indonesia: The changing nature of ritual
speech on the island of Sumba. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Tambiah, Stanley J. 1973. "The galactic polity in Southeast Asia." In Culture, thought, and social
action: An anthropological perspective, 3–31. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Vel, Jacqueline. 2008. Uma politics: An ethnography of democratization in West Sumba, Indonesia.
Leiden: KITLV Press.
Margins, hubs, and peripheries in a decentralizing Indonesia (Part 2)
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Harrison, Simon (University of Nottingham Ningbo China)
Ping, Du (University of Nottingham Ningbo China)
Dowens, Margaret (University of Nottingham Ningbo China)
Adolphs, Svenja (University of Nottingham)
Dunn, Jessica (University of the West Indies, Mona Campus)
Littlemore, Jeannette (University of Birmingham)
Linguistic and gestural patterns of negation among Chinese speakers of
One role of hand gestures in multisensory communication is to regulate aspects of interaction
(e.g. Bavelas et al, 1992; Streeck, 2009). For example, research into British and American English
speakers shows they may use a Vertical Palm gesture associated with linguistic negation to
interrupt their addressee, to show that they have finished speaking, or to hold the floor during a
turn at talk (Kendon, 2004: 248-255; Author, in press).
Research into negation from a World Englishes perspective shows distinct patterns of linguistic
negation usage among Asian and South East Asian varieties when compared to British and
American English varieties (Nelson, 2004). However, whether or not such distinctions extend to
co-occurring hand gestures like the Vertical Palm is unknown.
This paper presents an exploratory study of gestures associated with negation produced in an
English-language immersion context in China, where the majority of speakers are Chinese users
of English. Within that context, natural conversations were collected following Kendon's (2004)
method of filming "ordinary settings of people talking together, in most cases while they were in
pursuit of their own purposes" (p. 365). Settings and purposes here include, for example, a study
group at the campus coffee shop and a seminar discussion in a classroom.
Analysis of video data followed Author's (2009) method of documenting negation in speech first
by identifying the linguistic forms speakers used to express negation, broadened in this context to
include practices like code-switching. Bressem et al's (2013) form-based approach to gestures was
then used to identify and code the form, meaning, and function of gestures relating to linguistic
negation in the co-occurring speech.
This paper will contribute to understanding the role that gestures play in the broader linguistic,
social, and cultural practices through which Chinese speakers of English express negation in this
specific context.
Keywords: Gesture, interaction, negation, Chinese speakers of English
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Haseyama, Koichi (Simon Fraser University)
James, Connie (Simon Fraser University)
Time(s) and Place(s): Reshaping the Understanding to Bilingual Children in
an International School in Tokyo, Japan
The study reports on a "partially ethnographic" (Marshall, 2014) research project to explore the
understanding to 'linguistic pathways' (i.e. where and how to learn languages) of bilingual
children. The framework of plurilingualism and plurilingual competence (Moore and Gajo, 2009)
underpins the study to understand the children's development of multilingual literacies and
English as a Foreign Language (EFL) learning. The focal participants are Japanese elementary
school children who attend, on top of their regular schooling, an international school in Tokyo
(Japan) to learn EFL, and additionally participate in various summer programs (i.e. residential
camps) every year in British Columbia, Canada. Multimodal data sources include informal
interviews, field notes, and photographic and video recordings of children's interactions. The
findings suggest that children construct their own sense of multiple identities (Norton, 2013)
around their bilingual competence, valuing their continuous life experience in Canada and the
international school in Japan, and understanding the social status of both their linguistic
competency and being in motion globally (Hosokawa & Nishiyama, 2010) (i.e. annual stays in
Canada). The findings also encourage discussions of the potential of the framework:
"Epistemology, Ontology, and Time-Space" (Marshall, 2014) for understanding such a global tribe
of children.
Hosokawa, H. and Nishiyama, N. (eds.) (2010). Fukugenngofukubunnkashugitohananika –yoroppanorinennjyoukyoukara nihonnniokerujuyoubunnmyakukahe. Japan: Kuroshio Publishing
Marshall, S. (2014). Negotiating the Ism Schism: Is It Possible to Be "Partially Ethnographic?"
In Marshall, S., A. Clemente & M. Higgins (Eds.) Shaping Ethnography in Multicultural and
Multilingual Contexts, 131-156. London ONT: Althouse Press.
Moore D. & Gajo, L. (2009). Introduction. French Voices on Plurilingualism and
Pluriculturalism: Theory, Significance and Perspectives. International Journal of Multilingualism
and Multiculturalism, 6(2), 137-153. Norton, B. (2013). Identity, investment, and multilingual literacy (in a digital world). Global
Conversations in Literacy Research Webinar. http://
Keywords: EFL, identities, transnationalism
Bilingual classroom
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Heugh, Kathleen (University of South Australia)
Multilingualism returning south
Recent interest in multilingualism in Europe and North America after 150 years of imagining
homogeneity (cf. Anderson 1983) is a matter of curiosity to those who have engaged with
linguistic diversity in southern contexts. This interest, captured in the idea of multilingualism and
multilinguality as a 'new linguistic dispensation' (Singleton et al. 2013) and 'the multilingual turn'
(May 2014) coincides with changing power balances and a return of economic dominance to the
global south (A T Kearney 2014). The turn also towards the south has begun to elicit increasing
recognition of 'southern theory' (Connell 2007) and southern epistemologies (e.g. Comaroff and
Comaroff 2012, Santos 2012).
As 21st century economic and political balance of power changes disrupt earlier hegemonies we
may expect intellectual jostling over competing epistemologies of north and south. The first
purpose of this paper is to discuss multilingualism in relation to different historical
understandings and experiences of multilingualism in literature of sub-Saharan Africa and South
Asia. A resurfacing of these understandings signals a reclaiming of knowledge and discourses of
linguistic plurality. It also signals that northern assumptions of the south are ahistorical and
theoretically flawed. The second purpose is to consider through a discussion of multilingualism
how post-colonial hegemony is reproduced in one setting and returned recast in another.
Collaboration with the (post-)colonial enterprise involves amnesia and purchase of theories of
southern deficit. This is illustrated through contested discussions of multilingual education in
South Africa that assume northern intellectual supremacy despite 140 years of practice and
expertise within the country. This raises questions for the future of tensions between
subalternisation and agency, and between the post-colonial condition and ownership (or
reclamation) of southern epistemologies.
Anderson, B. 1983. Imagined Communities. Reflections on the origins and spread of nationalism.
London: Verso.
Connell, R. Southern Theory. The Global Dynamics of Knowledge in Social Science. Cambridge: Polity
Comaroff, J., & Comaroff, J. L. 2012. Theory from the South: Or, how Euro-America is evolving
toward Africa. Anthropological Forum, Vol. 22, No. 2, pp. 113-131.
Santos, B de S. 2012. Public Sphere and Epistemologies of the South. Africa Development, Vol.
XXXVII, No. 1, pp. 43 – 67.
Keywords: Post-colonial enterprise, Multilingualism, Hegemony, Southern theory, Southern
Illusions and delusions of the centre within the framework of globalization
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Hillewaert, Sarah (University of Toronto)
A (re)invention geographies? Negotiating belonging through accented
writing and orthographic styles among Kenyan youth, at home and abroad
In Kenya, as elsewhere, the invention and imposition of Standard Swahili under British colonial
rule brought with it the negative evaluation of the, now dialectal, varieties on which the standard
was based. The Swahili dialects spoken in Lamu, an island situated off the coast of Kenya, thereby
came to be viewed as indicative of backwardness and underdevelopment, despite their historical
status as languages of poetry and praise. While frequently avoiding these Northern Swahili
dialects in verbal interactions, young people from the Lamu Archipelago increasingly use
"accented writing" when participating in interactions on popular social network sites such as
Facebook. This paper takes a closer look at these writing practices and suggests that these
orthographic practices are not unintentional transpositions of habitual speech patterns or mere
nostalgic engagements with the local. Rather, I propose that the strategic use of written,
recognizable dialect features are semiotic tools used in the deliberation Lamu's position in the
Kenyan nation as well as young people's relation to the island. I propose that Lamu youth use
online orthographic practices not only to debunk popular stereotypical depictions of island
inhabitants but also, and more importantly, to reclaim Lamu's historical transoceanic and
transnational engagements. Such acts of claim-making, I argue, afford a "re-invention of
geographies" that entail meaningful acts of political stance-taking and enable diasporic youth to
assert belonging and justify (political) interference.
New media, new standards? Standardization processes in digitally mediated space
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Hiramoto, Mie (National University of Singapore)
Powerfully queered: representations of sexual minorities in Asian martial
arts films
This paper demonstrates representations of queered speech styles through a careful examination
of characters playing sexual deviants' roles in popular martial arts films produced in Hong Kong,
Japan, Korea, and Taiwan.
A number of traditional martial arts films successfully mediate and mediatize idealized Asian
values associated with desirable/undesirable men and women through naturalized semiotic
processes as defined by Asian specific cultural meanings. Such specific Asian-ness is often
presented with embodiments of Confucian doctrines by film characters. For example, characters
often show their regards/disregards to wen-wu '
intellectual pursuits and martial arts'
philosophy and san congsi de '
three obedience and four virtues' that are highly regarded
in traditional Asian martial artists' culture.
After observing over 200 martial arts films, relatively small numbers of sexual deviant characters
were found in the data. Generally, these characters are depicted to be not just sexually nonnormative but also non-normative in their ways of practicing martial arts skills. Their roles are
typically non-heroic and evil; moreover, it is not rare for them to develop/possess some kind of
super-natural or charismatic powers that are considered to be beyond human beings' capabilities.
They include people like hyper-feminized yet super-powerful eunuchs or cross-dressed male
villains, and lust-obsessed homosexual characters who manipulate their lovers with their
charismatic powers.
By focusing on discursive practices as well as employed in the films, such as the reticence and use
of formulaic or philosophical speech styles, in combination with visual arts, I discuss how these
mediatizations index masculinity in ways that mesh with the audiences' expectations for Chinese
martial arts figures, as such figures have developed through mediatization.
Keywords: queered speech, Asia, martial arts films, indexicalities, audiences- expectations
LGBTIQ and performativity: Queering the sociolinguistics of globalization
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Hoffmann-Dilloway, Erika (Oberlin College)
The transnational circulation of sign language texts in a "Deaf World"
Though sign languages are usually thought of as unwritten, groups of signers in over thirty
countries have been using a writing system called SignWriting (SW) to create texts in their
respective sign languages. Despite the relatively low number of users overall, many SignWriters
participate in multilingual, transnational online networks, such as listservs, dedicated to the
circulation and discussion of SW texts. This paper explores how the circulation and discussion of
sign language texts online affects and is affected by the notion of a "Deaf World". Creating texts
representing codes and modalities not typically represented in written form has afforded
SignWriters the opportunities and challenges of operating outside many hegemonic textual
standards. Furthermore, the transnational network of users have socialized to a range of different
standard language ideologies which, when brought into relief through comparison on the listserv,
become less taken for granted and more subject to critique. Perhaps as a result of these factors,
many SignWriters explicitly oppose the notion that standardization of their writing practices is
necessary to produce a viable transnational social formation, or "Deaf World.” Through an analysis
of a Sign Writing Symposium held online in 2014, in which hearing and deaf signers from twelve
countries gave talks and fielded questions (using a range of spoken and signed languages) about
their particular engagements with SW, I explore the processes through which the organizers
worked to frame participants' diverse backgrounds and communicative repertoires as a resource
rather than as a problem requiring standardization. At the same time, the fact that this
engagement was facilitated by the affordances of particular online platforms forced participants to
grapple with the ways in which ideologies of standard language embedded into these formats
created potential barriers to a successful symposium.
New media, new standards? Standardization processes in digitally mediated space
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Hoskins, Andrew (University of Glasgow)
A memory of crisis and a crisis of memory
Abstract: An emergent history of crisis is already weighed down with successive events
disproportionate to the passage of time of this still fledging century. These crises of conflict,
revolution, and civil war are discursively hyperconnected through what is identified here as a 'new
memory' of neoliberalism, manifested in a struggle between a persistence of an established and
recursive 'mainstream' news media against a seemingly more dynamic and more ephemeral
emergent media.
This paper examines this new memory as a key discursive battlespace of the emergent framing of
contemporary crisis. This is not only a matter of a history of neoliberalism that is used to new
ends in the present, but that the champions of Western military intervention in Iraq and
Afghanistan, for example, are again its principal proponents in emergent and re-emergent crises.
For example, Stuart Hall (2011) claims that such events are linked through 'the long march of the
Neoliberal Revolution'.
Drawing upon collaborative work this paper interrogates the battle over a mediatized historical
consciousness (and its absence) of recent crises in a post-scarcity culture in which the past seems
paradoxically both unsettled and monumentalized being churned ever more viscerally in and on
the emerging present.
Keywords: crisis, new memory, neoliberalism, established and emergent media
Crisis: What crisis?
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Hsiao, Chi-Hua (Tunghai University)
Translation Styles of Subtitling Humor within Subtitle Groups in China: A
Sociolinguistic Perspective
This study investigates the translation styles of subtitlers within the unofficial but popular
subtitle groups in China. The censorship practices in China rarely allow the official importation of
US television programs. Since the mid-nineties, informal volunteer subtitle groups have emerged
to cater to younger generation's thirst for US popular media culture. Volunteer subtitle groups
spend their evenings and weekends adding Chinese subtitles to programs to eventually post
online for free-downloaded watching. Subtitlers vary between three translation variants to subtitle
audiovisual humor presented in US situation comedies: direct translation, translation with
annotation, and domesticating translation. Based on fieldwork in Beijing, Shanghai, Nanjing, and
Taipei from 2011 to 2012, I present a quantitative and qualitative analysis and demonstrate that
several pragmatic and social factors influence the translation variation. These translation styles
index subtitlers' stances towards the dialogues being translated by showing their thinking process
around, and evaluation of, the original contents. While subtitlers may alternate between
translation variants depending on pragmatic factors, their choices of these variants are shaped by
wider sociocultural factors on the "undergroundness" of subtitle groups. These translation
variants constitute a cultural lens through which subtitlers reflect upon their own perspectives on
translation. By facilitating, interfering with, mediating, and disrupting audiences' viewing process,
the styles explore the many semantic possibilities and cultural interpretations of US media
popular culture.
Keywords: audiovisual humor, backstage, intellectual property, subtitling, translation, stylistic
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Huamei, Han (Simon Fraser University)
Gold Panners, or Colonialists? Constructing "the Chinese" in a Post-colonial
Bordertown in Northern Namibia
Drawing on a large-scale, ongoing sociolinguistic ethnography of grassroots multilingualism in
China-Africa trade migration, this paper focuses on Oshikango, a harsh and hostile boomtown
with a saturation of Chinese shops in Namibia at the border to Angola. Informed by a materialist
and processual view of language and bi-/multilingualism (Bourdieu, 1991; Heller, 2007), I adopt a
sociolinguistics of mobility lens that is concerned with actual linguistic resources deployed in real
sociocultural, historical, and political contexts (Blommaert 2010). Drawing on ethnographic
observations and interviews complemented by relevant texts, I situate the presence of Chinese
shops in Oshikango in mainland Chinese trade migration, Western media's construction of China
as the new colonizer in Africa, and economic deprivation in Oshikango. I then analyzes some local
residents' complaint that "the Chinese" approaching them in Portuguese, instead of English, when
English is not easily accessible in the region, and the contradictory views between the two groups
regarding product quality, "customer service care," labour codes, anti-Chinese sentiment, and so
on, through which Chinese migrant traders and Namibian interviewees constructed "the Chinese"
as "goldpanners" and "colonialists" respectively.
Considering Namibia's linguistic and economic realities, I argue that, much like the movement of
capital that hops point-to-point (Ferguson, 2006), large quantities of commodities hopping and
largely bypassing Oshikango caused much bewilderment and anger among local residents, while
Western ideologies, including English as the language of democracy, freedom and civil rights,
perpetuate post-colonial Namibia (Hopson 2005, 2011). The two interacting in a paradoxical way
partially contributed to Oshikango residents' directing their frustration and anger toward Chinese
traders as new players in a shifting capitalist world-system. The construction of "the Chinese" ,
the materiality of language, and implications, are then discussed.
Keywords: Chinese migrant traders; Chinese shops; Namibia; border-town; globalization
Transnationalizing Chineseness: Language, mobility, and diversity
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Huang, Jing (Lancaster University)
Global city and promotion of the official language
China's central government has been promoting the use of its official spoken language,
Putonghua, since 1956, soon after its establishment. This nation-building language policy has
been implemented and reinforced in the past six decades, during which China witnessed huge
population mobility due to its economic revolution since the end of 1970s and concomitant
hybridity of language use. Under the circumstances of communicating problems among people of
diverse indigenous languages, Putonghua Promotion's function of overcoming the communicative
barriers has been foregrounded.
In recent years, debates arose on the relationship between promoting Putonghua and squeezed
space for the indigenous languages. Situated in Guangzhou, one of the most developed cites of
China, this paper takes a discourse-historical perspective (Reisigl & Wodak, 2009) to focus upon
discourses in print media and political documents commenting on or related to a protest in 2010
appealing for protection of Cantonese, the indigenous language of Guangzhou, followed by the
most heated argument ever on the relationship between Putonghua and Cantonese. It looks into
the means through which new functions of building Guangzhou as a metropolis or a global city
(Sassen, 1991) and gaining profits from this role in contemporary globalisation are added to
Putonghua Promotion, thereby legitimating the reinforced Putonghua Promotion and the
superiority of Putonghua against the inferiority of indigenous languages. In this case, the value of
establishing and maintaining a city's status on the supra-national level is constructed and
appropriated to mediate the language ideological conflict and negotiation between the national
and the local levels.
Sassen, S. (1991). The global city. Princeton University Press.
Reisigl, M. & Wodak, R. (2009). Discourse-historical Approach. In Wodak, R. & Meyer, M.
(eds). Methods of Critical Discourse Analysis (2nd edition). SAGE. 87-121.
Keywords: Putonghua Promotion, Cantonese, status-building, global cities, superiority and
Language ideology (2)
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Huang, Enmou (The University of Hong Kong)
The joy and pain of neoliberal accountability discourse: Insights from
Chinese internal migrant students
This presentation reports on a one-year "sociolinguistic ethnographic" inquiry (Heller, 2011;
Pérez-Milans, 2013) of how two children of Chinese internal migrant workers from working class
family, one high-score achiever and one low-score achiever, constructed their senses of selves and
imagined identities in a Chinese suburban public middle school that was in periods of crisis
because of its deteriorating exam scores and ranking in the context of increasing migration and
spreading neoliberalism (Harvey, 2005). This study found that the accountability discourse,
discourse that only legitimates high-score achievers as successful identity models, exploited
personal agency from the two students across the one-year observation. It is also found that
though the high-score student gained a sense of joy by deploying test discourses to strengthen
determination for positive changes, the low-score student suffered from increasing senses of
painful, helpless and loss. This study argues for the complex interplay of neoliberal discourse and
identification trajectories of students who hold different social/cultural capitals. The study will
shed timely insight on the currently still inadequate discourse and sociolinguistic research of
identity construction in times of the mutually reinforcing movements of neoliberalization and
globalization (Block, Gray, & Holborow, 2012).
Block, D., Gray, J., & Holborow, M. (2012). Neoliberalism and applied linguistics. Abingdon; New
York: Routledge.
Harvey, D. (2005). A brief history of neoliberalism. Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press.
Heller, M. (2011). Paths to post-nationalism: A critical ethnography of language and identity. New York:
Oxford University Press.
Pérez-Milans, M. (2013). Urban schools and English language education in late modern China: A Critical
sociolinguistic ethnography. New York: Routledge.
Keywords: neoliberalism, migration, discourse, identity, agency, trajectory, migrant children
Transnationalism (2)
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Hubbs, Elizabeth (University of Arizona)
Critical Discourse Analysis of the Hong Kong Race Discrimination
Ordinance: Is Anti-Discrimination Still Discrimination?
In the following, I utilize critical discourse analysis (CDA) as an approach to explore recent
governmental policies related to race and language in the Hong Kong (cf. Fairclough, 2013; Mills,
1997). CDA can reveal social problems, manifest social ideologies, reflect various power
dynamics, legitimize or delimit people and groups, asses problems with bureaucracy, and uncover
injustices within written and spoken texts (Wodak & Meyer, 2009). The policy in focus is referred
to as the Race Discrimination Ordinance (RDO), and was passed by the HKSAR Legislative
Council in 2008 (Hong Kong Equal Opportunities Commission [HKEOC], 2013; Hong Kong
Legislative Council [KHLC], 2008). The RDO sought, for the first time, to legally eliminate racial
discrimination in the Hong Kong territories (HKEOC, 2013; HKLC, 2008; Kennedy & Hue, 2011).
Through CDA, I ask whether the RDO, as legislation that seeks to prohibit racism, creates a
discourse of multiculturalism, or actually further promotes discrimination. What is hidden in the
silence of the legislation? To answer these questions I analyze themes that confirm the media's
criticisms that the RDO is a weak piece of legislation (South China Morning Post, 2014).
Specifically, I critique legislation's definition of discrimination, highlight the document's
underlying perceptions towards immigrants, and reveal the purposeful exclusion of language in
the RDO. Overall, this research provides a starting point to find intersections between
immigration, ethnicity, language, and discriminatory ideologies. To conclude, I ask how a critical
analysis of this policy can promote and initiate social change towards acceptance of immigrants
and their ethnic and linguistic diversity.
Keywords: Discrimination, language policy, critical discourse analysis, immigration
Critical discourse analysis
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Hult, Francis (Lund University)
(Re)conceptualizing Linguistic Hierarchies: English and Multilingualism in
Since the 1980s, much has been made about the relationship between Swedish and English in
Sweden, particularly with respect to how language contact with English potentially threatens both
the corpus (e.g., lexical incursion) and the status (e.g., domain loss) of Swedish. This debate,
about a national language and a major international language both at the top of the hierarchy, has
tended to overshadow the complexities of linguistic relations in Sweden, which include national
minority languages, neighboring Scandinavian languages, and the languages of new arrivals from
beyond Scandinavia. Accordingly, in this paper, I consider linguistic hierarchy and how it is
manifested in Sweden. I begin with a discussion of how linguistic hierarchies might be
conceptualized from a theoretical perspective, drawing on principles of the sociology of language
and critical discourse analysis to unpack the concept of hierarchy (e.g., Blommaert, 2010;
Fairclough, 2006; Fishman, 1967; Hymes, 1992). I then turn to an examination how linguistic
relations in Sweden appear iteratively as sociolinguistic 'fractals' (Agar, 2005; Irvine & Gal, 2000)
across spaces. I illustrate this using multiple data sources: national policy documents (i.e., the
Swedish Language Act and proposals leading up to it as well as the national curricula for
languages), television (i.e., language of programming on Swedish National Television), and
linguistic landscapes (i.e., photographic documentation in the multilingual city of Malmö). I
demonstrate that social and linguistic inequalities beyond relations between Swedish and English
are sometimes explicitly acknowledged, though more often they are implicit and remain
unchallenged in policy. I conclude with implications for how critical sociolinguistics might play a
greater role in expanding public policy debates in Sweden to include a more nuanced treatment of
linguistic issues.
English in Scandinavia
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Hutton, Christopher (University of Hong Kong)
Sociolinguistics and its metalinguistic paradox: a plea for history
Academic disciplines in the humanities and social sciences seek to develop metalanguages that
have analytical purchase across contexts, domains, cultures and language zones. Sociolinguistics
for example seeks to make socially-relevant generalizations, and to that end it requires
methodologies and terminologies that transcend a particular domain or social context. And yet,
sociolinguistics is committed to respect for locally generated meanings and categories, and
pluralistic understandings of human communication. Paradoxically, increasing success in one
direction seems to imply greater failure in the other.
One way to understand the dilemma this paradox represents is in terms of an opposition between
a scientific or methodologically objective sociolinguistics as opposed to a discursive, reflexive or
(loosely) ‘postmodern’ one. The origins of post-war scientific sociolinguistics lie in the attempt to
merge dialectology and historical linguistics (as in the classic 1968 paper by Weinreich, Labov and
Herzog, ‘Empirical foundations for a theory of language change’), and secondly in the
introduction of class as a social dimension to which observable linguistic phenomena are held to
correspond. Both these innovations constituted critiques directed at nineteenth century historical
linguistics, specifically the Neogrammarian model of language change, and were ‘sociolinguistic’
in the sense that one could, it was argued, study language change ‘on the hoof’, plotting it against
social parameters such as age, race, gender and class. In a different (but for the purposes of this
discussion analogous way), the methodologies of ethnomethodology and CA involve a
methodologically empowered observer. The presumption is that locally generated, interactional
meanings are available to the investigator based on observable features of interaction.
The dilemma is however most acute for discursive or reflexive sociolinguistics, since it does not
see itself as a purely observational science, and is shaped by social constructionism. One possible
endpoint to this ideologically-driven constructionism is skepticism, that is, a position in which the
observer doubts the status even of their own experientially based reports of the social reality they
have set out to capture. In highly contested domains of social action, or in dealing with radically
disempowered communities, the outsider may need to cede terminological priority to the insider,
and the politics of social description in such cases is constantly threatened by the charge of
appropriation or misrepresentation. Insiders who take an ethnographic stance face a complex of
related problems involving self-positioning, inauthenticity, and representativity.
This complex of problems cannot be solved in any straightforward sense. However the issues
sketched above are explored through two case studies. The first concerns the term ‘mother
tongue’ and the assumptions that underlie post-Renaissance vernacularism; the second is the sexgender distinction. The argument is made that sociolinguistics needs a deeper and more nuanced
awareness both of its own disciplinary history and of history itself, and that it must abandon its
quest for an ideal analytical metalanguage.
(Plenary lecture 2)
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Innes, Bronwen (The University of Auckland)
Working with judges to improve communication with juries
The New Zealand judiciary is aware of a need to improve its communication with juries and is
keen to do so. Legal scholars have done valuable work on this by way of questionnaires as part of
a wider project looking at improving the jury system in New Zealand. But while they considered
certain concepts and how well they were understood, no one carried out a linguistic analysis of
judicial language in situ. The research described in this paper therefore adds to the endeavour by
looking at linguistic complexity in one of the important communicative tasks in defended criminal
trials: judges' summings-up for juries. I will briefly outline the project, the collaborative process
used, and the results achieved so far. An ethnographic approach has been combined with
discourse analysis (particularly conversation analysis) and corpus linguistic techniques. The data
show variation between judges in how they tackle the summing up task with its dual tasks of
dealing with fact and law and how they see the different roles of judge and jury. The results show
how the summings-up reflect their initial drafting as written language as well as the judges'
awareness of both their audience and the spoken medium they use in this important sub-genre of
trial language. The project combines a linguistically rigorous approach, using naturally-occurring
data, with practical recommendations designed to appeal to judges. Thus the result both respects
and contributes to judges' interest in their use of language, so vital in their everyday work.
Keywords: judicial language; juries
Engaging the world of language work/ers
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Isma, Silva (University of Indonesia)
Bharoto, Adhi Kusumo (University of Indonesia)
Suwiryo, Adhika Irlang (Sign Language Research Laboratory)
Lexical variations in sign language in Yogyakarta
It is well-known that Indonesia has a high linguistic diversities, both regionally and socially.
However, whether sign languages among deaf people exhibit similar diversities is not yet known,
due to the lack of sign linguistic studies that look into use of sign languages in Indonesia.
Sociolinguistically, deaf people are very diverse. The diversity often relates to social factors, such
as age, sex, region, and educational background. This study aims at showing how sociolinguistics
variation has been studied in signed languages by looking at lexical variations in sign language
that is used in Yogyakarta Province in Java Island, Indonesia, based on the aforementioned
variables. At least nine deaf informants will be invited in this study and 150 signs from the corelexicon will be collected from each informant through pictures. Preliminary observation of the
sign language used in Yogyakarta suggests that its lexical variations is highly influenced by the
educational background of deaf people there.
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Istanbullu, Suat (INALCO, Paris)
Nativeness in transnational Antiochian Arabic-Turkish-French speaking
This presentation addresses on the one hand language ideologies and policies regarding minority
languages in Turkey and France, and, on the other, the transmission of Arabic and/or Turkish as
possibly heritage languages. Since the creation of the Republic of Turkey in 1923, numerous
reforms have minoritized language practices and positionalities of its non-Turkish speaking
citizens. By purging from Turkish traces of Arabic or Persian influence, it wanted to create a
"modern" Turkish language for an equally modern Turkish state. In this modernist ideological
system, Arabic was indexical of a decadent and anachronistic past, legitimizing Turkish as the
language of modernity, state and citizenship. Arguably, this ideology is reproduced in
contemporary Turkish language policy. In globalization, however, speakers of Antiochian Arabic
have been presented and confronted with new possibilities and sites for acquiring voice. Drawing
on a multi-sited ethnography, recordings of family interactions, [linguistic] biographies and
migration narratives, I will thus discuss various native imaginaries, as linked to place and time, as
well as to language and language ideologies, in a novel context of Antiochian transnationality.
Here, previously fixed modes of belonging become increasingly mobile and (re)negotiable.
Analyzing various interactional and narrative practices in the Antiochian diaspora (France) as well
as among Arabic-Turkish speaking families in Antioch, I will highlight how such renegotiations
could be analyzed as linked to complex, global processes of minoritization/deminorization.
Native imaginaries: Resistances and regimentations in unstable senses of space, time and self
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Jacobs, Geert (University of Ghent)
Foreign news reporting from the heart of Europe: fieldwork notes from the
TV newsroom
In this paper, I present a wide range of data collected during fieldwork at the newsroom of
Belgium's French language public broadcasting corporation in Brussels. My main focus is on how
foreign news editors struggle to convince the news chief and others to include news from other
parts of the world (including Greece and the Far East). In doing so, I hope to contribute to the
ethnographic study of news reporting in relation to today's global-local dichotomy.
(De)standardization in the newsroom: An internal perspective on news products and
newsmaking process
"I don't want any popularization": Backstage perspectives on the interaction
between university researchers, PR officers and science journalists
A recent European Commission survey on science in society shows that most European citizens
have a positive view overall of the current presentation of scientific research in the media.
Reporting is perceived to be reliable, objective and useful. "Key to maintaining these favourable
opinions", the survey concludes, will be "to ensure sufficient linkages between the media and
scientific communities" (2007). This paper presents linguistic ethnographic work on one such
linkage, namely that between university researchers and science journalists, and –crucially – on
how it is mediated by university press officers. Previous research has explored the relationship
between science journalists and researchers in terms of tension, or of a gap, with journalists
engaged in criticism and entertainment and researchers seeking scholarly communication and
public education (Peters 1995). Drawing on fieldwork at a one-day on-campus training program
organized by my university's PR department to prepare senior researchers for contacts with
journalists as well as at one of the university's monthly press conferences, I will demonstrate how
the relationship between science journalists and university researchers is variously characterized
by symbiosis (in the training programme) and antagonism or indifference (in the press
conference). In particular, I will propose Mark Peterson's concept of unwriteable/unspeakable
discourses in this context and, based on previous work on sourcing practices in news production
(Jacobs 1999, NT&T 2012), I will show that science – other than business news, for example does not always need to be preformulated. I conclude with reflections on the future of the
professional language work of university press officers.
Keywords: news production, PR, preformulation, linguistic ethnography
Engaging the world of language work/ers
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Jaffe, Alexandra (California State University Long Beach)
Engaging the world of language work/ers
Jaffe, Alexandra (California State University Long Beach)
Coupland, Nikolas (University of Cardiff, University of
Sociolinguistic Authenticities: From Traditional to Reflexive Perspectives
Building on our earlier ideas and proposed frameworks for the sociolinguistic analysis of
authenticities (Coupland 2003, 2014; Jaffe 2013), and on other recent work on "authentication,"
we examine the interplay of conventional and new frameworks guiding social actors' production
and experience of the sociolinguistically authentic. As part of our current analyses of tourist
encounters and commercial practices in minority language settings, we look at the specific ways in
which traditional tropes of authenticity emerge in texts, products and interactions, and we explore
"new authenticities" that challenge some of the underlying assumptions of the authentic in both
cultural practice and scholarly work.
A focus on conventional frameworks documents the persistence of essentializing, fixed, first-order
indexicalities between linguistic and semiotic practices and person, place, time, production, form
and primary materials in acts of authentication. The tropes of conventional authenticities presume
two kinds of direct congruence: between personal inner states/intentions and linguistic
production and between collective histories of cultural ownership and language practice.
Language, in this framework, is largely defined as decontextualized and denotational and as
individual and unmediated: 'The authentic' standing in unproblematised contrast to 'the artificial'.
We then turn to the new authenticities we are labeling "reflexive/transactional." Here, the trope of
the "real" is replaced by a framework of "verisimilitude," in which heavily mediated (and
sometimes mediatized) reflexive performances of the authentic are framed as a valued site of
connection/transaction. Indexical links between linguistic/ semiotic practices and the authentic
are framed as the emergent, reflexive, 'good-for-now', mediated products of interaction in context,
and this reflexivity is often put on display as the shared ground of interaction and interpretation.
Artifice and performance, in this conception, can be sites of the authentic, conceived
transactionally. Using current data from Corsica and Wales we illustrate the shifts we are
theorizing here.
Keywords: centre-periphery; authenticity; minority languages; reflexivity
Mainstreaming the periphery in sociolinguistics
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Jang, In Chull (University of Toronto)
Stratification of English-Speaking Interlocutors in Educational Migration: A
Discursive Strategy of South Korean Undergraduates Studying English
Educational migration is mediated by a desire for educational capital (Ong, 1999). In South Korea,
it is motivated by the aspiration for English and cosmopolitan personhood, which are believed to
be key to the success in upward mobility in the neoliberal society (Park & Lo, 2012). Recently, the
maturation of educational migration in South Korea and the global spread of transnationality have
brought about significant changes in its current market and subsequently reshaped the ideologies
and practices underlying the migration. Particularly, the market of English study-abroad includes
non-Western English dominant countries (e.g., the Philippines and India) as migration
destinations for budgetary and geographical reasons, whereas traditionally appreciated host
countries (e.g., the US, the UK, Canada) face challenges of authentic English learning
environments due to their increasing linguistic and cultural diversity.
This paper examines a discursive strategy that such changes have made more visible and central in
the discourse of "successful" educational migration: the stratification of English-speaking
interlocutors. The researcher conducted the multi-sited fieldwork in South Korea and Toronto
with a group of fifteen South Korean undergraduates for fourteen months. It reveals that, in
designing study-abroad plans and doing intercultural communication, they stratified ideal types of
English-speaking interlocutors according to their level of English proficiency and degree of
cultural authenticities of the West. The hierarchical frame of ideal interlocutors led learners to
search for a linguistic space, where they assumed it would be possible to meet speakers that are
more proficient and authentic in English. The paper argues that the stratification is an
ideologically laden practice, not only because it was constructed by what the learners perceived as
"good" English, but also because it was based on the interplay of other ethnic, linguistic and
cultural stereotypes.
Keywords: Language and migration, study-abroad, English, South Korea
Language and the black box of migration: Asian and African perspectives
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Jansen, Lisa (University of Münster)
British Attitudes towards an "American accent" in English Pop and Rock
Many British artists switch to an "American-influenced accent" when singing. Previous studies in
this field focus on the production side of performances and on what motivates British artists to
change or stick to their accent (cf. Trudgill 1982, Simpson 1999, Beal 2009). However, the
audiences' perspective, i.e. perception and reception, has been widely neglected. In the course of
globalization US cultural dominance has dispersed and English varieties mutually influence each
other. This is especially observable in contemporary popular music – where singers seem to
eclectically create diversely influenced performance accents.
For this paper folk perceptions towards accents in singing were elicited. Guided interviews based
on music samples aim at answering the following questions: Which features, language-wise and
other, do Britons perceive as "American" in music today? And which associations are triggered in
connection with such performed accents? Preliminary results show that concluding an artist's
origin from his/her performed accent is a highly challenging task for native speakers. Salient
phonetic features alone (cf. Simpson's USA-5 model) do not suffice to represent and determine an
accent. Other factors such as genre or content prove crucial for the evaluative process as well.
Attitudes show that American accents are often associated with "incorrectness" but prove more
marketable whereas local British accents are seen as a welcome change that authentically supports
British pop-culture.
Beal, J. C. 2009. 'You're Not from New York City, You're from Rotherham': Dialect and Identity
in British Indie Music. Journal of English Linguistics 37, 3: 223-240.
Simpson, P. 1999. Language, Culture and Identity: With (Another) Look at Accents in Pop and Rock
Singing. Multilingua 18, 4: 343-367.
Trudgill, P. 1982. On Dialect: Social and Geographical Perspectives. Oxford: Blackwell
Keywords: performance style, language attitudes, indexicalities, guided interviews
Hip-hop and rock pop
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Järlehed, Johan (University of Gothenburg)
Pride and profit in contemporary branding of Galician-ness and Basque-ness
This paper is part of a study which examines how the three interrelated practices of policing,
displaying and perceiving cultural distinctiveness are transformed and contribute to the
transformation of the Galician and Basque semiotic landscape. Findings from other ethnolinguistic minorities signal that these practices are increasingly marked by the complex interaction
of the discourses of "pride" and "profit", whereby modern nationalist ideology's focus on identity,
rights, boundaries and preservation gives way for entrepreneurial logics and economic gain
(Duchêne and Heller 2011).
In this paper I will focus on how cultural distinctiveness is perceived by people who commission
and design signs for Galician and Basque public institutions, municipalities, and commercial
establishments. Drawing on recent interviews, the analysis centers on how the informants talk
about and value culturally salient resources such as language, typography, color and material, the
aim being a more detailed ethnographic description of how the discourses of 'pride' and 'profit'
interact and influence the contemporary branding of Galician and Basque places and identities.
We can reasonably assume that it creates both new opportunities and challenges for such
branding (cf. Comaroff and Comaroff 2009). What opportunities and challenges can be identified?
Furthermore, what meanings and values are ascribed to the notions of Galician and Basque
cultural distinctiveness? How are these notions situated and changing within "the globalized new
economy", and what semiotic resources are seen as "available locally" (Heller, Pujolar and Duchêne
2014, 547) for branding Galician-ness and Basque-ness?
Comaroff and Comaroff. 2009. Ethnicity, Inc. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Duchêne and Monica (eds.). 2011. Language in Late Capitalism. Pride and Profit. London/New
York: Routledge.
Heller, Pujolar and Duchêne. 2014. Linguistic commodification in tourism. Journal of
Sociolinguistics, 18/4, 539-566.
Keywords: cultural commodification, semiotic landscape, Galicia, Basque Country
Linguistic landscape (1)
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Jie, Dong (Tsinghua University)
Globalization, English, and the emerging middle class identity
Contemporary globalization has changed the status of languages as well as their relative positions
(de Swaan 2001; Pennycook 2007; Blommaert 2010). On the one hand, the establishment of
English as a supra state language is a remarkable outcome of globalization; on the other hand,
'smaller' languages are repositioned against English. This paper focuses on the use of English by a
group of young professionals in Chinese metropolises, in order to investigate their linguistic
repertoires, their spatial and social mobility, and their identities constructed through the use of
language. Drawing on ethnographic data collected between 2013 and 2015, I demonstrate that the
informants negotiate and enact urban middle class identities through their deployment of English,
a rare linguistic resource that affords global mobility. I use three examples to illustrate this point.
The first example is an interactive event in which the informants switch between Chinese
(Putonghau) and English frequently; the second example is a post of an informant's Weibo entry
which is accompanied by a line of his explanation in English; the third example is an extract of the
informants textual interactions on an online automobile forum (BBS) in which they organize an
offline event in order to support an international automobile manufactory. All three examples
involve frequent use of English and index the establishment of the informants' global middle class
English in multilingual, globalized Asia
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Jo, Jay (Seoul National University)
Bilingual Language Usage in the International School under Global context
This study attempts to describe bilingual language practices by international school students in
Korea, and to analyze in terms of sociocultural context of globalization. Through the rapid stream
of globalization, many Korean locals, wanting to raise their children into globally oriented elites,
spare no effort to follow up and respond to the rapidly changing trends and policies on English
education of their children under the neoliberal capitalist logic of human development. Such a
socio-cultural atmosphere contributes English to be prestigious linguistic capital that operates as
symbolic resource of socioeconomic class in the global market, which allows competence in
English stand not only as a fundamental resource for reproduction and reinforcement of the
power, but also as a ticket to the educational and socioeconomic advancement in Korea.
In this sense, international schools in Korea are considered to be the center of the globalized
education where interactional regimes emerge through local and global encounter. In an
international school, while the language policy restricts English to be used in most of the school
activities, practicing of Korean and/or code-switching between English/Korean commonly occur
in various occasions whether the setting is formal/educational or not.
Based on a field research on the bilingual linguistic practices of Korean students in one of the
international schools in Korea, this study explored the linguistic norms, settings, and factors of
students' bilingual language practice, and discovered several functions and meaning construction
processes of bilingual language practice in conversation, and lastly, examined language ideology
on English and Korean within the sociocultural understanding of both parents and students under
the discourses of globalized Korea.
Keywords: English as Global Language, Bilingualism, Language Ideology, Language choice, Codeswitching
Polycentricity and changing language-scapes in globalizing Korea
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Johnson, Daryl (The University of Nottingham Ningbo China)
The Socioculturally Constructed Chinese English Language Classroom: the
implementation of lesson types in response to conflicting discursive forces
Using ethnographic data collected from English language classrooms at an urban Chinese high
school in Ningbo, this paper explores the strategies used by teachers to implement the English
syllabus in an attempt to reconcile the competing discursive forces informing 'ideal' English
education. These strategies constitute a conceptual space that consists of mutually informing
structures. Wider discourses significantly impact on the practices that occur in the classroom
whilst being simultaneously reinforced by the resulting interactions. The discursive conflict arises
between the curricular requirements, espousing the need for more student-centred teaching
methods capable of enhancing students' language acquisition (Hu, 2002; Littlewood, 2007), and
the essentialised teacher-centred methods believed to be mandatory for students to pass the
College Entrance Examination, or gaokao (Yan, 2012). Because little reform has influenced the
significance of the exam on a student's ability to enter tertiary education and educational desire is
ideologically embedded in a narrative of cultural heritage (Kipnis, 2011), the gaokao remains
exceptionally high stakes and is thus stakeholders' foremost educational priority (Pan & Block,
2011). A discourse analysis of fieldnotes, recorded classroom interactions, and participant
interviews collected for this project revealed a systematic combination of lesson features that
formed four distinguishable lesson types. These lesson features were the dominant language
through which the lesson is delivered; the language skill being taught; the teaching material; and
the position of the lesson in the teaching week. With the primary concern being for the
transmission of exam skills, the importance of a lesson is signalled by a methodical combination
of these factors, resulting in a hierarchy of English lesson types. The systematic division of
English education at this school is neither neutral nor arbitrary and reflects conflicting forces that
impact on the teachers' perceptions of how they ought to fulfil their roles as Chinese English
Bilingual classroom
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Johnstone, Barbara (Carnegie Mellon University)
New Yinzers and the Re-enregisterment of Pittsburgh Speech
"Pittsburghese" is a set of linguistic forms and practices that have been enregistered as a "dialect"
associated with the US city of Pittsburgh (Johnstone, 2013). Pittsburgese started to emerge in
the Pittsburgh imagination when Pittsburghers, once relatively isolated geographically and
culturally, became mobile and thus in a position to notice that they spoke differently than people
elsewhere and that the way they talked could be linked with where they were from (Johnstone,
Andrus, & Danielson, 2006). One particularly important cause of geographic mobility was the
collapse of the steel industry in Pittsburgh in the 1980s, when many thousands of young
Pittsburghers were forced to move away to find work. In earlier research, Dan Baumgardt and I
noted the important role played by members of this diaspora in discourse about Pittsburghese
(Johnstone & Baumgardt, 2004).
This paper continues the project of exploring the role of mobility in creating and circulating ideas
about what local speech sounds like and what it means, ideas that shape who uses Pittsburghese
for what purposes. Now, however, I focus on the role of people who have moved to Pittsburgh
rather than away. In-migration of well-educated young people has increased over the course of
the 21st century as a consequence of Pittsburgh's economic revival. On the basis of multi-modal
semiotic analysis of a number of artifacts representing Pittsburgh speech that are marketed to this
demographic, as well as interviews with members of this group, I explore the historical,
ideological, and material factors which have led these Pittsburghers to re-imagine Pittsburghese
as a marker of urban hipness. I focus in particular on the role of changing ideas about social class
in this process.
Keywords: Pittsburghese, enregisterment, migration, multi-modal analysis
Dialects and migration
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Jones, Rodney (City University of Hong Kong)
Wang, Simon Ho (City University of Hong Kong)
Zheng, Yaxin (City University of Hong Kong)
Marketing the Genome across Cultures
Advances in biotechnology have made genomic testing for disease risk and other traits available to
the general public. The commercial marketing of personal genomic tests began with US and
European companies like 23andMe and DeCodeMe . Just as these companies are facing legal
challenges in their home countries, new personal genomics companies are sprouting up in Asia,
adapting the business models of US and Western European companies to different sociopolitical
conditions. Studying the discourse of personal genomics as it takes root in different countries
offers an interesting lens on how issues related to genetics (such as identity, race, and disease
risk) are constructed in different cultural contexts, and how companies discursively navigate the
complex scientific, legal, ethical, commercial and cultural debates surrounding personal genomics.
This paper explores the way Chinese companies appropriate and adapt discourses of personal
genomics to the particular socioeconomic, political and cultural conditions of China. Drawing on
principles of multimodal and mediated discourse analysis, it analyzes the websites of three
Chinese personal genomics companies, focusing on the way they portray their missions, claim
credibility, position their customers, and discuss issues like identity, disease risk, and privacy.
Perhaps the most interesting thing about these websites is the degree to which they extensively
appropriate (sometimes verbatim) texts and images from the websites of US and European
companies, especially 23andMe, Even more interesting, however, is the way these images and
discourses are transformed as they are strategically recontextualized. Despite this widespread
'copying', Chinese companies promote a very different understanding of personal genomics than
their US and European counterparts. This analysis points to ways sociolinguistics can contribute
to debates not just about the popular understanding of science, but also about issues of
intellectual property and intertextuality, , and the globalization of biotechnology.
Discourse analysis
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Juffermans, Kasper (University of Luxembourg)
Multilingual navigation and mobility planning: Bissau's Anglo- and
Francophile youth
In the capital of Guinea-Bissau, language learning is hot, or rather: cool (frio). Public and private
schools commonly teach French and English alongside Portuguese from seventh or earlier grades
on. There's a high demand for qualified language teachers across the country and private language
schools are mushrooming in the capital. These are catering for the needs of thousands of young
people seeking to find a way out of their "social moratorium" (Vigh 2006), or out of Africa
through education, and language learning.
Vigh (2006) described the precarious situation of Bissau's youth in terms of dubriagem and "social
navigation": the creative opportunity-seeking and problem-solving amidst the constraints of
structural poverty and intrinsic insecurity. Drawing on data from a linguistic ethnographic project
on migration out of Lusophone West Africa and into Luxembourg, this paper seeks to explore the
linguistic dimension of "social navigation". In this era of "involuntary immobility" (Carling 2002),
language learning remains one of the few agentive means to increase one's chances of
participating in authorized northward mobility. The language learning industry in the world's
periphery is key to understanding the black box of migration, and should be prominent on the
agenda of a sociolinguistics of globalization.
Fieldwork for this project is ongoing and follows a methodology of teaching-for/as-research in a
popular language school in central Bissau, as well as participant observations in meeting points
for Bissau's Anglo- and Francophile urban youth (i.c. the French cultural centre and the American
corner). The paper asks to what extent language learning effectively contributes to improved local
and mobile life chances; and how these multilingual demands are reordering Bissau's language
hierarchy – a Creole-Portuguese diglossic society with a declining multilingual African language
Keywords: language and migration, social navigation, agency
Language and the black box of migration: Asian and African perspectives
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Kalliokoski, Jyrki (University of Helsinki)
Language ideologies in public administration
The paper approaches adaptation to linguistic norms and variation in L2 context. The main
question addressed in the presentation is how educated multilingual professionals working in
public administration see themselves as language users and how their language use is assessed by
their colleagues with a majority language background.
Most experts working in Finnish public administration have either Finnish or Swedish as their
first language and as the language of education. During the last two decades, however, Finnish
administrative bodies have been recruiting educated experts with multilingual backgrounds. The
focal informants of the study produce and process written documents and attend and chair
meetings in Finnish which is their second or third language. The data consist of interviews,
ethnographic fieldwork notes, and written documents.
In the interviews, the multilingual professionals construct themselves as proficient and fluent
language users. However, they also report on occasional comments on their language use by
other members of the working community. These comments are reproduced by the informants in
the form of narratives. The paper explores how adaptation to and acceptance of the emerging new
linguistic varieties manifest in the everyday language use and, alternatively, how they are rejected
as violations of the norms of Standard Finnish. I will show that the processes reported in the
multilingual professionals' narratives reflect on and represent the language ideologies prevailing
in the work community and in the society at large.
The study reported in the present paper is anchored to interactional sociolinguistics (Gumperz
1982), research on language ideologies (Kroskrity 2000, Blommaert 2005), narrative approaches
to multilingualism and migration (e.g. Baynham & De Fina 2005), and studies on agency in
second language acquisition and use (Pavlenko & Lantolf 2000, Norton 2013, Miller 2014).
Keywords: language ideologies, second language, narrative, professional communication,
linguistic variation
Workplace communication
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Kang, M. Agnes (Lingnan University)
Chen, Katherine (The University of Hong Kong)
Saving the "(Hong) Kong Girl" stereotype in social media discourse
The "(Hong) Kong Girl", as an other-attributed stereotype of some Hong Kong women, has been
circulating in the media since the mid-2000s. Kong Girl can be seen as a form of resistance to
stereotypical gender norms that require women to be silent and submissive, but in other ways,
this figure also reinforces normative femininity by her attention to physical attractiveness and the
desire to marry a good provider. Using data from online discussion forums, the authors have
previously analyzed the discursive construction of the stereotype as fuelled by anxieties in the
local heterosexual marketplace, specifically the increase in cross-border marriages between Hong
Kong men and Mainland Chinese women (Kang and Chen 2014).
Recently, however, media and social media have circulated more positive representations of the
Kong Girl, raising questions as to whether the Kong Girl stereotype is undergoing an ideological
shift in meaning. In this paper, we examine the relationship between gender stereotype and the
macro social context to show how gender ideologies circulate alongside socioeconomic constraints
and political economies. The power to represent and also oppress groups of women, what
Holborow (2012) calls 'hegemonising articulation' (31), can be traced to the banal process of
stereotype formation, where such stereotypes are fueled not only by ideologies of social structures
that implicate gender, class, and society, but by the social relations created through discourses
about social structures. Given this, we consider whether the initial rise of the "Kong Girl"
stereotype provided a convenient target of neoliberal critique against women who embrace
individualism, consumerism, class mobility, and a free (heterosexual) market and what may have
influenced a change in the interpretation of Kong Girls in more recent years.
Articulating gender and sexuality in contemporary Asia
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Kang, Yoonhee (Seoul National University)
"Factory Talk" and the Power of Truncated Competence in a Korean Company
in Indonesia
This paper explores a transnational language-scape of Korean migrant workers, by examining a
case study of a Korean company in Indonesia. Based on my ethnographic field research in a
Korean manufacturing plant in Indonesia, I analyze how "factory talk," a Korean way of speaking
Indonesian used in the factory, becomes the legitimate language in the multinational corporation.
In this Korean company, Indonesian, the local employees' language serves the main medium of
work orders and confirmations, although the communication style is often identified as a Korean
style. The Korean way of Indonesian speaking exerts its symbolic power, as the Indonesian staff
conceives Korea as another locus of global centers, thus, producing and reproducing the power
relations between Korean and Indonesian staff in the company. In this paper, I examine how
Koreans "factory talk" both reflects and shapes the Koreans' conflicting and ambivalent ideologies
of efficiency and cultural diversity that once acknowledge the local workers' cultural differences,
yet still devalue their cultural traits as being less efficient for high productivity. Thus, Koreans'
use of a local language in a multinational corporation may appear to index their appreciation of
the local employees' linguistic diversity, while its underlying ideologies can still feed the ideas of
discrimination and unequal relations between Korean staff and local employees. A shifting focus
on a periphery of globalization allows us to understand the complexity in intersections between
the global and the local, as well as the variety of interactional regimes and language ideologies
that operate at different scales in the context of globalizing Korea.
Keywords: Truncated Competence; Interactional Regime; Multinational Corporation; Korea;
Polycentricity and changing language-scapes in globalizing Korea
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Karlander, David (Stockholm University)
Can Swedes be a minority? Revisiting Sweden's language politics at its
Language rights discourses project links across the disjunctures of globalization, seeking to
symbolically unite disparate settings and, thus, transpose them to a global arena. This process of
translation erases most traces of the language ideological practices which underlie and precede
these generalizations. Accordingly, highly localized and equally complex markets of sociolinguistic
reproduction and transformation are conceptualized as singularities. Consequently, any regime of
language political intervention produced by means of such native imaginaries is likely to be
confronted with other voicings, claims on belonging and inclusion than it foresees. Arguably, this
misrecognition of diversity readily emerges as a potential site of conflict and dissent. Drawing on
fieldwork and critical readings of policy documents, this paper seeks to unravel one such field of
tension. It tends to the troubled process of fitting Övdalsk, a regional form of Scandinavian
spoken in a rural district in central Sweden, into Sweden's field of language policy. Being
entangled in discourses of endangerment, Övdalsk is widely enregistered as distinct from
Swedish, while speakers of Övdalsk, conversely, are construed as integral in a Swedish imagined
community. The endangerment scenario has evoked a range of grassroots responses, not least in
the guise of claims on legal recognition within Sweden's language rights framework. However, the
fundamental bifurcation of belonging of Övdalsk speakers has surged as a matter of controversy
and rearticulation pertaining to the question of whether Swedes judicially can constitute a
minority. Accordingly, this paper discusses the dissonance and estrangement of the attempts at
language political regimentation, which unfold in the case at hand. It examines its bearing
ontologies of language and problematizes the fact that questions of the local, such as social and
linguistic heterogeneity and multiplicity of voice, are left unconsidered.
Keywords: grassroots advocacy, language ideologies, language politics, margins and peripheries,
Native imaginaries: Resistances and regimentations in unstable senses of space, time and self
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Karoulla-Vrikki, Dimitra (European University Cyprus)
Globalization, pragmatism and symbolism: The linguistic landscape in the
old city of Nicosia, Cyprus
The paper first reviews the 1990s parliamentary discussion of two bills that aimed at regulating
language use in public space in Cyprus. In order to decrease the dominance of English, the bills
promoted Greek as mandatory and placed English on an optional basis. The protection of Greek
ethnic identity, the promotion of Cypriot state identity, the boosting of the island's economy and
tourism were some of the issues raised in the parliamentary debate suggesting symbolic-versuspragmatic perspectives of language planning. The bills were never enacted into laws. As a result,
the current linguistic landscape expresses freedom of expression for some people, while for others
it reflects a linguistic chaos. The paper proceeds to the examination of today's linguistic landscape
in the two high streets of the old town of Nicosia, Cyprus. The examination demonstrates the
visibility of English as a global language through a quantitative analysis of data deriving from
about 1000 photos of all written signs. Linguistic items are grouped into different categories such
as signs in English, Greek, Turkish, Italian, Russian, French, signs showing Greek words and
names transliterated into the Latin alphabet, English registered trademarks, and signs showing
code switching between Greek and English. Finally, the paper demonstrates that linguistic tokens
suggest a public space of variation associated to economic, political, cultural and social
developments on the island. It also reveals that pragmatism dominates symbolism, since the
market itself determines the languages utilized.
Karoulla-Vrikki, Dimitra. (2013). Public and commercial signs in Cyprus: Should language
policy foster an identity? In Marilena Karyolemou & Pavlos Pavlou (eds), Language Policy and
Planning in the Mediterranean World. Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, pp.210-224.
Shohamy, Elana, Eliezer Ben-Rafael & Monica Barni (Eds). (2010). Linguistic Landscape in the
City. Multilingual Matters.
Keywords: linguistic landscape, symbolism, pragmatism, Cyprus.
Linguistic landscape (3)
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Karrebaek, Martha (University of Copenhagen)
The green grocer: Everyday diversity, the significance of location and the five
This presentation engages with globalization through the analysis of linguistic and non-linguistic
data, the particular location and placement of material resources relative to each other, and of
people's engagement with material and immaterial resources. The analysis centers on a local,
urban setting, and the relation between the setting and the different flows and scapes that
resources and signs participate in is also discussed.
The empirical starting point is a green grocer's shop in a semi-pedestrian street in a central
borough in Copenhagen, Denmark. The borough is reputed for its ethnic diversity, tensions and
lively city life with cafés, bars, and independent shops, and the green grocer is a place for convivial
conversations between shop-keepers and by-passers as well as for economic, linguistic and
cultural transactions.
I argue that the understanding of the meaning of resources, of signs-in-place and of the particular
place (here: the green grocer) can only be understood through ethnographically inspired
engagement. Also, we need to take into account different domain, in this case including, e.g., the
variety and quality of vegetables, sounds, smells and linguistic resources in and around the shop.
Furthermore, I look at the shop-keepers, the customers, and their interrelations, and I compare
the shop to the street and street life surrounding it. Data used (sound-recordings, field-notes,
photographs) come from the shop and the street.
Theoretically the presentation complements work on the Sociolinguistics of Globalization
(Blommaert 2010), Linguistic Landscaping (Blommaert 2012; Shohamy and Gorter 2008) and
Discourse in place (Scollon and Scollon 2003).
Linguascapes, sensescapes and semiotic landscapes
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Kelly-Holmes, Helen (University of Limerick)
Pietikäinen, Sari (University of Jyväskylä)
Introduction: Mainstreaming the periphery in sociolinguistics
Mainstream sociolinguistics has largely been built from data, ideas and scholars based in and
emanating from 'centres' – in terms of linguistic, geographic, economic, and even institutional
terms. The aim of this panel is to examine and discuss how the growing focus on sociolinguistics
of globalisation might be changing this established order under certain new conditions and with
what consequences. The panel starts from the position that the centre-periphery relationship is
never fixed but instead constantly renegotiated and mutually constitutive. Moreover, many of the
spaces, understood as peripheries under the modernist nation state regime or from the urban
metropoles, are now transforming into developing economic hubs under globalisation with new
possibilities and constraints for languages and their users. Commodification of authenticity,
branding of heritage, and capitalizing on linguistic resources, are strategies for moving forward,
ways to articulate what can be seen as blurring the modernist binary oppositions between centre
and periphery, standard and deviation with rhizomatic pathways to non-linear, emerging and
open-ended new conditions. These processes are not linear or complete, but rather overlapping,
contradictory and open ended.
In this invited panel, we bring together scholars to discuss the centre-periphery dynamics of
sociolinguistic theory and to explore whether or not a mainstreaming of peripheral sites, ideas
and languages is happening in the discipline and what role a sociolinguistics of globalization
approach has on this. The panel is organised as a round table to encourage maximum discussion
and interaction. Each contributor will address the following questions in their 15 minute paper:
•To what extent has their particular context / theoretical / methodological framework been
impacted by a centre / periphery dynamic?
•Is this changing and how is this changing?
•What role does a sociolinguistics of globalisation perspective play? Is it contributing to
meaningful change or reinforcing existing centre-periphery relations in overt / covert ways?
•What might the consequences be?
Keywords: periphery, centre, margins, multilingualism, small languages, sociolinguistic theory
Mainstreaming the periphery in sociolinguistics
Kelly-Holmes, Helen (University of Limerick)
The commodification of languages and speakers in late capitalism
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Kerfoot, Caroline (Stockholm University)
Illusions of equity: Troubling concepts of language and epistemic justice in
postapartheid classrooms
The title of this paper reflects the bewilderment of many South African applied and sociolinguists
when confronted with language policy and practices in postapartheid schools. This bewilderment
arises partly out of the state's persistence in pursuing a de facto monoglossic language-ineducation policy in the face of overwhelming evidence of significant educational marginalisation
of those not fortunate enough to be part of the small emerging black middle class and of whom
80–85% are learning through an additional language. A further source of bewilderment is the
incompatibility of current forms of policy implementation with new configurations of identity,
language, class, 'race' and ethnicity in classrooms.
This paper suggests that complex new forms of linguistic and social diversity can lead to a critical
rethinking of the nature of multilingualism and language policy in schools. It draws on linguistic
ethnographies of multilingual classrooms in Cape Town: observational, interview, and
interactional data illuminate how 10-13 year old speakers of English as an additional language are
consistently misrecognised in their capacities as both subjects of and givers of knowledge.
However, data also show these learners using their meta-awareness of their own and others'
linguistic repertoires to forge new forms of conviviality out of everyday frictions, to disrupt
historicised language/'race'/ethnicity relations, and to negotiate epistemic authority. The paper
thus aims to contribute to an epistemology of the global South (Santos 2012, 2014): it points to
invisibilised processes of cultural and educational production which could lay the basis for
valorising knowledges and creating new conditions of epistemic justice.
Santos, B. De S. 2012. "Public Sphere and Epistemologies of the South." Africa Development
XXXVII (1): 43–67.
Santos, B. de S. 2014. Epistemologies of the South: Justice Against Epistemicide. Paradigm Publishers.
Keywords: multilingualism, language policy, the South, diversity, epistemic justice
Illusions and delusions of the centre within the framework of globalization
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Kerswill, Paul (University of York)
Gardner-Chloros, Penelope (Birkbeck College, University of London)
Secova, Maria (University of Bath)
Expressing identity in London and Paris: ethnicity, class and youth
Young people in multiethnic cities need to express their identities in a multidimensional social
and linguistic space composed of age, class, gender, ethnicity and place. Social symbolism is
achieved through dress, naming, social practices and various dimensions of language use,
including language choice, dialect, phonology, slang, language play and discourse markers. We
present a comparative study of London and Paris, using as data qualitative and quantitative
analyses of conversations between young people. We look at the way they jointly construct their
own group identities, and how they set themselves apart from other potential groups, real or
imagined. Overt naming forms part of this. In London, names for 'the other' include 'Cockney',
'Chav', 'Blacks' and 'posh people', while in Paris we find e.g. 'blédard', 'wesh-wesh' and 'boog'zeer'.
Ethnicity is key in both cities, but differently expressed linguistically. In London, Anglo (white)
groups consider the inner city as 'black', while ethnically mixed groups de-emphasise race. In
Paris, ethnicities are designated by verlan terms such as 'babtou', 'renoi'/'keubla', 'rebeu', 'noich',
'feuj', 'que-tur', etc., which appear to be semantically bleached and often more civil/polite than
their standard equivalents. This ludic element is absent in London, and suggests a more multilayered set of linguistic practices in Paris. We consider whether these differences are paralleled in
structural aspects of language. Multicultural London English has emerged through complex
language and dialect contact. Its features are partly shared across ethnicities. It indexes a 'we'
identity, set against Cockney and 'posh', reflecting English class structure. In Paris, the innovative
features in phonology and grammar are strongly correlated with ethnicity and rarely used by
Franco-French speakers. The differences are best accounted for in terms of different patterns of
contact and class relations between minority and indigenous populations in the two cities.
Keywords Identity, naming practices, ethnicity.
Language change in London and Paris
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
King, Brian W. (City University of Hong Kong)
Hip-hop styling in a case study of sex education in New Zealand: A globally
mobile, gendered resource in performance
This study examines the use of hip-hop styling by Pacific Island students in a senior secondary
school sex education class in New Zealand. Ethnographic observation shows that in the
community of practice in question, hip hop styling is mostly used by boys in a variety of
performances and almost exclusively by Pacific Island boys. It is also used by Pacific Island girls
but rarely so, and this pattern of usage points to a relationship between hip-hop styling and
gender in this community. In the case of one female student, her deployment is more sustained
and frequent, therefore extending into various classroom discussions. Discourse analysis is
deployed to reveal that she uses 'hip-hop swagger' to manage ascriptions of sexual agency during a
discussion task. Her language use orients to popular youth-culture indexicalities, allowing her to
'cross' into gendered indexical spaces (Blommaert, 2010) that require complex identity work in
relation to constructs such as masculinity, femininity, straight and lesbian. This use of a globally
mobile resource (hip-hop styling) thus permits her some space to negotiate how sexual agency
might fit with her various identifications and identities. Finally, implications for the decentring of
gendered power relations in sexuality education will be explored.
Blommaert, J. (2010). The Sociolinguistics of Globalization. Cambridge: Cambridge University
Keywords: crossing, gender, hip-hop, identity, sexuality education
Hip-hop and rock pop
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Koester, Almut (Vienna University of Economics and Business)
Chan, Kris (University of Birmingham)
"Calling from Hong Kong": Accommodation strategies in business English as
a lingua franca telephone conversations
This paper takes a micro-analytical approach to virtual workplace talk by examining discursive
strategies in international telephone conversations conducted from the Hong Kong branch of a
global media company. All phone calls were in English, but most speakers did not share a
common mother tongue; therefore these interactions involve the use of 'English as a Lingua
Franca' or ELF (Firth 1996).
Negotiation of understanding is particularly important in these calls, as the purpose of the calls is
to update customer information. The notion of 'accommodation strategies' (Giles et al. 1991)
provides a useful tool to investigate how understanding is negotiated in these intercultural
interactions. 'Convergence', adapting to an interlocutor's behaviour (ibid.), has been identified as a
key strategy used in ELF encounters, for example through repetition, paraphrase and codeswitching (Kaur 2009). Most of these studies have focused exclusively on non-mother tongue
(L2) speakers of English, but, of course, the use of accommodation strategies is not restricted to
L2 speakers; for example Rogerson-Revell (2007) found mother tongue (L1) speakers of English
also accommodating to their lingua franca counterparts in international meetings.
The participants in the current study are both L1 and L2 speakers of English from a wide range of
nationalities, including Australia and New Zealand on the one hand, and Hong Kong, Singapore
and Malaysia on the other. The paper investigates a range of phone calls made by one Hong Kong
data clerk to customers in over 10 different Asian and Pacific countries. This enabled a finegrained comparison of the accommodation strategies used between the Hong Kong caller and
other L2 speakers, on the one hand, and L1 speakers, on the other, and, therefore, of how
understanding was negotiated with each group of customers.
Keywords: telephoning, English as a Lingua Franca accommodation; intercultural discourse
Virtual workplace talk
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Koven, Michele (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)
Marques, Isabelle (Universidade Nova de Lisboa)
Mocking migrants' speech online ? How second generation Portuguese reentextualize the first generation's speech
Whereas language mixing and code switching of first generation migrants has been studied
extensively, the comic reversal of these practices by speakers of 2º or 3º generation has been less
studied (Chun 2004, Jaspers 2011, Rampton 1995). We address how young people from a
postmigrant generation parody their migrant (grand)parents' hybrid speech.
We address the heteroglossic semiotic practices used by young people of Portuguese origin, raised
in France in online contexts. Specifically, we look at their use, evaluation, and performance of
French, Portuguese, and hybrid semiotic elements in Youtube videos, comment streams, and
Facebook posts. Across these settings, we examine how participants rally around the figure of
Antonio, one stylization of a Portuguese migrant originally performed by comedians Ro et Cut.
Antonio is known for his Franco-Portuguese (non)verbal semiotic behavior, which evokes the first
generation of Portuguese migrants in France., whose speech is often negatively evaluated in
French public space .
Specifically, we examine participants' intersemiotic re-entextualizations of Antonio's speech. We
analyze the nearly viral circulation of one of Antonio's catch phrases , "C'est ça que c'est
bon" (That's what's good) (See Spitulnik 1996). Although many may recognize it as "broken
French ," marked by Portuguese and stigmatized sociolects of French, it has been extensively
requoted online. Many have subsequently re-entextualized it with heteroglossic orthographic
strategies, writing it in "youthful" French texting language as "C ça ksé bon." In so doing, they
effectively voice a young, hip, savvy figure, who tacitly quotes the voice of the laughable, clueless
migrant figure. Through such spoken and written re-entextualizations, participants
collaboratively perform their own ambivalent sociolinguistic positioning in digital contexts. We
thus analyze how these hybrid semiotic practices engage with, reproduce or challenge dominant
French and Portuguese monoglot language ideologies.
New media, new standards? Standardization processes in digitally mediated space
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Kral, Thomas (British Council, Malaysia)
Smith, Shannon (British Council, Malaysia)
'Native speakers' on a primary teacher 'development project' in Borneo: a
discourse which reinforces power structures?
The English Language Teacher Development Project (ELTDP) is a large scale, five-year-long
mentoring programme initiated and funded by the Malaysian Ministry of Education, carried out in
Malaysian Borneo by the British Council. Known locally as the 'Native Speaker Programme', the
project employs teacher mentors from diverse linguistic and national backgrounds, to assist in the
implementation of a communicative English syllabus in primary schools, improve primary
teachers' English proficiency and support their professional development. The project has placed
foreign mentors in multi-ethnic, multilingual communities and schools, often in remote locations.
Children study in Malay or Mandarin medium, while families and communities use dozens of
diverse indigenous and Chinese languages. The lingua franca depends on the speakers and
context. English, retained by the older post-colonial generation, carries status and is used by the
professional elite (Ting 2014).
This paper assesses the implication of the discourse used by project institutions and stakeholders,
especially the Ministry's use of 'native speaker' and the British Council's use of 'development
project' in naming the scheme. The term 'native speaker' goes largely unchallenged within the
project despite empirical evidence of the pedagogical fallacy (Phillipson 1992) and the inherent
inequality it implies (Holliday 2005). In classrooms the project teachers seek 'correct'
phonological forms from their 'native speaking' mentors. In schools and communities the 'native
speakers' are perceived as 'experts' and are assigned elevated status. Meanwhile, the British
Council's use of the term 'development project' could imply a post-colonial relationship between
the more 'developed' foreign mentors and the less 'developed' local teachers.
Thus the question to be discussed: To what extent do these narratives inform and reinforce an
essentialised binary code of the privileged 'native speaker' and the 'developing' problematic Other?
Keywords: native speaker; development; binary code; Othering; power structures
Critical discourse analysis
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Kroo, Judy (Stanford University)
(De)-centralizing lexical variables in local contexts: use of Japanese
pragmatic particles between male university students at Tokyo universities
Previous analysis of Japanese pragmatic particles (PPs) (Kajino and Adachi 2014) proposed that
use of PPs, e.g. nanka may be associated with performance of `non-heteronormative'
masculinities, e.g. Sooshokukeidanshi `Herbivore Men'. Using naturally occurring conversations
between male Japanese university students, this study establishes salient PP variation patterns
correlated with context-dependent pragmatic functions (e.g. indicate turn-taking, or holding the
floor) and demonstrates that use of PPs need not index weakness/uncertainty but can also
establish dominance with respect to interlocuters who do not use PPs. Results further suggest
that re-evaluation of gendered ideologies surrounding lexical items such as PPs is neccesary.
Data from interviews with undergrad/graduate students at Tokyo-based universities were coded
for use of the PP nanka. Individual instances of nanka were further coded for length of final [a]
and context of use (utterance initial vs. utterance medial; floor taking vs. floor holding etc.).
Quantitative analysis demonstrates that while high overall use of nanka may be associated with
both dominant and non-dominant speakers, there is statistically significant (p<.05) interspeaker
variation with respect to use of utterance initial, long final [a] nanka. These findings indicate that
nanka can index a range of alternative context-dependent social meanings (consistent with Eckert
(2008)'s analysis of indexical field).
Systematic patterns of `intra-variable' variation and/or wide-scale patterns of use/non-use of PPs
such as nanka observed within and across conversations point to the salience of local contexts in
analyses of the social meanings of lexical items, underscoring the importance of `de-centering'
linguistic variables from normatively-gendered ideologies surrounding their use. Concurrently,
variation patterns demonstrate the complexities in the performance and construction of local,
shifting, context-specific masculinities/femininities.
Articulating gender and sexuality in contemporary Asia
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Kuipers, Joel (George Washington University)
Margins, hubs, and peripheries in a decentralizing Indonesia (Part 2)
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Kunschak, Claudia (Ritsumeikan University)
Multilingualism and destandardization: Reclaiming the center
Globalization has had a major impact on language policy, from the EU objective of L1+2
(European Council, 2002) to ELF for ASEAN (Kirkpatrick, 2010). While some language policy
scholars decry the increasing importance of additional languages as being detrimental to first
language acquisition, the tendency cannot be reversed and strategies have to be devised to enable
global communication without hurting mother tongue development. In this respect, much can be
achieved by fostering a balanced multilingualism that sees additional languages as resources and a
first language as central to identity formation and language development. One way of
implementing such a vision is by moving away from a binary model of native versus non-native
speaker and standard versus non-standard language. Instead, multilingual speakers who know to
adapt their language use according to context and interlocutor and can combine language skills
with intercultural competence will be needed. However, the prevailing model at educational
institutions still remains a division between native and non-native speaker with a heavy emphasis
on accuracy and native-likeness, failing to reflect the communicative needs of the current
generation in a globalized world where they need to be able to interact with speakers from
different linguistic and cultural background. The presentation aims at exploring this imbalance by
reporting on institutions and educators employed by those institutions who teach variously their
L1, L2 or L3. Institutions of higher education in the US, Europe and Asia that the researcher has
been affiliated with are included. Based on a survey of program directors, interviews with teachers
and questionnaires distributed to students it will be argued that multilingualism should be the
new paradigm, the notion of standard should be replaced by situated use of repertoire and
students and their teachers should be empowered as language users and successful international
Multilingualism (2)
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Kurniasih, Yacinta (Monash University)
Local activism versus recentralization: The case of Javanese in municipal
offices and schools in Central Java
Since 1995 the central government has designated Javanese as a compulsory school subject
(Kurniasih, 2006). Elsewhere in Java other regional languages enjoy strong support from the
school community and the local government. Provincial governors were actively involved in
formulating and implementing school curriculum on their province's regional language, and
regional languages were promoted as part of a regional identity. These efforts gained momentum
with the implementation of decentralization laws in 2001. However, centralization forces reemerged through the introduction of a national curriculum in 2013 threatening the continued
support for regional languages. This evoked strong reactions from school communities and at
least four governors from across Java.
This paper focuses upon Javanese valuation projects by examining local reactions to the national
curriculum showing that a decade of decentralization has provided regional communities with a
strong sense of ethnolinguistic identity. I will examine a series of gubernatorial regulations that
were released in response to the national curriculum, together with an account of the activism
that emerged within some school communities in Central Java. Of particular interest will be the
Gubernatorial Regulation No.57/2013 on the Javanese language which foregrounded rights under
decentralization laws by specifying that Javanese was to be spoken during informal occasions in
schools and government offices. The Governor of Central Java further amended this regulation in
2014 making it compulsory to speak Javanese once a week during both formal and informal
occasions in municipal offices. The new regulation also stated that Javanese must be taught in
schools as a separate subject for a minimum of two hours per week for each grade.
Kurniasih, Yacinta (2006). Gender, class and language preference: A case study in Yogyakarta.
In K. Allan (Ed.), Proceedings of the 2005 Australian Linguistic Society Conference (pp. 1-25).
Melbourne: ALS.
Margins, hubs, and peripheries in a decentralizing Indonesia (Part 3)
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Kytölä, Samu (University of Jyväskylä)
Ways of writing about Africa(ns) in Finnish new media football texts
This paper outlines a research project that investigates 'African voices' and 'discourses of Africa'
within Finland-based digital media discourses of football (soccer) from critical sociolinguistic,
discourse-analytic and multisemiotic perspectives. Spanning several formats and genres of 'the
participatory Web', I explore the complexity and ambivalence of texts about Africa, Africans and
'African-ness' circulating (and gaining uptake) in digitally mediated 21st-century Finnish football
contexts. Central emergent themes include the tension between racist and anti-racist discourses
and the discursive 'homogenization' of a highly diverse geo-political entity and its diverse
people(s), as well as their 'emplacement', or according to some competing discourses,
'displacement', in/with one of the northernmost nation states in Europe. My empirical objective is
to analyze how Finnish people dealing with football in various roles (players, coaches, journalists,
spectators, fans, etc.) cope with the increasing (super)diversity brought by the mobility of
African-background people in the context of football, or the increasing role of Africa(ns) in the
global picture of football.
While data collection for this project has only begun tentatively, my earlier research in
sociolinguistic patterns and 'superdiversity' in Finland-based football discourses suggest three
specific case studies which form the empirical basis of the project at the outset. These include:
1) ways of writing about the trajectories of Sierra Leonean adolescent football refugees to
Finland (since 2003),
2) ways of writing about (South) Africa during World Cup 2010,
3) ways of writing about a Finnish betting fraud scandal in 2011, involving several Zambians.
In the nexus of the highly globalized sport and popular participatory formats of digital discourse, I
analyze (and further, aim to advance) the often superficial understandings of a monolithic 'Africa'
and African-European relations – persistent key themes in our contemporary world of
globalization, transnationalism, prejudice and inequalities.
Discourse analysis
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Ladegaard, Hans J. (Hong Kong Baptist University)
The Destructiveness of Distance: Unfaithful Husbands and Absent Mothers
in Domestic Migrant Worker Narratives
Immigration is an essential premise of life in a globalized world. For some people, mobility is a
choice but for others, it is a necessity. People from developing countries are often faced with grim
choices: either they stay at home with their children, who are then kept in poverty, or they
become migrant workers, which also means permanent separation from their children and other
loved ones. This paper focuses on one group of migrant workers: foreign domestic helpers (FDHs)
from Indonesia and the Philippines living in Hong Kong. It reports on an ongoing project on the
lives and experiences of FDHs in Hong Kong, and their experiences of reintegration when they
return home. Drawing on a corpus of more than 300 narratives, the paper focuses on 'the
destructiveness of distance' (Pratt, 2012). It draws on Toolan's (2001) linguistic approach to
narratives, in combination with a narrative therapy approach (Brown & Augusta-Scott, 2007), and
analyses narratives in which FDHs talk about the infidelity they know their husbands are guilty
of, but which they choose not to know about. They also talk about the separation from their
children, which they are painfully aware of: a scenario of 'feeling love but being unable to give it.'
The paper discusses the long-term impact of migration on families, and it identifies the women's
identity as sacrificial mothers, wives and daughters, as well as their faith in God, as a means for
them to survive the destructiveness of distance.
Brown, C. & Augusta-Scott, T (Eds.) (2007). Narrative Therapy. Making Meaning, Making Lives
Pratt, G. (2012). Families Apart: Migrant Mothers and the Conflicts of Labor and
Love (University of Minnesota Press).
Toolan, M. (2001). Narrative: A Critical Linguistic Introduction (Routledge).
Keywords: migration, domestic labour, long-distance relationships, Hong Kong
Discourse analysis
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Lähteenmäki, Mika (University of Jyväskylä)
Pöyhönen, Sari (University of Jyväskylä)
Rynkänen, Tatjana (University of Jyväskylä)
Discourses of heritage among Russian-speakers in Finland
Russian-speakers are the largest and most rapidly growing linguistic minority in Finland, and
Russian has become the third most spoken language as a result of intensive migration. This paper
discusses contemporary discourses about 'heritage' in migration contexts, focusing on tensions
between different understandings of the notion of heritage and the ideological values associated
with it. The data include interviews among Russian-speakers (mainly parents' views on how to
maintain and develop Russian at home and school), official Finnish migration discourse and
discourses produced by the Russkiy Mir Foundation. While these discourses have a common goal
in promoting the preservation and active use of heritage language, they contain different
understandings of language policy and justify the need for the protection of linguistic rights from
different perspectives. The protection of linguistic rights can be seen as a right of an individual to
preserve the heritage language and culture (Rynkänen & Pöyhönen 2010) or as a right of the state
to protect the linguistic rights of its compatriots living outside its borders (Lähteenmäki &
Pöyhönen 2014). This paper critically examines the ideological underpinnings of these three
heritage discourses among Russian-speakers in Finland.
Lähteenmäki, M. & Pöyhönen, S. (forthcoming in November 2014). Language Rights of the
Russian-Speaking Minority in Finland: Multi-Sited Historical Arguments and Language
Ideologies. In M. Halonen, P. Ihalainen & T. Saarinen (eds.) Language Policies in Finland and
Sweden. Interdiscplinary and Multi-sited Comparisons. Bristol: Multilingual Matters.
Rynkänen, T. & Pöyhönen, S. (2010). Russian-speaking young immigrants in Finland:
Educational and linguistic challenges to integration. In M. Lähteenmäki & M. VanhalaAniszewski (eds.) Multilingualism in Finland and Russia. Language Ideologies in Transition.
Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang, 175–194.
Keywords: Russian-speakers in Finland, heritage discourses, language ideologies
Russian as a transnational resource
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Lane, Pia (University of Oslo)
James, Costa (University of Oslo)
The War of the Words: Minority language standardization and orthographic
debates in the globalized European periphery
Approaching language standardization (LS) is neither a neutral nor a straightforward process. It
usually implies metaphors which in turn constrain hypotheses, questions and subsequently
answers. In particular, while some approaches to standardization emphasize the processual and
technical aspect of standardization, others emphasize its situated nature and its role in
reconfiguring positions of power.
Our presentation argues that both aspects can be reconciled by focusing on the relational nature
of standards and their constant re-evaluation as processes through which they are contested,
negotiated or accepted. Globalization provides a case in point: it offers a regime of language in
which both apparent diversity and necessary standardisation are used as mantras worldwide,
leading to conflicting attitudes among minority language proponents.
A particular challenge for scholars of language standardization consists in identifying what
meaningful relations are formed and mobilized by which social actors, and how, if at all, they are
connected to wider processes of political economy such as those subsumed under the
globalization label.
Concentrating on data generated in Shetland and Northern Norway, and exploring in particular
how individuals react to differing and/or potentially competing written standards and
orthographic choices, we ask how the current interest in standardization or lack thereof is linked
with current processes of globalization. Both areas that we consider are marginal in a nation-state
perspective yet central from a globalized economy standpoint (through local industry, e.g. oil and
fishing). We therefore ask how, and to what extent language standardization debates, as ways of
'doing language' in the 21st century globalized periphery reflect and shape some of the tensions
that result from the various forces of globalization—in terms of new discourses on identity rights,
and new economic forces.
Standardizing language in the global periphery: Why that now?
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Lanza, Elizabeth (University of Oslo)
Røyneland, Unn (University of Oslo)
Emerging regimes of language ideologies: Discourses of the local and global
in Norway
Globalization and concomitant social, cultural, political and economic processes have promoted
both spatial and symbolic mobility. These processes also contribute to emerging regimes of
language ideologies, which both contest and support longstanding language ideologies, in
Norway, a country that has been relatively speaking liberal in its attitudes to language variation.
Communication among Norwegians is often polylectal with regional dialects enjoying high status.
Dialects are widely used in everyday contexts, both formal and informal, and there are two written
norms of Norwegian (Bokmål and Nynorsk). A historically rooted sense of inter-Scandinavian
identity yields expectations of mutual intelligibility among speakers of Scandinavian languages.
Nonetheless, there is tension within this apparent sociolinguistic paradise. Using Norway as a
case, we question the assumption that linguistic diversity is inherently valuable, and the often
accompanying thought that there is a natural fit between diversity and democratic egalitarianism.
Several factors converge to make the linguistic situation complicated and unstable. On the one
hand, the use of Nynorsk is declining. On the other hand, learning "Norwegian" for new speakers
actually means acquiring competence in a wide span of linguistic diversity, including other
Scandinavian languages. Globalization has, moreover, led to the increased use of English.
Questioning the value of linguistic diversity runs contrary to the very grain of democratic ideals in
Norway. Nonetheless, some groups wishing to reduce acceptable norms of variation in Norwegian
have used "new speakers" as an argument for eliminating Nynorsk and dialect variation. Moreover,
English is perceived as a threat to Norwegian. In this paper we discuss the emerging regimes of
language ideologies drawing on theoretical frameworks underlying studies of language ideologies
and democracy. Methodologically anchored in participant observation, our study also draws on
media debates touching on local and global discourses in Norway.
Keywords: language ideologies, democracy, normativity, Scandinavian languages
Language and nationalism
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Lazar, Michelle (National University of Singapore)
Transnational Engagements: Postfeminist Articulations and Critique
It has now become common practice in sociolinguistic and discourse studies on gender to keep a
concerted focus on the ‘local’, in order to avoid the pitfalls of making sweeping universal claims.
The notion of “communities of practice”, for instance, has gained much analytical purchase in
gender and language studies by emphasizing on local linguistic practices. However, for
understanding broader patterns of globally mobile discourses, attention on local dynamics alone is
insufficient. Taking as my focus the widespread neoliberal discourse of postfeminism in global
media circuits, I suggest the usefulness of adopting a bifocal analytical gaze, which while locally
situated, casts its eye simultaneously on discursive patterns globally. This bifocal lens undergirds
a transnational engagement of the discourse.
Based on postfeminist advertising data gathered in Singapore (used as a vantage point), I discuss
three kinds of transnational engagement, which have theoretical and analytical implications for
the study of postfeminist media discourse. Firstly, although postfeminism – a “sensibility” (Gill
2007) which celebrates women’s empowerment and autonomy, while securing (hetero)normative
femininity – originated, largely, from the UK and USA in 1980s, in its current form, it can hardly
be said to be a ‘western only’ discourse or a western discourse simply imposed on to non-western
contexts. Rather, put into circulation by international media corporations, the flows are
transnational – from the west to the east, and also from the east to the east. The transnational
flows have implications for the discursive hybridity of postfeminism (for example, a mixing of a
New York ‘bad grrrl’ attitude alongside a Japanese kawaii femininity). In fact, any dichotomous
‘local-versus-global’ distinction collapses, with the ‘local’ inserted into, and constitutive of, the
‘global’ transnational discourse that is postfeminism. Relatedly, a second kind of transnational
engagement offers target audiences identification with a cosmopolitan gender identity. This is
based on such articulations that range from signifying whiteness as ‘modern’ and ‘universal’ to
the accommodation of national and racial diversity, as well as the use of racially ambiguous panAsian models to index cosmopolitanism. The third kind of transnational engagement points to
the effects of critical inertia partly brought about by the global discourse of postfeminism, which
fosters an attitude of dis-engagement from the relevancies of local gender politics. In concluding,
I refer to possibilities of discursively intervening through locally situated performances of critique
that engage or ‘speak’ back to these widespread global discourses.
(Plenary lecture 3)
Articulating gender and sexuality in contemporary Asia
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Lee, Jae Ho (the University of Tokyo)
Bilingual students' language use towards the members of the ethnic
community: Focusing on the Japan's Chosengakko students
This talk will discuss the language use of the bilingual students of a Chosengakko, Korean School
in Japan, through which certain Koreans form a community, focusing on how language use/choice
changes depending upon the domain of usage.
The current students and their teachers are mostly born and raised in Japan. Their L1 seems to be
Japanese. While they usually talk in Korean at the school where Korean immersion is practiced,
they speak in Japanese in other places. They also generally do not have any chances where they
come into contact with Korean natives from North or South Korea.
From the research discussed here, it can be seen that the students' language use is very dynamic.
Besides the results similar to the general domain research on relationship, there were also other
intriguing results. Just how much these students used both languages towards the others in the
community, including school members, was surveyed by questionnaire. It was found that the
students differentiate their language use mainly by their relationship to their interlocutor.
Between students, Korean is used for communication. However, when talking among students in
the same grade, they used more Japanese. The older the interlocutor is, the more Korean the
students use. On the other hand, while communicating with family members, they were found to
use Japanese frequently. Korean use towards their teachers and adults in the community appears
to function as the honorific marker. But the use of Japanese towards friends and family members
signals that they feel more comfortable with speaking in Japanese to their intimate companions.
Through these results it can be concluded that the students are using their languages for different
functions, though their interlocutors belong to the same Community.
Keywords: domain, community, immersion, Koreans in Japan, ethnicity
Nodes and trajectories (2)
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Lee, Alice (University of Macau)
Language positioning in Macao
In discussing the colonial discourses of English, Pennycook (1998), drawing on Bakhtin (1981),
has argued that history cannot and should not be divorced from any given location because its
present is composed of its past and that its past is what creates its present. In Macao, Chinese
(Cantonese) and Portuguese operate as the official languages. Yet, two of the tertiary institutions
primarily use English as the medium of instruction. The decision to use these three languages can
be used to demonstrate the complex historical linguistic interplay between past and current
colonial forces, and these three languages have controlled the discourse of tertiary education in
Macao. Using one of the tertiary institutions in Macao as the primary context, this study of its
linguistic landscape focuses on the linguistic interplay between English, Chinese (Cantonese), and
An ethnographic approach was used to collect data, which included photographs of the significant
meaning-making signs around campus, observations by the researcher, and select interviews with
the primary stakeholders of this university (two students, two instructors, and two staff
members). This information is discussed in relation to the history of the founding of this
university and the impact that Macao's handover back to China has had on it.
Preliminary results reveal that there has been a slow but steady advancement on the use of not
only simplified characters on campus but also an increase in the use of Putonghua as the lingua
franca instead of English or Cantonese. These changes in language positioning within this
university indicate the growing influence of China from a sociolinguistic perspective regardless of
the reluctance of primary stakeholders at this university to use Putonghua.
Chineses across the Sinospheres in a contemporary era of globalization: Resistance,
empowerment, and change
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Lee, Carmen (The Chinese University of Hong Kong)
Deglobalizing Digital Discourse in Translingual Signs in Hong Kong
This paper discusses local deployment of internet-based linguistic features (or the called
'Netspeak') in the design and interpretation of public texts in Hong Kong. The texts to be
discussed are taken from a larger database of about 500 photographs that capture the presence of
internet language features in "offline" public spaces, such as the use of texting abbreviations in
print advertisements. This talk focuses on a smaller collection of about 300 photographs taken in
Hong Kong. 20 Hong Kong Chinese people were invited to read the texts on the spot to share
their understanding and interpretations. I first analyze the data through the lens of 'translingual
practices' (Canagarajah, 2013), in the sense that these texts are produced through multiple sensemaking resources and discursive practices which appeal to the local Hong Kong bilingual
audience. One such practice is the incorporation of English 'Netspeak' expressions into a
Cantonese text (e.g. inserting Facebook 'like' to a Chinese slogan). For texts in which English is
the dominant code, only a narrow range of 'Netspeak' features that are well-known to
Hongkongers are identified. Words in these signs are often accompanied by multimodal elements
that point to popular social media in Hong Kong such as using a blue 'thumbs up' when referring
to Facebook. The design and interpretation of these texts not only involve understanding the
literal meaning of words, but also the indexical values and socio-cultural identities they convey.
These dynamic translingual practices also demonstrate how Hongkongers reappropriate, or
'deglobalize' (Blommaert, 2011) globally circulated English 'Netspeak' in locally displayed texts.
The interviews revealed different interpretations of the texts and language ideologies, which
provides further support for the heterogeneous nature of communication. In view of these,
traditional dichotomies and boundaries between languages, communicative modes, and spaces
also begin to break down.
Linguistic landscape (3)
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Lee, Hakyoon (Georgia State University)
Commodification of language in the case of language education
This is a sociolinguistic study that documents and characterizes Korean early study abroad
students (Chogi Yuhaksang) who came to the U.S. for their secondary education. While a few
study have strived to uncover their English learning in the context of secondary education (Shin,
2012), limited attention has been paid to the university students with a longitudinal perspective.
Additionally, while the studies on language and commodification largely focus on the case of
learning English (Park, 2012), little is known about the case of other languages. Therefore, this
study adds a new dimension by exploring the case of Korean which is relatively unexplored
foreign language. By examining the participants' multifaceted linguistic and cultural practices, this
study explores how commodification of language has transformed the ideas of language and
The frameworks of language ideologies (as multiple), language identity (as shiftable across
contexts), and the neoliberal perspective of language learning (as amassing capital and acquiring
membership) underpin the analyses of early study abroad students' attitudes toward and
investment in maintaining Korean and their membership in the community. In this account,
consuming language and culture are treated as an index of being a global citizen (Kang and Lo,
2004), multilingual person, and local member of a community (Kelly-Holmes, 2005).
Individual interviews of five students and their language use in daily conversation, texting, and
social media interaction were collected to examine how commodification of language and
education in the new economy has influenced the ideas of authentic Korean and transnational
identities. Maintaining Korean is not limited to heritage background, but it is also related to
multilingual repertories, meaning of success, and access to the cultural capital. Neoliberal
discourses and multilingualism found in the participants' narratives are closely related to early
study abroad students' needs, motivation, investment, and the development of language and
The commodification of language: Changing ideologies and identities
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Lee, Ann Wan-Hsin (National Taiwan Normal University)
Su, Hsi-Yao (National Taiwan Normal University)
"You're in Taiwan, Speak Chinese": Identity, Language Ideology, and
Sociolinguistic Scales
The study investigates how Taiwanese identity is constructed in discourse and how multiple
language ideologies concerning Chinese and English manifest themselves during the process. The
study collected Youtube viewers' comments on an incident where a local Taiwanese bus driver was
verbally attacked by an American-born-Taiwanese passenger, J, in English. As English is not a daily
language in Taiwan and the driver showed no competence in English, the aggressive use of a
marked language aroused heated public debates, mostly in the form of negative evaluations
toward J, and thus brings a verbal confrontation to a socio-political level. Using Youtube viewers'
responses, the study reveals 1) how viewers discursively construct J as an out-group member
through pronouns and identity labels, such as we, Taiwanese, and American, ABC, etc, 2) how J's
(presumed) competence in English or Chinese plays a critical role in de-authenticating J either as
a 'real' Taiwanese or as a 'real' American, and 3) how various language ideologies are manifested
through the aforementioned process of identity construction.
Salient ideological threads are found, including "You shouldn't speak English to someone who
can't speak English," "You shouldn't speak English when you can speak Chinese," and "You are in
Taiwan, speak Chinese." These multiple ideologies suggest layered linguistic markets and the
responsibility for J to use Chinese. Though globalization reinforces a global market where English
is legitimized, this market could be temporarily suspended by a local one where non-local
languages, unratified, stop one from being considered appropriate and authentically local. The
finding echoes Blommaert's (2010) concept of a sociolinguistics of mobility, where the value of
English fluctuates across different sociolinguistic scales.
Bloomaert, Jan. 2010. The Sociolinguistics of Globalization. Cambridge, New York: Cambridge UP.
Keywords: language ideology, sociolinguistic scales, identity
Language and globalization (2)
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Lee, Hyemin (Seoul National University)
Globalization, Korean Medicine, and Language: Global Language-scape in
South Korean Medicine Hospital
This paper focuses on the interaction of globalization, language, and Korean Oriental Medicine
(henceforth, Korean Medicine, or KM), and explore how globalization in Korea opened up new
language scapes for Korean Medicine. Globalization is one of keywords that contemporary Korean
Medicine has emphasized over the last 20 years. During these years, globalization not only
remained a social current and an academic fashion, but it also constantly reconfigured various
local contexts and scapes in Korean Medicine. This paper focuses on this waves of globalization in
Korea; particularly its intersection with language and Korean Medicine. First, focusing on the
wider social context, I will briefly explore two specific desires for globalization for which
contemporary Korean Medicine is eager; securing 'global recognition' and making Korean
Medicine a 'globally attractive commodity'. Then follows illustrations of the global language-scape
in Heo Jun KM Hospital, a local Korean Medicine Hospital located in Seoul. Under strong
influence from medical "Hallyu" drive and Korean Medicine's globalization movements, I read Heo
Jun KM Hospital 'a center' which offers a global language-scape in which diverse languages,
verbal/nonverbal communication, scientific technology, Western Medicine and Korean Medicine,
and the social movements of globalization are entangled with one another. By providing
ethnographic accounts on a medical encounter in Heo Jun KM Hospital, I explore how it portrays
anchors where waves of globalization in Korean society meet a local Korean Medicine encounter at
various scales, constructing a unique language-scape. Keywords: Korean Medicine, Globalization,
Medical Encounters, Medical communication, Korea.
Polycentricity and changing language-scapes in globalizing Korea
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Lee, Chia-Chia (National Chung Cheng University)
Lin, Lichu (National Chung Cheng University)
Politeness in meeting talk: An analysis of politeness sUse in an EIL context
Globalization has urged academic institutes to emphasize the importance of learning Business
English communication skills to help develop a professional career. Meetings have been a
professional genre in business English communication. Previous studies have shown that nonnative speakers of English have difficulty in managing real-time verbal interactions appropriately,
especially in expressing viewpoints, interrupting, and clarifying. The communication breakdown
could derive from reasons beyond linguistic competence. Since the functions mentioned above are
potentially face-threatening acts, politeness may play a key role in the interactions. Speakers may
use politeness strategies to mitigate the threats. Previous research on the genre of business
meetings has investigated pragmatic perspectives in professional contexts, but very few studies
have examined politeness strategy use from English-as-an-international-language (EIL) learners'
point of view and contributed to meeting skills learning in EIL contexts.
The study is qualitatively oriented. The aims of the study are focused on what type of politeness
strategies are used in expressing viewpoints, interrupting, and clarifying during situated meetings
conducted by EIL learners and what their perceptions are about the choice of the strategies they
The participants are approximately 50 learners from different academic disciplines taking a oneyear EIL course in a university in Taiwan, with an English proficiency level of B2-C1. Situated
meetings are designed for the function practice of expressing viewpoints, interrupting, and
clarifying since they are considered the most challenging ones by professionals. A corpus of
spoken data from the participants is collected. Leech's maxim theories and Brown and Levinson's
politeness theory are adopted as the theoretical framework to analyze the results. Interviews are
followed to further understand the participants' perceptions of using politeness strategies. The
study provides implications for challenges of using politeness strategies and future direction for
teaching meetings-related skills in EIL contexts.
Keywords: workplace communication, politeness strategies, pragmatics, meetings, English-as-aninternational-language
Global English
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Léglise, Isabelle (CNRS, SeDyL)
Language policy in French Guiana, native imaginaries and multilingualism
I will address the role of nativeness in the representations of linguistic diversity and
multilingualism, both at the level of expert's discourse, policy making and of its implementation. I
focus on the case of French Guiana, a French overseas territory, where multilingualism is
widespread. French Guiana is thought of as a mosaic of linguistic and cultural communities. I
examine the introduction of minority languages in the French Guianese educational system and
show that they are paradoxically the product of a monolingual perspective. I show the mismatch
between the actual multilingual practices and the monolingual model of society involved in the
educational policies. I then examine the linguistic landscape and communication in a hospital in
Western French Guiana where no explicit language policy in favor of minority languages applies. I
will show how such an absence of institutionalization reveals colonial models and open spaces for
racialized social relations. I conclude on how language policies in these two domains connected to
native imaginaries, multilingualism and regimentations, lead to the reproduction of social
stratifications and embedded hierarchies and to the reinforcement of inequalities.
Keywords: multilingualism, ideology, native imaginaries, multilingual practices, language policy,
Native imaginaries: Resistances and regimentations in unstable senses of space, time and self
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Lehtonen, Heini (University of Helsinki / Eötvös Loránd
Tudományegyetem, Budapest)
Displaying linguistic diversity and contesting linguistic asymmetry in the
classroom. Examples from multiethnic Helsinki schools
In this paper I will explore classroom interaction in two multiethnic junior high schools in
Eastern Helsinki. The language of schooling is Finnish, but altogether some 20 different first
languages are spoken by the pupils. Due to their heterogeneous backgrounds as well as different
linguistic biographies, the pupils have different kinds of access and affiliations to the linguistic
resources associated with Finnish mainstream culture(s). I will analyze the ways in which
linguistic diversity and the asymmetry of linguistic resources are displayed and negotiated in the
I gathered the data for a sociolinguistic-ethnographic study on multiethnic youth. The data consist
of audio and video recordings both during the lessons and the breaks, as well as a field diary, and
interviews. In this paper I will only concentrate in the classroom data.
I will focus on a) situations, where a kind of plurilingual competence is employed to participate in
the common agenda of the lesson, b) situations, where negotiations of the entitlements to Finnish
resources arise, and c) situations, where the pupils utilize the linguistic diversity, or even
highlight the linguistic asymmetry. For instance, they may break into stylized performances to
achieve interactional goals and to display a stance towards the on-going situations as well as
towards the linguistic diversity itself.
Agha, Asif 2007: Language and Social Relations. Cambridge University Press.
Coupland, Nikolas 2007: Style. Cambridge University Press.
Jaffe, Alexandra 2009 (ed.): Stance: Sociolinguistic Perspectives. Oxford University Press.
Jaspers, Jürgen 2011: Talking like a 'zerolingual': Ambiguous linguistic caricatures at an urban
secondary school. – Journal of Pragmatics 43: 1264–1278.
Jørgensen et al. 2011: Polylanguaging in Superdiversity. – Diversities 13/2. Unesco.
Rampton, Ben 2006: Language in Late Modernity. Interaction in an urban school. Cambridge
University Press.
Keywords: multiethnic youth, classroom interaction, entitlement to language, asymmetry,
Bilingual classroom
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Leimgruber, Jakob (University of Freiburg)
Language choice and language policy in a globalised city: English, French,
and more in Montreal
Language planning efforts in the province of Quebec have been described in some detail (Bourhis
1984, Castonguay 1998, Levine 1990, Oakes & Warren 2007). The focus is on increasing the
presence of French in both visible public space (linguistic landscaping, Landry & Bourhis 1997)
and in everyday usage, e.g. through its status as the single official language and the education
system. These efforts, sustained over the past 40 years, have resulted in 94% of the province's
population knowing French (vs. 47% knowing English; 2011 census). A high degree of French–
English bilingualism characterises the metropolitan region on Montreal (54%), although
trilingualism is common in many recent arrivals to the city.
Using a combination of survey data and ethnographic observation, this paper presents a complex
picture of language repertoires and language use in Montreal. The survey sample gives an insight
into evolving linguistic identities, showing a large array of language varieties used for different
purposes. Systematic ethnographic observation in a globally present café franchise reveals
different layers of linguistic realities, where traditional geographical language distributions
interact with superdiverse (Blommaert & Rampton 2011) language practices. The resulting
snapshot of language use shows a complex contact situation where policies and choice interact
Bourhis, Richard Y. (ed) 1984. Conflict and language planning in Quebec. Clevedon: Multilingual
Blommaert, Jan & Ben Rampton. 2011. Language and superdiversity. Diversities 13.2: 1–21.
Castonguay, Charles. 1998. The fading Canadian duality. In Language in Canada, ed. J. Edwards,
36–60. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Landry, Rodrigue & Richard Y. Bourhis. 1997. Linguistic landscape and ethnolinguistic vitality:
An empirical study. Journal of Language and Social Psychology 16: 23–49.
Levine, Marc V. 1990. The reconquest of Montreal: Language policy and social change in a bilingual city.
Philadelphia: Temple University Press.
Keywords: Quebec, language planning, language policy, linguistic repertoires
Linguistic landscape (1)
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Leung, Ming Ming (Hong Kong Shue Yan University)
Lui, Hong Yee Kelvin (King's College London)
Ethnic Categories taken for granted? Identity Construction in a Community
Youth Centre
Since the 2000s, the life-worlds of South Asian youths in Hong Kong and their educational
aspirations have increasingly received scholarly attention. This study builds on such expanding
body of work by researching the lived experience of these youths in an out-of-school, non-formal
educational setting. This paper presents a linguistic ethnographic study that explores the talk-ininteraction and identity work among a group of youngsters of mainly Pakistani, Nepalese and
Filipino backgrounds. They are 8- to 13-years old and enrolled in a Saturday Cantonese class in a
youth centre, which is a local division of an international charitable organisation. Located in Sham
Shui Po (SSP), one of the poorest administrative districts in Hong Kong, the centre has received
subsidy from the SSP District Council for its programmes on migrant integration. From June 2013
to December 2013, we conducted participant observation and collected recordings of classroom
interaction. Labels such as "ethnic minorities" or "non-Chinese speaking students" are commonly
ascribed to the centre youths in policy rhetoric, media representation and the centre-based ethnic
monitoring regimes. The heterogeneous affiliations and practices behind the terms, however, have
not been sufficiently accounted for. Our study will address this by moving beyond discrete
categorisations in relation to ethnicity and language, focusing instead on pupils' actual practices as
a way into understanding their ethnic affiliations among other forms of collective identities. By
taking a "practise approach" to identity construction (Harris & Rampton, 2009), our analyses
interrogate pre-conceived ethnicised views of Hong Kong "migrant" youths. Rather than seeking to
deposit the young participants within pre-determined ethnic labels, our paper will begin from the
actual individuals, scrutinising their interactional life to evaluate what relevance such categories
may operate.
South Asian youngsters in Hong Kong: Negotiating language, place and identity
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Leung, Genevieve (University of San Francisco)
Contradictions and Concessions: Chinese Americans' Narratives about
"Chinese" in their Local Language Ecologies
Current commentary about "Chinese" in mainstream discourses in the U.S. has propelled
Mandarin over all other varieties of Chinese. This oftentimes situates Mandarin as an
economically-useful linguistic tool and relegates all other Chinese "dialects" as obsolete or dying
(Zhu & Li, 2014). Yet many Chinese Americans come from a shared, pan-Cantonese heritage that
differs linguistically, culturally, and historically from Mandarin. For these Chinese American
heritage speakers, the shift in the political economy of language may result in the negotiation and
erasure of language backgrounds.
This paper examines the contradictions around ideologies of "Mandarin as a useful language" in
the experiences of Chinese Americans whose heritage language is a non-Mandarin Chinese
language. Drawing from narrative data from 10 Chinese American adults in the Bay Area, this
paper explores the following questions: How do these heritage language speakers, some of whom
also studied Mandarin as an additional language, understand the language ideologies circulating
about "Chinese" in their local language ecologies? What are their actual language needs and
linguistic practices?
Preliminary data analyses show that even with various levels of engagement with Mandarin as an
additional language, participants need various specialized registers of localized language for their
daily interactions with Chinese Americans, including in the workplace and public spheres. While
discourses of language worth and globalization were evoked, participants did not actually partake
in the imagined language economy involving Mandarin utility, thereby complicating and deregimenting (cf. Kroskrity, 2000; Park, 2009) current notions of "Chinese". Not fitting into the
"regime of representation" (Gal & Woolard, 2001) of a successful user of Mandarin poses a gap
wherein certain language ideologies in practice actually become less-than-common-sense (Razfar,
2005); participants' counternarratives subsequently reorder sociolinguistic hierarchies, offering
room for alternative ideologies of language use in a "globalized" world.
Chineses across the Sinospheres in a contemporary era of globalization: Resistance,
empowerment, and change
Chineses across the Sinospheres in a contemporary era of globalization: Resistance,
empowerment, and change
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Leung, Janny (The University of Hong Kong)
Ideologies of 'Language' and 'Rights' in the Globalized World
Language-related rights in national laws and international treaties as a component of minority
protection predate the contemporary notion of human rights by more than a century . Languagerelated rights penetrate all three generations of human rights and encompass a broad array of
issues. Their evolution, as fueled by historical events, is as much about language as it is about the
exercise, subversion, and maintenance of power. Examples include colonial language cleansing
(e.g., soap in the mouth as punishment for using local vernacular); language as battlefield in racial
conflicts; language contact brought about by urbanization and population mobility; language
politics in nationalist campaigns; rapid loss in linguistic diversity ; and marginalization of
minority linguistic communities in the globalized world. Language rights advocacy focuses on the
right for minority speakers to use their language in the public domain – especially education.
In this paper I will highlight two missing populations in current formulations of language rights,
before moving on to raise more fundamental questions about the notion of language rights. First,
dialectal speakers. Since the boundary between "dialect" and "language" is drawn politically rather
than linguistically, it seems difficult to justify advocacy for the rights of speakers of "languages"
but not "dialects". The second population is dominated majorities. Due to the historical
entanglement between language rights and minority rights, the presumption in language rights
proposals tends to be that minority groups are marginalized because of their small population
size. However, there are plenty of examples, in the past and the present, of powerful minority
communities dominating the majority. Similar to most concerns of human rights, language rights
is about challenging and sustaining certain forms of power.
I argue that current discourse of language rights is plagued with conceptual incongruence,
idealism, and disciplinary prejudice. Although language-related rights may be seen as morally
desirable, few of them are considered by lawyers as deserving legal protection. I will ask whether
it is worth postulating linguistic human rights as a standalone concept, what a concept of
language rights is capable of embracing, and where lies its limits.
Language and globalization (2)
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Li, David C. S. (The Hong Kong Institute of Education)
Chuk, Joanne Yim Ping (The Hong Kong Institute of Education)
Meeting ethnic minority children's needs for Chinese and English: A case
study of two Hong Kong primary schools' situated response
Hong Kong is widely perceived as a Chinese city. Ethnic minorities represent only about 6.3
percent of the total population. Of these, those of South(east) Asian ethnicities – Filipinos,
Indians, Pakistanis, Indonesians and Nepalese – are the biggest groups. Language communication
is one major barrier preventing them from integrating into mainstream HK Chinese society. In
speech, they need Cantonese to communicate with Chinese Hongkongers, who may not
understand or speak English. Cantonese, a tone language, is not easy to grasp. In writing, Chinese
is logographic and gives hardly any clue about pronunciation. Acquiring Chinese literacy is
anything but obvious despite the local education authorities' supportive measures. English, being
widely perceived as the international language, is highly valued. Success in mastery English,
however, depends essentially on access to and home support for it. Following HK's
renationalization in 1997, Mandarin became a compulsory school subject from primary level, and
is increasingly used as a result of rising cross-border communication. All this explains the SAR
government's language-in-education policy: biliteracy (Chinese and English) and trilingualism
(Cantonese, English and Mandarin). In terms of learning outcomes, South(east) Asian
Hongkongers clearly fare worse than their Chinese peers (e.g. percentage admitted into local
universities). Their educational predicament may be attributed to complex linguistic and social
factors. How do local school administrators cope with South(east) Asian students' language and
learning needs? This study reports on the situated response of two exemplary primary schools
well-known for their policies and practices: one serves students from socioeconomically modest
families, the other catering for students from a middle-class background. Despite clear differences
in the types of students they serve, both schools shared similar humanistic ideologies and
educational principles that we believe will have reference value for educators in HK and other
multilingual settings.
Bilingual classroom
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Li, Jia (Macquarie University)
"I've never felt comfortable since I've come to China." Language
Experiences of Burmese Students in a Chinese High School
This study explores the language learning and settlement experiences of a group of international
students from Myanmar boarding and studying at a high school in China's south-western Yunnan
province. Employing a critical sociolinguistic ethnographic approach, observational and interview
data were collected during three-months of intensive fieldwork in 2013. The analysis employs the
lens of Critical Race Theory to demonstrate a complex picture of inclusion and exclusion.
Teachers' attempts to integrate Burmese students with native Chinese students were often
thwarted by Chinese students who refused to interact with the Burmese students as they feared
for their grades to be dragged down by the Burmese students, whom they mostly stereotyped as
'backward' problem students. At the same time, in backstage contexts such as the dormitories
Burmese students' multilingual proficiencies carried considerable capital and were a central means
of inclusion in student in-groups. Given that frontstage and backstage contexts were differentially
valued for educational success, it was particularly the most academically ambitious students who
suffered from an acute sense of exclusion and blamed themselves for the transformation they
experienced from top students in Myanmar to deficient speakers of Chinese and poor learners in
China. The study has implications for educational practice and language policy in China's rapidly
transforming border regions and, more generally, China's rapidly internationalizing educational
Keywords: multilingualism, study abroad, China, Myanmar, secondary education
Ethnic-linguistic minority youths in Mainland China: Multilingual practices, ideologies and
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Li, Jing (Simon Fraser University)
Moore, Danièle (Simon Fraser University)
Discourses, Identities and Multilingual Practices: Understanding Ethnic
Multilingual Students in Southwestern China
Drawing on James Gee's (2008) Discourse model and the poststructural critical approach to the
study of identity and multilingualism, this paper presents the findings from an ethnographic study
to explore how 5 post-secondary ethnic multilingual students (3 Bai and 2 Zhuang) at a local
university in Southwestern China: a) perceive their multilingual repertoires and ethnic identities,
b) experience conflicting identities in different Discourses; and c) invest themselves in an active
negotiation for legitimate membership in mainstream school Discourses. Data were collected by
author 1 between March and July, 2013. Interviews and classroom observations were employed.
The data were also based on sporadic online conversations. The participants were second-year
undergraduates majoring in English at the time of study. This paper seeks to understand how,
from the participants' point of view, the perceived hegemony of Mandarin language has impacted
their social positioning and delegitimized their multilingual assets and ethnic identities in
mainstream school Discourses, and how they managed to negotiate their identities as ethnic
multilinguals in different social Discourses. We argue that through the legitimate dominance of
Mandarin, these students are not merely being positioned as members of a negatively stereotyped
ethnic group but also concurrently participating in reconstructing the Mandarin language
hegemony in those very Discourses, which runs the risk of further expanding the existing
educational inequalities. The study contributes to a deeper understanding of the complexity of
Chinese ethnic multilingual students' linguistic practices and identities in different social
relationships and suggests a need to: 1) acknowledge and appreciate the "assets of
multilingualism" (Moore & Gajo, 2009) ethnic minority students bring to school, and 2) support
minority languages so as to respond to the multilingual realities of ethnic minority students and
better meet their linguistic and cultural rights.
Keywords: multilingual, ethnic minority, identity, Discourses, Mandarin
Ethnic-linguistic minority youths in Mainland China: Multilingual practices, ideologies and
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Li, Juan (University of St. Thomas)
Globalization and Second Language Writing: Reorienting ESL Writers'
Writing Tasks and Their Multicultural Experiences
Working under the assumption that globalization is a process of negotiations and reconciliations
between various traditions in the world, this paper argues for the need to globalize teaching
second language writing in the U.S. by developing more awareness of ESL writers' lived
experiences and of deep and rich rhetorical traditions in other cultural contexts. It shows that
writing assignments that allow ESL students to connect the writing tasks to their multicultural
and global identities can foster ESL writers' intellectual curiosity, encouraging them to delve
deeply into both the English language and their native language. In this way, ESL writers can
produce genuine, critical, and creative writing that is informed by their own multicultural
identities and various rhetorical traditions.
When ESL students are taught to write in English as a second language, they are often told to
"think in English" and to follow the western rhetorical traditions. This advice, however, often
rings hollow with ESL writers if what they are asked to write have only minimal connections to
their multilingual and multicultural experiences. The disconnectedness not only discourages
students from engaging in critical thinking, but also discredits the writing traditions in students'
native languages, thus creating further challenges when trying to learn to write in English. Using
an undergraduate ESL literature and writing course at an American University as an example, this
paper argues that designing writing tasks that invite students to draw on their lived multilingual
experiences as well as rhetorical traditions in their native languages can encourage critical
thinking and creative expressions among students as they write in English as a second language.
It also inspires students and allows for the integration of a broad range of diverse yet interrelated
materials as ESL students learn to write in English in a global context.
Language and globalization (2)
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Liang, Sihua (Sun Yat-sen University)
Do The Cantonese In Canton Speak Cantonese? Repositioning Of The Young
"Native" Cantonese Speakers In Multilingual Guangzhou
This paper draws on case study data from a larger linguistic ethnographic study of language
attitudes and identities in Guangzhou (also known as Canton), a large multilingual city in
Southern China. For the last three decades, the sociolinguistic situation in Guangzhou has gone
through significant changes due to rapid modernization, massive internal migration, and rigorous
Putonghua (the standard variety of Chinese) promotion language policies. Accompany the
mobility of multidialectal populations is extensive language contact and the reshuffling of
linguistic resources in people's verbal repertoires (Blommaert & Backus, 2011). Most notably, a
generation of young Guangzhou residents have grown up building linguistic profiles rather
different from their parent generations. There are considerable mismatches between terms such
as "hometown", "local", and "mother tongue" in their traditional senses and the lived experiences
of these young Guangzhou residents. While young migrants are interesting and obvious subjects
for studies of identity construction and repositioning, which I have done elsewhere (Liang, in
press), the language experiences of the "native" speakers of Cantonese, the strong local dialect, are
equally worthy of attention. This paper examines the cases of two young "native" Cantonese
speakers who are constantly challenged by their peers and under social pressure because their
ways of speaking Cantonese are not up to the "conventional" standard. We will examine how their
"native speaker" identities are contested in group discussions and how they may be able or unable
to reposition themselves as "mother tongue" speakers. Based on these accounts, I argue for
reconceptualization of the language competence and language identities of the "native speakers" in
such a large, multilingual, migrant-receiving city as Guangzhou, where people's language
socialization experience are becoming increasingly diversified.
Keywords: identities, linguistic profiles, mother tongue, native speakers
Beyond bifurcation: Language speakers as complex individuals
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Lin, Lichu ((National Chung Cheng University)
Yang, Min (The University of Hong Kong)
Investment and Imagined Communities of EIL Learners in Oral
Recent research has emphasized the importance of the sociocultural aspects of language learning
and use, considering the role of social contexts in learning and conceptualizing language learners
as having diverse sociocultural backgrounds and complex personal histories which may influence
their learning decisions. Following this perspective, this case study explores three EIL
undergraduate students' experience of English oral presentations in an English listening and
speaking course at a research-oriented Asian university. As oral presentation has been established
as a complex cognitive and social activity (e.g, Morita, 2000), the process of preparing and giving
oral presentations is not taken for granted and static. Instead, when preparing and delivering oral
presentations, learners may be constantly negotiating and re-negotiating their identities, desires
and conflicts with the social setting and with those involved in the social setting.
Guided by the notion of investment (Norton Peirce, 1995), imagined communities (Kanno &
Norton, 2003), and Vygotsky-inspired activity theory, this study analyzes three EIL undergraduate
students' investment in preparing and delivering oral presentations and the role of their desired
identities and future affiliations in their present investment. Data is collected over a period of six
months and includes semi-structured interviews with the students, classroom observations,
video-recording of student oral presentations, and course documents. Qualitative analysis of the
collected data has revealed that the three students' different investment in preparing and
delivering oral presentations are shaped by and shaping their imagined communities in specific
social settings. With the finding, this study proposes that the activity of preparing and giving oral
presentations can be explored not just from learners' past experience and present efforts but also
from learners' aspirations and desired identities for their future.
Keywords: Investment, imagined communities, oral presentations, identities, EIL learners
Discourse analysis
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Lin, Shumin (National Chiao Tung University)
Adult Mandarin Education and Globalization: Neoliberal Management of
Linguistic Minorities in Taiwan
Informed by recent work on the connection between neoliberal ideology of global competitiveness
and English language education (Park & Lo, 2012; Piller & Cho, 2013), this paper examines how
Mandarin is linked to neoliberal competitiveness in the context of adult Mandarin education in
Taiwan. In the past two decades, the state-sponsored Adult Basic Education Program (ABEP) has
served firstly its minority-speaking elders and more recently, transnational marriage immigrants
from Southeast Asia. Through analysis of public discourse and policy documents on ABEP, this
paper shows how adult Mandarin education becomes a site of neoliberal management of old and
new linguistic minorities as part of the state's response to globalization.
The neoliberal ideology of global competitiveness is found to mediate multiple discourses that
positioned Taiwanese elders and marriage immigrants, together and separately, in connection with
gender, race, and age. Firstly, Taiwanese elders and marriage immigrants are conflated as illiterate
despite elders' literacy acquired in the Japanese colonial period and marriage immigrants' literacy
in their home countries. Mandarin education was framed as an illiteracy eradication campaign
aimed to enhance national competitiveness. Secondly, Mandarin education for marriage
immigrants aimed to train them to become capable "national" mothers, lest their linguistic
"deficiencies" hindered the future competitiveness of their children – and by implication, the
nation's competitiveness. Finally, the adult Mandarin education policy has recently prioritized
marriage immigrants over Taiwanese elders by decreasing educational service to elders. As
efficiency and cost-effectiveness are key objectives in the neoliberal effort to enhance
competitiveness, elders, who unlike marriage immigrants, are perceived to offer little competitive
value, are deemed unworthy of investment. This study demonstrates how the official language,
Mandarin, has shifted from symbolizing a national identity tied to China in the postwar era to
become a neoliberal asset used for national competitiveness in an era of globalization.
Chineses across the Sinospheres in a contemporary era of globalization: Resistance,
empowerment, and change
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Liu, Honggang (Northeast Normal University)
Mixed-method Research on English Learning Motivation in the Chinese
Context: A social class perspective
With the social turn in the field of second language acquisition (Block, 2003), much research
displayed that motivation, a psychological trait, is largely influenced by geographic factors, socioeconomic factorsand parental involvement. In this globalized world, social classes are being
reshaped and the capitals (Bourdieu, 1986) distribution is extremely unbalanced in mainland
China. Parents make more diversified investment on children's English learning to help them to
achieve the upward social mobility via English (Gao, 2009). Therefore, this current research
hypothesized that social class (an umbrella term of social-economic and geographic factors etc.)
may lead to a social stratification of English learning motivation via parental investment, because
social class determines the capital distribution among parents and parents' capitals may decide
their investment on children's English learning.
This research referred to Norton's Investment on L2 learning as the basis to propose Parental
Investment (PI) on children's English learning. PI consists of investment belief (IBEL) and
behavior (IBEH). Drawn upon Bourdieu's Capital Theory and its extension Emotion Capital
(Allatt, 1993), it purported five types of IBEH. English learning motivation model was set up
based on Gao et al (2007). In the final theoretical model, it is assumed that IBEL exerted direct
impact on IBEH, and IBEH directly influenced motivation.
In this research, questionnaires were surveyed in 1542 students from 15 junior high schools
located in four cities of mainland China. With the aid of AMOS 17.0, it found a significant
difference on motivation of going abroad; motivation of individual development and intrinsic
motivation between the UPPER class and the LOWER class, namely, those motivations of the
UPPER class were significantly higher than those of the LOWER class. It may be accounted by the
difference of PI on the UPPER and LOWER classes within the model.
Language mobility
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Lockwood, Jane (City University of Hong Kong)
Virtual team communication: Is power embedded in the language?
Globalised workplaces increasingly communicate virtually to get their work done. Whilst it is the
case that many teams are located in the same country; most teams are located across the world
where there are diverse languages and cultures. Businesses commonly complain that virtual team
meetings are often ineffective and fraught with communication breakdown, where most teams do
not have the benefit of meeting face to face. This paper reports on a training needs analysis (TNA)
for a one-day training program entitled "Communicating in Virtual Teams'; this was carried out in
a large globalized workplace, where different countries work together in project teams. Interviews
with key stakeholders on and off shore, together with a review of a range of corporate documents
outlining change are analysed in this paper. Whilst some stakeholders reported on the
predictable type of language and cultural misunderstandings in their multicultural work teams,
others reported on deeper problems of power struggles and fear within global teams, particularly
on - shore, where off-shoring work to developing countries such as India, means redundancies at
This paper argues that without addressing the deeper underlying corporate changes and resultant
political struggles within the workplace, a short training program only addressing the surface
problems of language and culture will have only limited value.
Keywords: Globalised workplace, virtual teams, communication, power struggle
Virtual workplace talk
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Loester, Barbara (University of Winchester)
Whose values? Language activism in Bavaria between cliché and politics
As a contested language, Bavarian has not been officially recognised as a language under the
ECRML despite sharing traits with others recognised as regional/minority languages in Germany.
This paper will evaluate initiatives by language activism groups in Bavaria which are largely
dominated by grassroots organisations and compare them to those of others in similar
geographical peripheries.
The main players on the Bavarian activism scene can be regarded as presenting opposite ends of
the spectrum. On the one hand, groups actively encourage and support academic research into the
language and the dissemination of the findings in an accessible manner to non-specialists. A
number of such projects were initiated by activism groups and have subsequently been backed by
respective Bavarian ministries; however, the political aid often does not stretch beyond an initial
project phase and subsequently financial responsibility for projects has reverted to the activism
groups and/or researchers. On the other hand, we have organisations which promote the
traditional 'values' of the language and the associated culture which largely coincides with the
political values promoted by the Bavarian government. The initiatives supported by such
organisations have been criticised as populist due the perceived stereotypical representation of
Bavarian speakers and the commodification of language, culture and the people for the purposes
of tourism.
The evaluation will highlight the increasing divide between traditional political support for
language initiatives and strengthened promotion through grassroots activism, with the latter
furthered by the growing awareness of other organisations' achievements in similarly
geographically peripheral areas, thus highlighting the spread of accessible, mobilised activism
with a distinctly glocal focus. A successful activism group from Scotland will serve as a
comparison to highlight that commercial endeavours, politics and language support by academics
and non-specialists do not have to be mutually exclusive.
Keywords: minority languages, language activism, politics, glocalisation
Language commodification
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Lorente, Beatriz (University of Basel)
Stefanie, Meier (University of Basel)
Making legitimate speakers: Preparing Philippine nurses for work in
Germany and Switzerland
This paper examines how legitimate speakers are constructed within a regime of state-sponsored
circular labor migration. It explores how such speakers are made, how their linguistic trajectories
are represented and how they are socialized and positioned as workers in European labor markets,
even before they set foot into these labor-receiving countries.
This paper focuses on the recruitment of Philippine nurses for work in Germany and Switzerland
which has been prompted by the care shortage in both countries. Both the German and Swiss
governments have bilateral agreements with the Philippine government that regulate the
migratory flow of nurses. The German government has initiated the "Triple Win" project which
will initially place 500 nurses from the Philippines in German healthcare institutions Switzerland
has a "stagiaire" agreement with the Philippines. Under this agreement, a pilot run of 36 nurses
from the Philippines will work in Switzerland for 18 months. The German language courses for
both groups are handled by the Goethe Institut in the Philippines.
The paper first presents how the institutions involved in this labor migration manage, that is
legitimate and authenticate, the linguistic competencies of the migrants vis-a-vis the language
requirements in the labor markets. It then focuses on an analysis of four short films produced by
the Goethe Institut in the Philippines for Philippine nurses who could potentially head to
Germany. The paper analyzes how these films portray German and how they familiarize and
socialize the migrants into their positions as workers in German society. The paper argues for an
understanding of language in migration that takes into account the regulated trajectories of
mobile speakers, the movement of national borders and how the making of legitimate speakers is
enmeshed in processes that reproduce global inequalities.
Keywords: Language and migration, circular labor migration, legitimacy, authenticity
Language and the black box of migration: Asian and African perspectives
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Lorenzo-Dus, Nuria (Swansea University)
Smith, Philippa (Auckland University of Technology)
Leadership woes: Media representation of politicians in the emergence,
development and resolution of political crises
Abstract: Although crisis is a pervasive concept across academic disciplines, research into the
discourses in and through which crises are constructed is comparatively limited (but see De
Rycker and Mohd Don (eds) 2013, Wodak and Angouri (eds) 2014). This is particularly the case
as regards analysis of the visual construction of crisis in general and of political crisis in particular.
Our work addresses this dearth of visual research into crisis and political communication. It
explores the ways in which the media constructs the notion of political crisis through images.
The study draws upon a corpus of 500 online news stories in the British broadsheet 'The
Independent' (2007-2014) using the search phrase 'political crisis'. Three principles of
composition – information value, salience and framing – are used to examine the multimodal
interplay between the verbal and the visual (Kress and Van Leeuwen 2001) in the corpus.
Results showed a tendency to personalise crises in the political sphere, especially by resorting to
images of political leaders in which these appear to be individually responsible for concrete crisis
stages, principally their eruption or their continuation. We argue that highly complex constructs
– namely political crises – may be visually simplified as the responsibility of individual human
beings, however influential their positions within their respective political systems may be.
De Rycker, A. and Z. Mohd Don (eds) (2013) Discourse and Crisis. Critical Perspectives.
Amsterdam & Philadelphia: John Benjamins.
Kress and Van Leeuwen (2001). Reading Images: The Grammar of Visual Design. Routledge:
Wodak, R. and J. Angouri (2014). From Grexit to Grecovery: Euro/crisis discourses. Special
Issue of Discourse & Society (25)
Keywords: news, political crisis, politicians, visual semiosis, political discourse
Crisis: What crisis?
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Lui, Hong Yee Kelvin (King's College London)
Competing language hierarchies: Migration aspirations and ideologies of
language learning in a community integration programme in Hong Kong
This paper aims to shed light on the politics of language learning for migrant children. Asian
cities are increasingly witnessing "secondary" or "onward" migration – a process whereby some
countries become stepping-stones to migrants' final destinations (Mathews & Yang, 2012).
Existing language and migration research has often approached such forms of mobility as
accomplished migration, rather than potential migration in progress.
In Hong Kong, local governments have subsidised community organisations to run free Cantonese
classes for migrant children to facilitate assimilation. The present linguistic ethnographic study of
an after-school Cantonese class in a city-funded youth centre complicates such linear portrayal of
mobility by discussing episodes in which the ideologies of integration were discursively
challenged by youths of mainly Pakistani, Nepali and Filipino backgrounds who regarded other
Anglo countries as their eventual places of settlement. During the lessons, students produced
metalinguistic commentary on their Hongkongese voluntary teachers' allegedly substandard
English. In other instances, their mocking use of a stylised Cantonese-accented English
foregrounded their English-dominant repertoires vis-à-vis those of their Cantonese-dominant
peers. In their leisure talk, they exhibit affiliation with the imagined community of Englishspeaking transnationals worldwide, and contested the worth of acquiring written "Chinese" and
Cantonese as speakers of English.
While there has been appreciable sociolinguistic research on migration to European and Northern
American metropolises, movements from the periphery to semi-periphery economies, and among
former colonies of the same colonial power, remain largely unexplored. By untangling the tension
between the youth centre's integration goals and the students' self-identifications as temporary
residents, this paper contributes to a sociolinguistics of periphery-to-semi-periphery migration
and unpicks the linguistic ideologies that are mobilised in relation to perceived hierarchies of
migration destinations.
Keywords: Language and migration, Hong Kong, linguistic ethnography, language ideology
Language and the black box of migration: Asian and African perspectives
(See Leung, Ming for ‘Ethnic Categories taken for granted? Identity Construction in a Community Youth
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Mabandla, Nkululeko (University of Cape Town)
Deumert, Ana (University of Cape Town)
Being Chinese in South Africa: Temporalities of Entanglement
This paper considers multiple sites in which Chineseness is experienced and represented in South
Africa: Johannesburg, Cape Town and Tsolo, in the Eastern Cape. Johanneburg has the largest and
oldest Chinese community in South Africa: it not only boasts two Chinatowns but is also the
home of the majority of first generation of Chinese migrants, who arrived in South Africa in the
late nineteenth century. Cape Town, South Africa's second largest metropolis, does not have a
long-standing Chinese community nor does it have a Chinatown. However, over the last ten years,
Chinese enclaves have developed and so-called 'China shops' can be found across the city. Tsolo is
a rural town and has historically been culturally and linguistically homogenous. The area is
colloquially referred to as emaXhoseni, the land of the amaXhosa. However, Tsolo has diversified
at a rapid pace since 2000, driven by the emergence of a diverse international trading class, which
includes, but is not limited to, Chinese traders.
The three sites provide radically different lenses on the experiences and representations of
Chineseness in South Africa, and reveal its fundamentally fragmented and contingent nature. The
sites embody different histories, memories and temporalities, different mobilities and forms of
global and local entanglement, different patterns of inequality, opportunity and aspiration. This
has given rise to a wide range of different practices, linguistically and culturally as well as
economically. Theoretically, the paper will develop Glissant's (1997) notion of entanglement
(intrication); that is, the ways in which people, objects and ideas are linked and put in relation to
one another (mise-en-Relation). The notion of entanglement allows us to consider diasporic,
transnational connections as well as the complex, sometimes intimate, sometimes distant,
interactions and relations that are formed in the new places to which people have moved.
Transnationalizing Chineseness: Language, mobility, and diversity
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
MacGilchrist, Felicitas (Georg-Eckert-Institut)
Ambivalent democracy: Wordsmithing and collaborative writing in
commercial publishing work
The work of publishers is often analysed from a macro-level. Questions which are generally asked
include how publishing firms are reproducing or interrupting globally dominant discourse; and
who makes the decisions over which content is made publicly available. Publishing is, however,
rarely the singular activity of one decision-maker. This paper addresses the apparently mundane,
yet highly political, work with language which goes on during the development process at
educational publishers. Drawing on several short vignettes and extracts from ethnographic field
work, it maps out how "author teams" take seriously their collaborative work as they grapple with
highly charged words, phrases and images. Issues include colonialism, gender and societal
stratification. The vignettes show the relief and pleasure which authors and editors find in
arriving at solutions to their word-conflicts. The vignettes also illustrate the highly ambivalent
nature of these compromise solutions. Although they are grounded in direct democratic practices,
and as such highly valued by the participants, compromise solutions are only ever felt to be a
partial success for each individual. The paper argues that a core practice in the world of
commercially-oriented educational publishing in globalised times is the enacting of an intricate
and ambivalent democracy.
Keywords: language work, applied linguistics, collaboration, educational
discursive ethnography
Engaging the world of language work/ers
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Madsen, Lian Malai (University of Copenhagen)
Stæhr, Andreas (University of Copenhagen)
Standard language in urban rap – linguistic practice, hip hop pedagogies and
ethnographic context
The linguistic and literacy practices of hip hop youth are by now well-studied in sociolinguistics
(e.g. Androutsopoulos, 2009; Pennycook, 2007; Cutler, 2007). According to the language focussed
hip hop research vernacular, non-standard and hybrid linguistic practices are described as
characteristic of this cultural genre (though see Stylianou, 2010), and within educational studies
the creative and counter-hegemonic language use is considered a significant part of the
pedagogical and political potentials of hip hop (e.g. Hill, 2009; Alim, 2011). Since online
communication sites are by now common vehicles for self-expression, content sharing and
engagement in both worldwide and local interest communities social media has, more recently,
become an important field site for researching such popular cultural practices (e.g.
Androutsopoulos, 2006).
This paper focuses on a case that compared to previous studies of hip hop language, is surprising;
a group of adolescents in Copenhagen increasingly use more monolingual, standard linguistic
practices in their hip hop productions on YouTube. We argue that to fully understand this
development, it is necessary to take into account the local, socio-cultural meanings given to
particular linguistic resources, and that this cannot be fully captured without attention to the
ethnographic and sociolinguistic context. We find that the hip hop language and literacy practices
in this context are related to both traditional educational norms and artistic aspirations.
“Hip-hop pedagogies”: Educational experiences to develop language, literature and critical
skills among young people
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Maegaard, Marie (University of Copenhagen)
Dialect performance in the production of authenticity in Bornholm tourism,
food production and high-end restaurants
Throughout the last century an intense linguistic standardization process has taken place in
Denmark leading to the dedialectalization of language use in almost all areas (Coupland &
Kristiansen 2011, Maegaard et al. 2013, Pedersen 2003). However, while globalization leads to
dialect levelling, at the same time it produces ideological differences between imagined varieties
(Johnstone 2010). The perceived difference between "Danish" and "Bornholmian" is central to the
construction of value for several local Bornholm food producers and for other food entrepreneurs
marketing Bornholmian products.
By drawing on two case studies, I will show how elements of traditional Bornholm dialect are
used in the construction of the authentic Bornholm experience to consumers perceived as
"outsiders". The first case study concerns a winery at Bornholm. The winegrower offers guided
tours to tourists, and these tours are framed as a Bornholm experience by his use of traditional
Bornholm dialect (Maegaard, Monka & Scheuer 2014). Most importantly, his use of dialect works
to both include and exclude tourists in the event, creating a typical tourist experience (Jaworski
and Thurlow 2010).
The second case is a study of two high-end Bornholm restaurants in Copenhagen (Karrebæk &
Maegaard forthc.). Here, Bornholm dialect is also used strategically, for instance in the speech of
the waiters or as written dialect on the menu. In the paper, I will focus on the making of a
"Bornholmian cocktail" in one of the restaurants. The cocktail is served in glasses which have
different Bornholmian words engraved. I will analyze the process leading to this decision, and I
will argue that in this case, it is not only a construction of authenticity that is taking place. Rather
it is a staged performance (Bell & Gibson 2011) of bornholmness, leading to a complex guest
experience of both authenticity and inauthenticity at the same time.
Dialects and migration
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Man, Enoch (The University of Hong Kong)
Luk, Jasmine (The University of Hong Kong)
Bringing World Englishes into ESL Classrooms in Hong Kong: Teacher
Perceptions and Practices
This presentation reports the findings of an in-depth, qualitative study that seeks answers to
research questions regarding: (i) the relationship between the cognitions and pedagogical
practices of WE of a group of Hong Kong English teachers; and (ii) contextual factors that may
influence their reported cognitions and observed practices. This research takes a Hong Kong
secondary school as a single case with five English teachers as embedded cases who participated
as the main informants over a period of one school year. In particular, data collected from
interviews, classroom observations and stimulated recall interviews regarding how this group of
English teachers in Hong Kong treated WE texts, including how they approached them generally
and which WE-related features were taught, will be presented.
Both the informants' perceptions and practices manifested an 'ambivalent' view towards English
varieties: expressing an embracing view towards WE and being willing to teach texts containing
WE features, but at the same time attaching only to British English in teaching and continuously
reminding students to avoid using WE due to local examination and curriculum requirements. In
other words, this ambivalence seemed to have rooted from their pedagogical focus only on
meeting examination requirements and formal English use.
The findings reveal the teacher informants' predominant focus on examinations, which tend to
focus on standard Englishes and formal genres. It is suggested that English teachers should go
beyond an uncritical adherence to nation-based English varieties to develop a broader
understanding of language variation that takes into account the users, uses and modes of
communication (Mahboob, in press). This study calls for (i) the inclusion of a wider range of
language variation in the English curriculum; and (ii) more attention to teacher education
programmes in strengthening awareness of language variation.
Global English
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Manns, Howard (Monash University)
Musgrave, Simon (Monash University)
On the internet, no one knows you're from Madura: De-naturalizing language
ideologies in post-Reform Indonesia
This paper examines the evolving nature of language and identity in post-Reform Indonesia by
investigating the use of language variation to instigate and resolve ethnic-national tensions in
online forums. We begin by briefly introducing some of the key features of the Semiotic Register
(SR) of Kaskus (Agha 2007), Indonesia's most popular online forum.
We next show how language variation emerges against the backdrop of this SR in discussions of
ethnicity. These discussions often entail the strategic elevation of the ethnic self and the strategic
denigration of the ethnic other and we illustrate how language variation is implicated in either
Language is not ideologically neutral as Bakhtin (1981) and Bourdieu (1991), among others, point
out. While Kaskus may appear to be a topsy-turvy sociolinguistic hub, Standard Indonesian
continues to voice 'authority' thus maintaining its role as a unifying force during the New Order.
However, this authority is undermined by the informal and casual nature of the Kaskus SR as well
as the often tongue-in-cheek use of ethnic languages which invokes linguistic peripheries within
this space.
We conclude that the internet provides yet one more periphery through which New Order
ideologies of language become 're-imagined' and 'de-naturalized' in the post-Reform era (Goebel
2008). Thus, through the internet, the local, ethnic self may explore and resolve tensions around
what it means to be a member of the wider, Indonesian community.
Agha, Asif. (2007). Language and Social Relations. Cambridge University Press.
Bakhtin, Michail. (1981). The dialogic imagination: four essays (C. Emerson & M. Holquist,
Trans.). Austin: University of Texas Press.
Bourdieu, Pierre. (1991). Language and symbolic power. Cambridge: Polity Press in association
with Basil Blackwell.
Goebel, Zane. (2008). Enregistering, authorizing and de-naturalizing identity in Indonesia.
Journal of Linguistic Anthropology, 18/1: 46-61.
Margins, hubs, and peripheries in a decentralizing Indonesia (Part 3)
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Marra, Meredith (Victoria University of Wellington)
Negotiating an employable identity as a global worker: The relevance of
societal norms
Despite claims of a globalised employment market, securing work can seem an insurmountable
challenge for international newcomers. Current discussions of employability offer two distinct
views on the issue: one focuses on a skill set and the second highlights the concept of an
"employable identity". Experience analysing workplace talk suggests that in practice this identity
relies on the successful navigation of both societal and local norms.
Adopting a social realist stance which embraces multiple levels of contextual constraint (Holmes
et al., 2011), I focus on the enactment of an employable identity using interactions recorded in
New Zealand organisations. Claims of shared national norms have been a core focus in recent
work within sociology, anthropology, history and politics. Following recent work by Woodhams
(fc), I aim to bridge the macro and micro levels by exploring the negotiation of these norms in
discourse. A key focus is the instantiation of one particularly salient norm, namely the 'tall poppy
syndrome'. Adhering to this oft-cited principle governing behaviour within New Zealand
workplaces, employees are expected to act in an appropriately humble manner to provide an
acceptable veneer of equality, irrespective of hierarchical difference and asymmetries in
professional expertise. In terms of discursive strategies, the instantiation includes predictable
features such as the use of first names, inclusive pronouns and the mitigation of speech acts
which presuppose power inequalities. Alongside these more stable features are subtle and
nuanced negotiations which are constrained by the specific organisation and relevant community
of practice. The analysis demonstrates the complexity inherent in an employable identity and
offers insights for preparing global jobseekers and their employers.
Woodhams, J.M. (Forthcoming). The discursive construction of political identity. PhD thesis. Victoria
University of Wellington.
Holmes, J., Marra, M., Vine, B. (2011). Leadership, Discourse and Ethnicity. OUP.
Keywords: Workplace discourse; norms; identity; employment
Workplace communication
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Marshall, Steve (Simon Fraser University)
Moore, Danièle (Simon Fraser University)
From multilingualism and codeswitching to plurilingual competence and
translanguaging: what next? The transnational language practices of
university students in Vancouver, Canada
We present data from a three-year study into the language and literacy practices of multilingual
university students in Vancouver, Canada. We address traditional views of multilingualism/
codeswitching, illustrating how the transnational language and literacy practices of the
participants in the study were better understood around the concepts of plurilingual competence
(Coste, Moore, & Zarate, 1997; Marshall & Moore, 2013) and translanguaging (García, 2009;
Canagarajah, 2011; Li & Zhu, 2013). In light of recent debates around changing terminology and
multilingual practices, we wonder, what next?
We illustrate how individuals use languages as resources, reflexively exercising their agency and
plurilingual competence - when they can - in formal and informal contexts: e.g., Chinese-speaking
students interacting with each other (face-to face and online) by mixing Chinese languages,
English, and Korean; and Korean-speaking students inserting Korean language and script into
their English writing.
Canagarajah, S. (2011). Codemeshing in academic writing: Identifying teachable
strategies of translanguaging. Modern Language Journal, 95, 401–417.
Coste, D., Moore, D. & Zarate, G. (1997). Compétence plurilingue et pluriculturelle. Vers un
cadre européen commun de référence pour l'enseignement et l'apprentissage des langues vivantes: Études
préparatoires. Strasbourg: Éditions du Conseil de l'Europe.
García, O. (2009). Education, multlingualism and translanguaging in the 21st century. In
T.Skutnabb-Kangas, R. Phillipson, A.K. Mohanty, & M. Panda (Eds.), Social justice through
multilingual education (pp. 140-158). Clevedon, England: Multilingual Matters.
Li, W. & Zhu, H. (2013) Translanguaging Identities and Ideologies: Creating Transnational
Space Through Flexible Multilingual Practices Amongst Chinese University Students in the
UK. Applied Linguistics 2013 (1), 1–21
Marshall, S. & Moore, D. (2013). 2B or Not 2B plurilingual? Navigating languagesliteracies,
and plurilingual competence in postsecondary education in Canada. TESOL Quarterly 47(3).
pp. 472-499.
Multilingualism (2)
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
May, Stephen (The University of Auckland)
English, linguistic cosmopolitanism and social and educational (im)mobility
English, as the current world language or lingua mundi, is increasingly touted as the key to wider
social, economic and educational mobility in a globalized world, as well as a sign, par excellence,
of linguistic cosmopolitanism. The educational and wider public policy implications of this
position are apparent in a related regular juxtaposition of cosmopolitanism with bilingual/
multicultural educational policy. The former is championed as providing students with access to
fluid, instrumental and global language identities and their associated instrumental benefits of
mobility and (wider) social engagement (de Swaan, 2001; Archibugi, 2005). The latter is, more
often than not, constructed as 'entrenching' and/or 'ghettoizing' students (and their families)
within the languages (other than English) that they currently speak (Barry, 2001; Laitin & Reich,
2003; Pogge, 2003; Huntington, 2005).
In this paper, I will critique the regular juxtaposition of so-called local and global languages
underpinning linguistic cosmopolitan discourses, as well as associated arguments about English
as the key to individual mobility and wider individual and societal engagement. In the process, I
will examine questions of language 'status' and 'reach', along with what can (and cannot) be
accomplished via languages such as English. At the macro level, this includes highlighting how
existing class and linguistic hierarchies actively delimit the claims of cosmopolitans that
globalization 'proceeds in English' (Archibugi, 2005: 186). At the micro level, it involves exploring
how the instrumental benefits of English for individuals are often wildly overstated, particularly
for the poor, marginalized and/or disadvantaged. This critique will also necessarily entail a
(re)appraisal of the effectiveness of educational policies that promote English at the expense of
other languages vis-à-vis more overtly bi/multilingual education approaches.
Keywords: English, world language, lingua franca, linguistic cosmopolitanism, educational and
social mobility
Language ideology (1)
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Mayr, Katharina (University of Potsdam)
Wiese, Heike (University of Potsdam)
Krämer, Philipp (Freie Universität Berlin)
"School children's engagement with linguistic landscapes" - Report from a
Berlin inner city school
Linguistic Landscapes (LL) has become a thriving field of research into the complexity of
multiethnic and multilingual cities. Due to the graphic approach to language, the fundamental
idea of LL lends itself to adaptations in education (Hancock 2013).
As part of an awareness programme about language variation and multilingualism in education,
we developed a teaching unit for primary schools that makes LL exploration accessible to school
children. In this teaching unit, groups of pupils took pictures of visual representations of language
on a walk through their multiethnic neighbourhood in Berlin and discussed and analysed them
together. In an add-on "guerrilla linguistic landscaping" suggested by the pupils themselves, they
designed multilingual messages to the neighbourhood that were posted in the school's
surroundings, e.g., on park benches and lampposts.
In the talk, we present the materials for the classroom unit and discuss the photos taken by the
pupils as well as their "guerrilla" productions. As we will show, such data can give valuable
insights into the perception of multilingual spaces by children and their engagement with this
linguistic landscape. Apart from the initial purpose of raising awareness for linguistic diversity
and its societal background, the teaching unit turned out to provide new impulses for LL research
which so far has focussed mainly on adults as authors and recipients.
Hancock, Andy (2013): Capturing the Linguistic Landscape of Edinburgh: A pedagogical tool
to investigate student teachers' understandings of cultural and lingusitic diversity. In:
Hélot, Christine; Barni, Monica; Janssens, Rudi & Bagna, Carla (Hg.): Linguistic Landscapes,
Multilingualism and Social Change. Frankfurt/Main: Lang. 249-266.
Keywords: Linguistic Landscapes, multilingual cities, education, linguistic diversity
Linguistic landscape (1)
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
McElhinny, Bonnie (University of Toronto)
Imperial Circuits and American Colonialism: Vocational Education, and
English Education for Hawaiians, African-Americans, Native Americans, and
In this paper, I trace the circuits through which ideologies of vocational education and instruction
in English were spread through U.S. imperial networks—from missionary schools in Hawai'i in
the early 19th century, to vocational schools for the instruction of African Americans and then
Indigenous students in the mid-19th century, to the Philippines in the early 20th century (Adams
1995, Alberca 1996, Beyer 2007, Constantino 1989, Calata 2002, Makofsky 1989). The
widespread use of the colonial language in education was a shift from earlier Spanish policy in the
Philippines, and from earlier U.S. policy in Hawaiian, as well as the policy of other European
empires, and was linked to the rise of industrial capitalism and the bureaucracies needed to
administer it. If, however, language was no longer used in quite the same way to demarcate race,
for racialized groups educations in modernity often meant being educated as the industrial
proletariat. Drawing on primary and secondary sources, this paper unifies literatures on language
and education which often treat various colonial sites or racialized groups, and overseas and
settler colonialism, separately, rather than as part of an unevenly unified imperial field, with
implications for thinking about how we theorize globalization, its circuits and its temporality. It
focuses on the importance of analyses of "circuits" as it considers the logic of "comparison" often
elaborated in such sites. This analysis underlines the ways that industrial language policy, often
linked to continental policy, originated in U.S. overseas imperial settings, especially in Hawai'i,
and thus re-centres the way we think about "origins" and "influences."
Keywords: vocational, industrial, English, imperialism, race
Language ideology (3)
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
McLaughlin, Mireille (University of Ottawa)
From minority speaker to global subject: redefining language and power
through multilingualism in francophone Canada
Globalization is opening up new spaces where previously marginalized linguistic practices are
now gaining in symbolic value. In Canada, once stigmatized regional varieties of French are now
central to value added commodities (Heller 2011) while French-English bilingualism, once a
debated as problematic for both the construction of Canada and francophone minorities, is
increasingly perceived positively (LeBlanc 2014) and grants access to upward mobility (Jedwab
2001). In this paper, I put together data from two research field work to investigate the changing
landscape of linguistic ideologies in Francophone Canada and link it to the ways in which experts
and participants construct and understand linguistic power. First, I use data from an ethnographic
study of Acadian cultural production to follow the increased value of authentic Acadian French in
the global economy. Then, I turn to interviews carried out with Canadian workers to understand
the construction of legitimate French-English bilingualism in the workforce. In both cases, I pay
attention to discourses of discrimination, valuation and authenticity to understand how linguistic
practices which were once considered marginal come to gain value. I use a discourse analysis to
study this process as both a discursive representation and an effect of economically anchored
discourses which serves to reproduce or challenge symbolic markets. I argue that a
sociolinguistics of globalizations helps us understand the transformation of power relations in
Canada: the increased value of practices once considered marginal are allowing once peripheral
actors to redefine language politics. This challenges binary understandings of linguistic
domination and minoritization within the field of sociolinguistics.
Mainstreaming the periphery in sociolinguistics
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Meek, Barbra (University of Michigan)
Scaling Endangerment: globalization & First Nations languages
Language endangerment is a global and globalizing discourse. NGOs, governments, and language
communities alike strategically craft this discourse in order to inspire sympathy, concern, and
even moral panic over the "crisis" of endangerment (Duchêne and Heller 2007). It is a genre that
links and structures groups of people (and languages) across different scales of organization.
Emblematized in bureaucratic reports and human rights discourse, this genre scales
endangerment in a variety of ways, as degrees of loss, universal value, identity and so forth (Hill
2002; Muehlmann 2012). Other scales manifest in the planning and implementation of
revitalization projects. This paper elucidates the various metrics used in scaling endangerment,
evaluating indigenous languages not only in relation to some dominant, majority language but
also in more nuanced conceptions of what it means to be a "speaker," a "learner," and a "language."
I show how this genre has shifted from a simple black-and-white portrait of speakers and nonspeakers of language A to a more complicated image of "learner" potential and future competence
through various media (in relation to text production and online language resources). Despite
the intricate metrics and the seeming transformation of a global rhetoric, I argue that such scaling
practices coordinate a regime of value that promotes endangerment at the expense of alternative
sociolinguistic (and indigenous) futures, revealing an elaboration of genre rather than its
Duchêne, Alexandre and Monica Heller. 2007. Discourses of Endangerment: Ideology and Interest in
the defence of Languages. London and NewYork: Continuum.
Hill, Jane 2002. ""Expert rhetorics" in advocacy for endangered languages: who is listening and
what do they hear?" Journal of LinguisticAnthropology 12:119-133.
Muehlmann, Shaylih. 2012. "Rhizomes and other uncountables: the malaise of enumeration in
Mexico's Colorado River Delta." American Ethnologist 39(2):339-353.
Keywords: endangered languages, linguistic anthropology, linguistic marketplace and
New media, new standards? Standardization processes in digitally mediated space
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Messina Dahlberg, Giulia (Dalarna University)
Bagga-Gupta, Sangeeta (Örebro University)
Learning practices on-the-go: languaging and mobility in digital glocal spaces
More and more people across the globe have access to newer ways of engaging in learning
practices on-the-go with Technology Mediated Communication becoming a growing dimension of
everyday life. The study presented in this paper examines the nature of languaging 'in situ' in
digital institutional learning settings (like the virtual classroom, including the types of practices
that unfold at the boundaries of different global-local or glocal spaces). This includes examining
the openness and parallel closure of online learning glocal spaces. We use sociocultural and
decolonial theoretical lenses in the analysis of ethnographic data that include video recordings of
synchronous meetings of an 'Italian for Beginners' course offered by a Swedish university. The
data-set also includes the instructors' course materials, students' notes and national policy
documents (2000–present) related to language learning and online education. Excerpts from the
data analysis and other representations will be used to exemplify the ways in which participants'
use of tools and mobility (or immobility) across spaces (the local, the virtual, the global) can be
mapped and framed analytically. Our results highlight the need to focus the technological,
distributed constitution of participants' worlds in the shared space(s) of the virtual classroom that
we theoretically frame in terms of Third Space. Here, emergent hybrid language practices are used
to make sense of the ways in which participants orient towards what is tangible and what is
curtailed in the virtual classroom. Our results highlight how participant's interactional order is
constituted by a continuous shift framed by the task at hand and/or the expectations of the
institutionally framed agenda of the course. The analysis of the interactional data and the policy
documents further highlights how dismantling notions of one nation-one language, facilitated by
emerging media practices, also challenges dominant language ideologies that are currently based
upon monolingual-monomodal communication.
Keywords: Technology Mediated Communication; digital glocal spaces; languaging; third space;
Language mobility
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Milani, Tommaso (University of Witswatersrand)
Querying the queer from Africa
A large body of scholarship across several disciplines has convincingly illustrated how the gender
binary – the distinction between males and females as complementary and 'desirable' opposites –
is constantly reproduced through everyday, apparently 'banal,' practices. Such process is not
innocuous but is part and parcel of hegemonic ideological formations of gender and sexuality that
contribute to positioning some individuals as 'normal' and 'desirable' whilst recasting others as
'unwanted' and 'deviant'. Against this backdrop, this article seeks to offer a different perspective,
one that focuses less on the reproduction than on the ambivalence of collusion and contestation
in relation to the gender binary. In order to do so, the article investigates a drawing made by
Gabrielle Le Roux in collaboration with Silva, a Namibian trans activist, which featured as part of
the exhibition Queer and Trans Art-iculations at Wits Art Museum in Johannesburg in 2014. With
the help of an eclectic theoretical apparatus that brings together visual analysis with an African
perspective on queer theory, the article shows how the portrait simultaneously reproduces and
contests normative gendered and sexualized norms. Moreover, I argue that LeRoux's work and
collaboration with transgender and intersex activists can be seen as the beginning of a local
decolonizing project that emerges from Africa, decentring 'Northern', colonial ideologies.
Keywords: Africa, decentring, multimodality, queer, visual culture
LGBTIQ and performativity: Queering the sociolinguistics of globalization
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Mitchell, Thomas (Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar)
Pessoa, Silvia (Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar)
Second-Generation Immigrants in Qatar: Identity and Sense of Place
This presentation uses APPRAISAL (Martin and White, 2005) to examine place-based identity
construction among second-generation immigrants (SGI) in Qatar. In Qatar, unlike in many
countries, tensions created by pressure upon immigrants and their children to acculturate do not
exist. Qataris are in the extreme minority in their own country, and the path to citizenship there
is heavily restricted. Thus, for SGI, whose resident status may always be temporary, there is a
complicated relationship between self and the place they have lived for most of their lives.
Drawing on data from 20 ethnographic interviews and focus groups with SGI whose families are
from the Middle East and Asia, we use grounded theory (Emerson et al., 1995) to highlight
salient themes in the experiences of these immigrants. We then focus on a single interview with
three university-age participants: a Qatar-born Pakistani woman, a Qatar-born Palestinian woman,
and a US-born Lebanese man. Each participant is multilingual and has immediate family members
who have lived in several countries. We closely analyze how they evaluate their experiences as SGI
in Qatar, enact local and international place-based identities, and orient to Qatari mainstream
We suggest that in Qatar, like other countries, place-based identity construction is complex for
SGI due to conflicting attachments to "host" and "home" countries. Unlike other contexts,
however, we find that there is a decentering effect on the identities and sense of place of SGI in
Qatar, where their connection to the country remains tenuous and there is no pressure to
acculturate. Our findings complicate commonplace assumptions about acculturation and
Emerson, R. (2001). Contemporary field research: Perspectives and formulations. Long Grove,
Illinois: Waveland Press.
Martin, J. R., & White, P. R. (2003). The language of evaluation: Appraisal in English. Palgrave
Transnationalism (2)
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Miyake, Kazuko (Toyo University)
What made Japanese Female Expatriates Retain and Recreate their Sense of
Japanese Identity?
In a period of 1960s -70s where Japan was making rapid economic and political progress in the
international stage, some Japanese voluntarily chose to leave Japan and settle in foreign lands.
Since then the number of residents living outside Japan has been increasing.
In this talk, 10 elderly Japanese women are chosen as an early example of this Japanese Diaspora.
They were married to British citizens and settled in the UK. Two important factors critically
determined their lives. Until 1964, Japanese immigration policies were tight and the women had
to abandon their nationality and become British in order to leave Japan and marry a foreigner. The
interviews with them reveal their efforts to retain the Japanese language while struggling to
improve their English. Although they had a strong wish to pass down their language to their
children, they had to abandon it in the overwhelmingly English environment. Meanwhile, they
kept the habit of cooking and eating Japanese food and maintaining Japanese customs. They feel a
strong sense of attachment to Japanese cultural norms and traditions.
The second important factor came in 1984 when Japanese government decided to change the law
to give rights to mothers to pass down their nationality to their children. However, it was too late
for their children who had been given only British nationality and raised accordingly. None of the
children attained good command of Japanese, nor strong Japanese identity. They married nonJapanese and their lives became further removed from Japanese-ness.
By focusing on these women, and comparing their cases with those of present-day Japanese
women in the UK, the talk aims to shed light on the roles played by language and culture and the
process of communication between parent and child living outside of the original land.
deaspora, identity, nationality, norm, media
Identity (1)
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Moita-Lopes, Luiz Paulo (Federal University of Rio de Janeiro)
Nuancing sociolinguistic scales and tricking governmentality in online
sexuality performativities
Nothing could be less queer than having sex in the name of identity. In a world in which life has
increasingly become of the "as if" type, the contingent lives we live in the web (and , in fact,
offline) makes the experience of queer sexualities more and more tangible. However, the
Multitude (Hardt and Negri, 2000) one comes across in the web and the anonymity it provides
for by the mere pressing of a key, in "virtual" sexual encounters, allow for queer performativities
as nowhere else. In this presentation, relying on data generated through a virtual ethnography, I
analyze a situated discursive practice between two men who met on a Gay Dating Site and who
eventually moved to a more secluded chat room so that they could have a more tête-à-tête
conversation. The analysis shows how participants orient themselves to a multiscalar view of
context (Blommaert & Rampton, 2011) as the conversation develops, adjusting themselves to
scales of space, time, knowledge and power. Nevertheless, the analysis also indicates how such
scales are nuanced when participants bring into talk different ideologies about sexuality, age, body
and diverse ranking systems, which disrupt specific power positionalities. In particular, the
analysis shows how one of the participants who always positions himself at a more powerful
sociolinguistic scale and who is actually trying to make the other confess the truth about his
sexuality, is queerly interrupted by the other who tries to chat him up. The sociolinguistic scale is
therefore reversed and governmentality (Foucault, 2010 ) is cheated.
Keywords: contingency, queer sexualities, online practices, scales, governmentality
LGBTIQ and performativity: Queering the sociolinguistics of globalization
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Møller, Janus (University of Copenhagen)
Polylingual development and translanguaging space
In the perspective of polylanguaging "a language" is viewed as a sociocultural construct believed to
comprise a coherent and delimited set of linguistic features (Jørgensen & Møller 2014). "Speaking
a language" therefore means using features associated with a given language – and only such
features. Thereby "speaking a language" must be viewed as a normative choice rather than a
nature-given way of communication as soon as speakers have access to linguistic resources
associated with more than one language. One question following this is what happens to norms
and social relations when speakers choose not to follow this norm of "speaking a language".
Which new norms develop over time with what social consequences?
I discuss such development of polylingual practices and co-occurring norms of behavior on the
basis of two different groups of informants. One group consists of Danish speakers with a Turkish
minority background. Data were collected from this group while they were attending a public
school during the period 1989 to 1998 and again in 2006-2007 when they were young adults
(Møller 2009, Jørgensen 2010). Another group consists of speakers with a range of different
linguistic backgrounds, who was followed by a team of researchers during their last two last years
in a public school 2009-2011 (Madsen et al. 2013). The types of polylanguaging developed in the
two groups may be described as "language mixing" (Auer 1999) and "contemporary urban
vernacular" (Rampton 2010), respectively. By comparing linguistic production as well as the
participants' metalinguistics descriptions of polylanguaging practices we can observe how both
groups of participants create normatively regulated social spaces over time (cf. Li 2011 on
translanguaging space). I will discuss similarities and differences in these social spaces with
respect to linguistic material, patterns of identification and processes of enregisterment (Agha
Multilingualism (2)
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Monka, Malene (University of Copenhagen)
Mobility and language change in real time
Diachronic studies of the interrelationship between mobility and language change leave us with
some unanswered questions of causation. The most important question is whether language
change is caused by mobility, or if mobile informants mark themselves linguistically different than
their non-mobile peers prior to being geographically and socially mobile (e.g. Andersson &
Thelander 1994).
In the presentation I discuss this question by presenting a real time panel-study of language
change in 23 speakers from three municipalities in distinct dialect areas in Denmark. The
language change of six mobile informants will be compared to that of 17 non-mobile informants.
The first interviews were conducted 1978–1989; the second ones were conducted 2005–2010.
I present quantitative and qualitative analyses of the data. The main quantitative results are that
the mobile speakers use fewer local features than the non-mobile speakers in the old recordings,
and that the degree of language change differs among the mobile informants from the three
dialect areas. Based on the qualitative analyses I argue that differences in geographic and social
orientation in the old recordings can explain differences between mobile and non-mobile
informants. I also suggest a human geographic approach to place to explain the differences
between the language change of the mobile informants (e.g. Britain 2009; Johnstone 2004).
Andersson, Roger & Mats Thelander (1994). "Internal Migration, Biography Formation, and
Linguistic Change". The Sociolinguistics of Urbanization. Bengt Nordberg. Berlin, de Gruyter:
Britain, David (2010). "Language and space: the variationist approach". Language and space: an
international handbook of linguistic variation. Peter Auer & Jürgen Schmidt. Berlin, Mouton de
Gruyter: 142-163
Johnstone, Barbara (2004). "Place, Globalization, and Linguistic Variation". Sociolinguistic
Variation - Critical Reflections. Carmen Fought. Oxford, Oxford University Press: 65-83.
Keywords: language change in real time, panel-study, mobility, place
Language mobility
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Moore, Emilee (Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona and
Universitat Internacional de Catalunya)
Garrido, Maria Rosa (Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona and
Universitat Internacional de Catalunya)
"In our hood we listen Arabic and French": Language biography raps for the
empowerment of plurilingualism
Campus Ítaca is a socio-educational project at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona aiming to
stimulate adolescents at risk of school dropout to continue to non-compulsory education. Within
this project, the authors run so-called 'English language' workshops that are inspired by
transformative and critical pedagogies of hip-hop (Parmar & Tan, 2013). They aim to empower
students' plurilingual repertoires though language biography raps as opportunities for self
expression and social critique. In this paper we analyse the audio-visual products of the
workshops – raps produced by adolescents in global English, intertwined with other resources
making up their repertoires– in order to explore local processes of identity production
(Pennycook, 2007) and adolescents' ideologies about multilingualism.
Our data suggest that hip-hop as a popular, non-institutionalised culture allows for counter
narratives (Leigh Kelly, 2013) based on the teenagers' plurilingual repertoires and their language
experiences (Mossakowski & Busch, 2010). The students' raps interrogate ideologies linked to
multilingualism in schools as detached from popular culture and their local communities, not
only for students of a migrant background but for all regardless of social and ethnic groups. By
and large, the students' linguistic performances are non-standard, playful and plurilingual,
contrary to the norm in mainstream educational contexts. These workshops motivate teenage
students who are familiarised with and, in some cases, actively participate in hip-hop culture and
use global Englishes. More specifically, in their raps, students orient towards vernacular American
Englishes, contrasting with expectations about learning standard (British) English prevalent in
formal secondary education. Furthermore, although the young rappers reproduce the social
dominance of standard varieties of Spanish and Catalan, they also incorporate hybrid varieties
typical of non-institutionalised urban contexts and timidly make other languages such as Tagalog,
Arabic, Russian or Romanian visible in their rhymes.
“Hip-hop pedagogies”: Educational experiences to develop language, literature and critical
skills among young people
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Morgade-Salgado, Marta (Universidad Autonoma de Madrid,
Facultad de Psicologia)
Verdesoto, Alberto (IES Colegio Lourdes-Fuhem)
Poveda, David (Universidad Autonoma de Madrid, Facultad de
Places and times for Hip-hop in Madrid teenagers
This presentation draws on findings from a larger sensory participatory ethnography (Pink, 2013)
with 13-15 year old adolescents conducted during the 2013-14 school year in a secondary school
in Madrid. The project developed as an educational innovation effort during music lessons and
allowed students to collaboratively produce multi-modal soundscapes of their musical practices
and the role of music in their daily lives. Additionally, students were interviewed and contributed
to an exhibition of their productions that has been installed in their secondary school and our
Our focus will be on the place of hip-hop in these adolescents' musical and expressive cultures.
We explore the identities, practices and spatio-temporal locations of hip-hop in adolescents who
display varying degrees of affiliation with "hip-hop culture". A central piece of our analysis are
students' constructed soundscapes (which involve sounds from the environment, speech, music,
etc.) in which hip-hop emerges as a multi-sensorial experience with which some adolescents fully
engage, others locate in the background and others indexically tie to particular locations and
social relations.
Within the context of the proposed panel, this presentation explores the multi-faced experiences
around hip-hop of Madrid adolescents and how it is appropriated and practiced by youth who
explicitly construe different types of relationships with hip-hop. In this way, we will be able to
document how both global popular cultural processes and local social practices intertwine in the
construction of adolescents' musical experiences and identities.
“Hip-hop pedagogies”: Educational experiences to develop language, literature and critical
skills among young people
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Moriarty, Máiréad (University of Limerick)
Järlehed, Johan (University of Gothenburg)
Globalising Cuisine: Linguistic and graphic features of the Basque, Galician
and Irish gastroscape
Food as nourishment is a necessary component of everyday life, and the gastroscape, that is a set
of practices, norms and values related to food and drinking, is an essential part of culture and
central to most constructions of collective identities. The proposed paper aims at conceptualizing
how local everyday forms of semiosis and globalizing forces of change involving food and language
intersect. We seek to examine these issues by drawing on a comparative case study of the
gastroscape of three minority language contexts: Basque, Galician and Irish. These sites are
particularly relevant to examine within the context of globalization as the semiotic resources
evident in these gastroscapes are balancing tradition and change, while making use of cultural
forms and hydridzing them. We examine how linguistic and graphic features of each of these
languages are drawn on as signifiers of remoteness locality and rurality, key values in these
globalizing times. Such resources are used to index and authenticate the food products associated
with these communities, but they simultaneously construct chronotopes (Bakhtin, 1981). To this
end we will look at how the social meaning and value of these cuisines and the gastronomic
products are represented and negotiated in Linguistic Landscapes both 'away' (e.g. in the
Americas ) and at 'home' (in the Basque Country, Galicia and Ireland). In our analysis we will
focus on semiotic resources such as language, script, typography, material and color in order to
explore how the boundaries between gastronomic and national cultural spaces get represented
and renegotiated in Basque, Galician and Irish gastroscape and how they circulate globally.
Keywords: gastroscape, chronotopes, indexicality, authenticity.
Nodes and trajectories (1)
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Morin, Izak (La Trobe University)
Marginalizing and revaluing Papuan Malay: the impact of politics, policy and
technology in Indonesia
This paper takes a historical look at the movement and (re)valuation of standard Indonesian (SI)
and Papuan Malay (PM) in Papua. Drawing inspiration from work on language ideologies and
using a range of historical texts, signs, media footage, and lived experience I argue that in recent
years PM has moved from the peripheries to new, more central domains, such as the media. This
revaluation sits in tension with another process (promises of a massification of education in
villages) that will facilitate the continued movement of SI into the peripheries, especially social
domains formerly inhabited by the voices of PM and regional languages. I start by looking at how
PM emerged through contact between Malay speaking people and Papuans before then looking at
the role of missionaries in the mid-1800s in marginalizing this emergent variety through its
replacement with standard Malay (SM). I then go on to argue that the implementation of the
powerful political decrees by the first Indonesian President Sukarno paved the way for SI to move
easily into the Land of Papua in 1969. With Papua under Indonesian control SI began to replace
SM while continuing to place PM in a marginal position. Even after decentralization nothing
much changed in terms of language policy as it related to the language of schooling, but
ambiguities in a number of government decrees laid open an avenue for the revaluation of PM
through it increasing use in the media on the internet.
Margins, hubs, and peripheries in a decentralizing Indonesia (Part 2)
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Mortensen, Janus (Roskilde University)
Repeating old patterns or forging new norms: University internationalisation
and the notion of transient communities
One of the key assumptions of sociolinguistics is that language use and human interaction
proceed on the basis of a shared understanding of linguistic and communicative norms (Labov
1968: 251; Hymes 1972: 54). However, as a consequence of increased transnational mobility it is
becoming increasingly common for individuals to find themselves in social contexts where
linguistic norms and/or norms of interaction cannot necessarily be assumed to be shared.
Drawing on research from the CALPIU Research Centre, this paper illustrates how this
development can be explored by considering the case of university internationalization in
The argument presented is that university internationalization, contrary to common belief,
involves more than the simple introduction of English as a medium of instruction: In effect,
international university programs constitute 'transient multilingual communities' (Mortensen
2013) where linguistic norms and their social meaning are under perpetual negotiation,
sometimes resulting in familiar patterns, sometimes leading to re-evaluation of norms and
indexical links known from stable communities.
In the talk, these processes will first be illustrated by analyses of video recordings where
participants who use English as a lingua franca in naturally occurring talk negotiate the meaning
of novel lexical items (e.g.'exmatriculate') which are specifically tied to the local Danish university
context. I then show how this negotiation is mirrored in the way students evaluate different ways
of speaking English in the Danish university context. I argue that a norm seems to be developing
in this transient community according to which local 'non-standard' ways of speaking English may
be positively valued because of their communicative effectiveness. However, this norm appears to
coexist with opposing – albeit familiar – language ideological norms that favour 'native' ways of
speaking. I will argue that this sort of tension is a characteristic of transient communities that
deserves further attention.
English in Scandinavia
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Mossman, Timothy (Simon Fraser University)
DeBunking 1.5: Untangling the concept of in-between-ness among
transnational multilingual youth in Vancouver, BC
As part of the researcher's on-going Ph.D. dissertation investigating the complexities of the
multilingualism and the transnational identities of the so-called Generation 1.5, this paper aims
to decenter a commonly constructed, deficit-type identity in the applied linguistics literature that
casts Generation 1.5 students as stuck in-between languages, cultures, and literacies. I present
data from an open-ended interview with a first-year transnational multilingual female student
from China making the transition to university studies in Vancouver, Canada. I theorize the
interview through a constructionist lens, treating the data not as "truths" but as situated
representations co-constructed in and through the interaction that constitutes the interview.
Utilizing the tools of (applied) Conversation Analysis (CA) and Membership Categorization
Analysis (MCA), I demonstrate how my participant characterizes her 1.5ness not as a limitation
or deficit, but as a vital resource to shuttle in and out and between her social groups, adapt to
differences, and construct shared and specific understandings of the diverse settings, people, and
events she encounters in her daily life.
Transnationalism (1)
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Muench, Christian (Frankfurt University)
Reversing language shift in El Barrio: the impact of Mexican immigrants on
Spanish religious language practices in a Puerto Rican church in New York
Immigrant churches are among those public domains of language that preserve community and
language use of immigrant minorities when immigrants themselves have long started using the
majority language in most other domains of their daily lives, perhaps with exception of family or
the home. Therefore, by the time language practices in the religous context fades away, usually
little force is left within the community to reverse language shift, unless the influx of new
immigrants occurs.
Migration within the Americas makes for an important part of the global migration trails that
have been changing societies around the world for the last decades. While migration from the
Spanish-speaking south to the English-speaking north is much in the foreground of scholarly
attention, the fact that Spanish is the dominant language south of the US-Mexican border
generally dissimulates ethnic and linguistic contact among Spanish-speaking migrants in the
Against the background of New York City, I will describe the case of a Puerto Rican Church in El
Barrio that had all but lost its use of Spanish in religious practice and community life. The recent
influx of Mexican immigrants into Spanish Harlem, however, has reversed the process of language
shift within this particular religious community and fully revived Spanish-language religious
practices of Puerto Ricans.
This case study shows that processes of language shift can occur within such socially and
ethnically confined spaces as the religious context of a single church. Moreover, it shows that with
regard to linguistic minorities globalization may be studied as a phenomenon of micro-processes
that allow minority language use and practices to subsist in unprecedented ways.
Binding and shifting: Two concomitants to the global spread of faith and its languages
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Muni Toke, Valelia (IRD - Institut de recherche pour le
développement / UMR 135 SeDyl)
Indigenized economies of communication: Patients and doctors in French
overseas territories
The existence of contemporary French overseas territories challenges de facto the traditional
North–South divide. Sometimes described as the result of an "unorthodox decolonization", these
multilingual territories are currently part of the French Republic though holding variable
administrative statuses (Lemercier, Muni Toke & Palomares 2014). Language practice in
institutional settings such as public hospitals reflects the complexity of this quite uniquely
multifaceted political and social situation. Early defined as relying centrally on French language
only, the ideal representation of the French Republic tends to define citizenship within the
boundaries of a linguistic nativeness that is strongly correlated with nationality. The management
of linguistic diversity in health care settings thus appears as the reflection of a "national
order" (Blommaert 2009), as much as it provides new grounds to renegotiate it locally. In other
words, doctor-patient interaction exemplifies local economies of communication that index state–
citizen relationships (Stroud 2007). In this perspective, the paper will deal with two types of data,
collected in Wallis (South Pacific) and Mayotte (Indian Ocean): face-to-face interaction in medical
consultations and metapragmatic discourses of health care professional and patients – with a
focus on self-categorizations as well as on means of othering that lead to the (self-)portrayal of
second-class and racialized citizens/patients lying on the margins of the Republic.
Blommaert, Jan. 2009. Language, Asylum, and the National Order. Current Anthropology 50(4).
Lemercier, Elise, Valelia Muni Toke & Élise Palomares. 2014. Les Outre-mer français. Regards
ethnographiques sur une catégorie politique. Terrains & Travaux (24). 5–38. [French Overseas
territories: An ethnographic viewpoint on a political category]
Stroud, Christopher. 2007. Bilingualism: colonialism, postcolonialism and high modernity. In
Monica Heller (ed.), Bilingualism: A social approach, 25–49. Palgrave Macmillan, New York.
Native imaginaries: Resistances and regimentations in unstable senses of space, time and self
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Muth, Sebastian (University of Fribourg)
Niches for riches: Marketing and commodification in medical tourism to
In line with the growth of linguistically mediated knowledge in the new economy, the
international health care sector requires some of its workforce to be multilingual, reflecting an
increasing multilingualization as a means of economic expansion and localization. Similar to other
service-oriented industries that cater to an international audience, language skills and
multilingual repertoires mean an added value to the products of health care providers. This invites
us to further study selective and market-driven multilingualization as a means to serve an affluent
and highly mobile clientele. In Switzerland, medical tourism forms a small niche market that
predominantly attracts patients from countries of the former Soviet Union and the Arabian
Peninsula who seek world-class medical attention and discreetness in a prestigious setting. To
meet this demand, Swiss hospitals lay high emphasis on individualized accommodation in the
patient's language with the help of multilingual guest relations managers and translators who
mediate between patients, physicians and hospital workers. Focusing on ethnographic fieldwork
and interviews, it is my aim to show how Swiss health care providers and health care agencies in
Switzerland and abroad valorize multilingualism and engage in the construction of an image of
Switzerland that connects widely-held perceptions of the country like quality, precision, economic
wealth, a pristine environment, a multilingual population and a high emphasis on privacy with
individual expectations of world-class health care. The combination of marketing strategies
highlighting a distinguished 'Swiss travel experience' with the promotion of a specialized, capitalintensive service industry that relies on its multilingual workforce will open up new perspectives
on the valorization of national images in the new economy and ask, which speakers are actually
legitimate to represent these images.
Keywords: language and commodification; medical tourism; language at work
The commodification of languages and speakers in late capitalism
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Nagayama, Tomoko (Kanagawa University)
"Why 17?": How could Japanese subtitling convey intertextuality between
English-language films?
This study discusses how Japanese subtitling could convey intertextuality between Englishlanguage films. The theoretical backgrounds are multimodality, geosemiotics and "intertextual
relations" (Becker, 1995: 384). The data are the Japanese subtitled versions of Chicken Run
(released in 2001 in Japan) and The Great Escape (released in 1963 in Japan). Being full of
parody of The Great Escape (released in 1963 in UK and USA), Chicken Run (released in 2000 in
UK and USA) is the first animated film produced by Aardman Animations (UK) and this feature
film is their first collaboration with DreamWorks Animations (USA). The research questions are
as follows: 1) how does Chicken Run relate itself to The Great Escape? 2) what kinds of signs
work as contextualization cues? 3) what works as "distant text" (Becker, 1995: 384)? First the
title itself of Chicken Run is written in red, which is the color of the film credits used in The Great
Escape. This red color strongly works as a contextualization cue. The title background shows
rows of huts in the compound, which are surrounded by barbed wire. This scene is also
reminiscent of The Great Escape. Second the story upholds mainly in "Hut 17" in Chicken Run,
while in The Great Escape, one of the main characters, Danny "Tunnel King" starts his 17th tunnel
for their big escape. In both films the number "17" appears on the screen and they are respectively
subtitled. Furthermore here another American English film Stalag 17 (released in 1953 in UK and
USA; in 1954 in Japan) works as a distant text, being triggered by this number. Third the British
leader and the American counterpart polarize about their escape plans until the climax. "Being
British" stands in contrast with "Being American", which is indexed by the casting. In Chicken
Run Ginger is voiced by Julia Sawalha and Rocky by Mel Gibson. In The Great Escape Roger is
played by Richard Attenborough and Hilts by Steve McQueen. Japanese subtitling partly
functions to convey such intertextuality, though the audience would need background
sociocultural knowledge to catch these contextualization cues fully. Keywords: multimodality,
geosemiotics, contextualization cues, intertextuality, subtitling.
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Nakamura, Janice (International Christian University)
Successful English-Japanese bilingualism: Lessons from a literacy group in
Not all children who are exposed to two languages from birth become actively bilingual. In Japan,
39% of children who receive input in two languages end up speaking only one (Yamamoto, 2001).
While the prospects for bilingualism appear bleak in Japanese society, bilingualism still flourishes
in the homes of some intermarriage families. For certain families, bilingualism is a success
because their children do not only speak two languages, they can also read and write in both. This
ethnographic study investigates the family language policies (FLP) of those who experienced
successful English-Japanese bilingualism in Japan. The participants for this study are five parents
whose children attend an English literacy class in Tokyo. Their children were born and raised in
Japan and attend Japanese-medium schools. One-hour interviews were held with each parent with
the objective of determining their attitudes and beliefs about languages, the challenges they face
in promoting bilingualism and their initiatives to help their children acquire English. Data from
field notes and transcripts of audio recordings of the interviews revealed that language ideology
play an important role in the success of English-Japanese bilingualism because the parents
consider English to be highly important for their children's education and career. Some of them
have expectations that their children will transition into an international English program in
junior high or high school, attend college abroad or even live abroad in the future. Parental
expectations and valorisation of English led them to take concrete and consistent steps to help
their children's English literacy skills. These measures will be discussed with the hope that they
may help other families who are struggling to foster bilingualism in Japan.
Yamamoto, M. 2001. Language use in interlingual families: A Japanese-English sociolinguistic study.
Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.
Keywords: Bilingualism, family language policy, minority language
Nodes and trajectories (1)
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Nassenstein, Nico (University of Cologne)
Wolvers, Andrea (University of Cologne)
Global repertoires and urban fluidity: Youth languages in Africa
Urban spaces in a globalized world tend to be characterized by super-diversity (Vertovec 2007)
and fluid identity concepts. Cities in Africa, where multilingual repertoires and super-diversity
have been a long-standing norm in many societies and places, display a multitude of
communicative practices characterized by their urbanity, globalization, dynamicity and fluidity.
The linguistic practices and creativity of youths reflect an amazing way of dealing with the
dynamics of urban and global African city life. Communities of practice emerge, in which 'saccadic
leaders' and global trends, local concepts and cutting-edge styles, identities of resistance and
contested spaces all impact the linguistic practices of youths. The creative manipulative strategies
employed in their language use reflect their ability to cope with the issues of social change in a
globalizing world. Various strategies of linguistic manipulative patterns that are calqued from
other prominent – yet remote – youth languages, language crossing (Rampton 2010), linguistic
differentiation (Irvine & Gal 2000), borrowing through global (and pan-African) trends and music
cultures such as Hip Hop and Reggae have molded youth identities and urban practices. The focus
of the present paper lies on youth languages diffused in Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) and Kinshasa/
Goma (DR Congo) where the multilayered range of social and linguistic impacts of globalization
has led to new linguistic practices and identities. Both speakers' fluid patterns of contact as well as
their manipulative strategies will be in the focus.
Irvine, Judith T.& Susan Gal. 2000. Language ideology and linguistic differentiation. In Paul V.
Kroskrity (ed.), Regimes of language, 35–83. SantaFe: School of American Research Press.
Rampton, Ben. 2010. Language Crossing and the Problematisation of Ethnicity and
Socialisation, Pragmatics 5,4:485-513.
Vertovec, Steven. 2007. Super-diversity and its implications, Ethnic and Racial Studies,
Keywords: Youth languages, urbanity, manipulations, identity, ideologies
Global youth
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Neuenschwander, Christoph (University of Bern)
Tresch, Laura (University of Bern)
Linguistic Legitimacy in a Global Context: Language Ideologies in
Creolisation and Koinéisation
New (colonial) linguistic varieties, i.e. creoles and koinés, have presented a serious challenge to
ideas about 'legitimate' languages and dialects, as traditionally geographical stasis and immobility
were considered fundamental to concepts like identity or authenticity. In the context of
decolonisation and increasing globalisation, however, positive attitudes to linguistic diversity as a
consequence of mobility and language contact have become fortified.
Focussing on New Zealand English and Tok Pisin, the present paper examines how notions of
independence and globalisation have shaped the perceptions of new varieties and, as a result, have
influenced legitimisation and standardisation processes. In both contexts a new decentred or
endonormative standard has emerged, and existing ideologies had to be adapted to new
sociolinguistic situations. In the case of New Zealand English, dynamisms and naturalness have
been put forward as arguments supporting its authenticity and authority. A contrast has been
drawn with stability, historical depth and affectation associated with the exonormative
authoritative standard that is British English. These metalinguistic discourses are intertwined
with processes of nation building and notions of linguistic nationalism.
On the other hand, while Tok Pisin has opened up spaces within the linguistically fragmented
state of Papua New Guinea and is valued as a common means of communication even in
parliament, it is – paradoxically – its kinship to the lexifier English that seems to have prevented
its breakthrough in education and literature. As data suggests, people regard Tok Pisin as a
language that unites the country, but at the same time isolates PNG from the rest of the world.
By contrasting these two cases, the paper aims to investigate some of the highly diverse and
complex effects which tensions between globalisation and nation building can have on
metalinguisic discourses.
Keywords: ideology, creoles, koines, legitimisation, standardisation
Language ideology (2)
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Newman, Michael (Queens College/CUNY)
Latino immigrants in New York and Barcelona: How different ideologies of
ethnicity support different ethnolinguistic realities
Variationists in the US debate the impact on immigration dialectal variation referring to single
ethnolects or repertoires; in Europe parallel discussions refer to "multiethnolects," varieties or
repertoires shared across ethnic groups (e.g. Carter 2014 vs. Cheshire et al. 2011). This study
begins to explore this contrast by examining immigrants of similar origins on both sides of the
I approach the question from the interaction of speakers' metalinguistic awareness, vernacular
norms, and behaviors using grounded theory in matched yearlong ethnographic case studies of
Generation 1.5-2+ Latino teens' English in NYC and Spanish and Catalan in Barcelona. Each
study consisted of 1-3 days/week of participant observation in class and social settings and
individual and group interviews at similar heavily Latino urban secondary schools.
At both sites heterogeneous peer networks outnumbered purely Latino ones. Although acoustic
analysis has yet to be completed, speech ranged perceptually from ethnically marked to local
standard in English and Spanish respectively, with Catalan use quite limited. Participants were
invariably aware of their own and peers' positions on this continuum.
Yet participants differed sharply in metalinguistic evaluations. In NYC English variation
normatively indexed racialized identities. Nonconformers were policed as inauthentic (e.g.,
"sounding White"). In Barcelona, Spanish variation was seen as an unevaluated individual
property, and policing was absent. In NYC variation related more to peer-cultural identity than
social network. Hip-Hop oriented youths showed Spanish substrate features despite participating
in heterogeneous social networks whereas nerds typically "sounded White." In Barcelona social
network ethnic composition was isomorphic with peer cultures and predictive of ethnolinguistic
These ethnodialectal contrasts reflect different constructions of ethnicity. In NYC an ideology of
authenticity constructed racial identities as immutable individual traits. In Barcelona ethnic
indexicality was intertwined with collectivities, leading to selection of homo- or heterogeneous
groups and Latin American or Peninsular features.
Nodes and trajectories (2)
“Hip-hop pedagogies”: Educational experiences to develop language, literature and critical
skills among young people
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Ng, Dana (University of Cincinnati)
How do Confucius Institutes present "Chinese" on American Universities'
The growth of Confucius Institutes (CIs) in American universities is on the rise. Tsung and
Cruickshank (2011) reported an estimated 500 CIs were to be established globally by 2010, with
the mission of promoting the use of Chinese as a Second Language. At present the United States
hosts the most CIs in the world. One common ideology suggests Chinese is equal to Standard
Mandarin, which neglects to include other varieties of Chinese, such as Cantonese. Leung and Wu
(2011) argues for a critical examination of the increase focus of Standard Mandarin in the United
States, which have resulted in the marginalization and deprivation of linguistic resources for
speakers of other varieties of Chinese. Furthermore, Hua and Wei (2014) found that the
(non)explicit rejection of other Chinese varieties can create an Othering effect on some ethnic
Chinese learners. Therefore to determine how CIs present "Chinese" to the American public, a
critical discourse and language ideology framework was used to investigate CIs presence on 70
university websites. Implications to the sociolinguistic situation within the United States will be
Chineses across the Sinospheres in a contemporary era of globalization: Resistance,
empowerment, and change
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Nie, Hua (Tilburg University)
A joint battle against discrimination: The construction and negotiation of
Chineseness among the Chinese diasporic communities in the Netherlands
Since late November, 2013, a video clip began to circulate among the Chinese communities in the
Netherlands featuring a Chinese contestant being mocked on the stage of "Holland's Got Talent"
by one of the show's judges, which triggered immediate outcry on the Internet at the judge's
remarks that many found racially discriminatory. This incident was readily associated with the
increasing encounters of discrimination in various countries, as the recent influx of Chinese
immigrants and tourists kept growing, and thus inflamed and complicated the developing
concerns about global equality for both the domestic and diasporic Chinese populations.
We conducted a detailed analysis of the incident per se, and collected discussion data from
popular online forums for both the "old" second or third generations of Chinese immigrants and
the "newcomers" to the Netherlands. Our analysis of the incident reveals that the seemingly
harmless racial banters are typical representation of "banal" (borrowed from Bilig, 1995) racism, a
common form of social identification and demarcation in Western public space (e.g. "Mock
Spanish" in Hill, 1998), which has been an increasing daily hassle for the "old" Dutch Chinese
community, as well as an unprecedented challenge for the "new immigrants". In response, the
vehement reactions on social media display differentiated attitudes and opinions about the
incident and relevant issues, such as social discrimination, intercultural communication, the
Chinese image, etc., and can thus serve as a prism to project important (and novel) aspects of the
construction and negotiation of the cultural, national and racial identities within and between the
old and new Chinese communities in the Netherlands.
Keywords: Chineseness, Dutch Chinese, new immigrants, discrimination
Transnationalizing Chineseness: Language, mobility, and diversity
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Nørreby, Thomas Rørbeck (The University of Copenhagen)
Ethnic identifications in late modern Copenhagen
Social and ethnic classification is a problem both for social science and for public institutions in
current conditions of globalization (Vertovec 2010, Burton et. al. 2008). Social cohesion remains a
central concern, but the old binaries – minority/majority, migrant/host – can no longer account
for the splits and alignments emerging in contemporary urban environments. Despite these
societal changes there are still strong tendencies in educational, public as well as academic
discourse to treat ethnicity as a stable, natural and intrinsically meaningful phenomenon and to
take the existence of bounded groups associated with one ethnicity as a given (Brubaker 2004).
This prevalent understanding of ethnicity fails to grasp that among the members of these
(imagined) communities (Anderson 1983) there are a number of differences in terms of migration
processes, social positions, religious beliefs, linguistic, cultural and educational capital, and all of
these factors influence the social profiles of each individual member.
In this paper I show how the school children of two seemingly different primary schools in
Copenhagen (one monolingual public school and one bilingual private school) perform ethnic
identifications (Brubaker & Cooper 2000) in their interactional negotiations of social relations.
Rather than assuming preexisting ethnically bounded groups I investigate how ethnic
relationships are acted out and talked into being in the two school settings by approaching
ethnicities as socio-cultural (and political) interpretations located in practice (Brubaker 2004,
Rampton 2011, Jaspers 2011, Madsen 2013). On the basis of my analysis I consider the
pedagogical and socio-political implications of the pupils´ diverse situated ethnic identifications
and argue that newer approaches are needed to replace the orderly model of multiculturalism
(Creese & Blackledge 2010, Blommaet & Rampton 2011, Arnaut 2012).
Identity (1)
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
O’Rourke, Bernadette (Heriot-Watt University)
New speakers and globalisation across time and space
Authenticity is a notion which often arises in discussions of the value of language in modern
western societies (Gal & Woolard 1995). The ideology of Authenticity as Woolard (2008) points
out, locates the value of a language in its relationship to a particular community. In revitalization
contexts, authenticity and the link to identity however, can constrain the acquisition and use of a
minority language by a larger population (Woolard 2008), who may see themselves at risk of not
sounding sufficiently natural compared with so-called native speakers in the community.
Traditional native speakers may in turn establish a social closure which functions as an identity
control mechanism, demarcating their privileged position as authentic speakers The "salvaging"
leanings (Bucholtz, 2003) in revitalization movements are however at odds with parallel attempts
to modernize the language through standardization processes which attempt to render language a
universally accessible competence. In Woolard's (2008) terms, through these processes the value
is placed on anonymity and representing a "view from nowhere"; the language takes on the value
of being socially neutral and universally available, thus rendering it anonymous and belonging to
everyone. Therefore, instead of being valorised as a repository of authentic cultural or national
identity, where the language is considered an alienable characteristic of group members (Heller
2003), it becomes a resource which can potentially belong to anybody irrespective of group
membership. These divergent conceptions between authenticity, understood as "being from
somewhere" versus anonymity, as "being from nowhere" (Woolard 2008), can represent a source
tensions, generating friction between variability on the one hand and standardization on the other
in "the space between language-as-skill and language-as-identity" (Heller 2010). This paper looks
at how these tensions are manifested by native and "new speakers" in minority language contexts
including Irish, Galician and Gaelic.
Standardizing language in the global periphery: Why that now?
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Oates, Michelle (Community College of City University)
Finding meaning and connection between activism, stability and prosperity
in Hong Kong: A critical discourse analysis of articles in two regional
Hong Kong is regarded by many as a world city, however in recent months there has been
increasing speculation regarding polarisation and stability in the territory and the direct or
indirect connection this has to the 'Occupy Central with Love and Peace' (OCLP) campaign, which
advocates civic action in the name of democratic liberalisation. This research seeks to uncover
how such activism is discursively connected to authoritarian and neo-liberalist ideologies by Hong
Kong and Beijing published newspapers. It does so through a critical discourse analysis of two
'hard' news articles from South China Morning Post and two from China Daily, published in the
aftermath of the Chinese government's white paper on the 'One Country, Two Systems' policy and
ensuing blueprint for electoral reform. The research aims to highlight any movement of meaning
that occurs between each article and publication and does so by examining both the internal and
external relations of the texts. The findings indicate that while SCMP uses more agencies to
imitate public discourse within Hong Kong regarding the events, China Daily uses a more
colloquial style to repudiate the power and representativeness of the movement. China Daily
portrays OCLP as a metonym of all opposition factions, whereas SCMP associates the movement
with other pan-democrats only after the blueprint's publication. Though conceptualised differently
by each outlet, law, the Basic Law and the rule of law are central to epistemic and normative
argumentation employed. Both newspapers repeatedly connect the concept to the notion of
stability, which is in turn synonymised with economic prosperity. However interpreted, the
reform papers are denoted as a tool of political control and power that quash politicisation caused
by activism, which according to the discourse, undermines economic development, represented as
the principal concern of the city.
Keywords: power, ideology, activism, stability, prosperity
Critical discourse analysis
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Ogunmodimu, Morakinyo (Tulane University)
Omoniyi, Tope (University of Roehampton, London)
Hip-hop dialects as resource: Some African perspectives
US comedian Tracy Morgan humorously introduced Beastie Boys at the 2006 VH1 Hip-Hop
Honours Award ceremony in New York City by contrasting the band's engagement with
philosophical, non-local politics framed by global consciousness, harmony and social justice (In a
World Gone Mad, 2003) with other artistes' focus on the local protest of the day 'Free (Tony)
Yayo'. Our purpose here is to explore the ramifications of hip-hop's resource in Africa.
Makoni and Pennycook's (2007) thesis of language disinvention and Pennycook's subsequent
treatment of language as local practice (2009) offer a formidable defence of the notion that the
Global Hip-Hop Nation comprises nation 'hoods' represented by dialects of what Alim (2004)
called Hip-Hop Nation Language (Omoniyi, 2009). These different dialects support local
pedagogies, literacy and critical skills which draw on and disseminate local epistemologies
constituted of cultural narratives that shape and reflect a political economy (cf. Higgins, 2009).
Whereas in the US and South Africa, race may constitute the narrative core, in less or non-racially
diverse countries, the character of the core may differ. Intervention strategies that are deployed to
facilitate language skills development and empowerment among immigrant African adolescents
learning to be Black in Toronto (Canada) and Oslo (Norway) are specifically addressed to their
conversion from ethnically to racially conscious new citizens Ibrahim, 2009, 2014; Terkourafi,
2010). Erstwhile traditional curricula have transformed to explore hip-hop as a resource in formal
education (Hill, 2009). Holy hip-hop's deployment for spiritual purposes and goals also warrants
the adoption of a different set of codes and skills. We shall focus on a selection of African artistes
whose practices of sampling, language choice, hybridization, and narration offer us a context for
examining the resources available in some local dialects of Hip-hop.
“Hip-hop as a site of pedagogy”: Implications of hip-hop culture for local pedagogies
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Okamura, Akiko (Takasaki City University of Economics)
The exploitation of non-Japanese words for advertisements in the Japanese
housing market
Globalization has introduced foreign words in our life even though we may not be aware of the
original meaning (Blommaert 2010). This research explores how this introduction has changed
the words in advertisements on housing in Japan.
Focus is placed on the use of non-Japanese words 1) in the Roman alphabet and 2) in Japanese
script, and 3) their Japanese equivalent. These were the items used in reference to a house: living
room, table, kitchen, bath, sink, soap, closet, door and house. Advertisement leaflets on housing
were collected in three households in three different areas in Japan for one month, as they
normally receive several per week together with the newspaper.
Then the words with the above three versions were marked in the collected leaflets. The words
with more than one language version were google-searched in 30 advertisements with each of
these words to find collocations. The results showed that all in all in advertisements, foreign
words in Japanese scripts were more common than Japanese equivalents, while words in the
Roman alphabet tended to be preferred for new product names.
The google search showed that the Japanese words were used for specific purposes such as male
cooking. English words or English suffixes were sometimes combined with Japanese nouns such
as "ie" (house in Japanese)-café, meaning the creation of the atmosphere of a café at home.
Compound nouns of this type seem to kindle a new image and add some value that Japanese
script alone cannot do. This study shows that globalization has created a strategic linguistic
choice for the advertisement and that the language is chosen for not only the linguistic but also
the visual image it carries in the context.
Blommaert, J. 2010. The Sociolinguistics of Globalization. Cambridge University Press.
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Omoniyi, Tope (University of Roehampton)
Towards a multi-centered sociolinguistics of globalization: Southern
In this paper, I shall:
1. Propose that the idea of a sole 'Centre' is unethical because it contradicts liberal democratic
and egalitarian principles and the sanctity of diversities (cf. Connell 2007). There are always
many lenses and prisms, complementary and contrastive in one breadth;
2. Offer a sociolinguistics-led critique of Jean and John Comaroff's Theory from the South in
application to variables like age, class, ethnicity, gender, community to demonstrate that
Free Market Ethnography is suspect etc;
3. Propose in the light of evidence from religion, popular culture (hip-hop, Nollywood and
Band unAid) and the Academy in general that globalization has a South to North run that
complements its assumed sole North-South flow;
For these tasks, I shall draw on primary and secondary sociolinguistic data. The former will be
mainly data from my research in African hip-hop, Nollywood, African borderlands, World
Englishes, language policy and planning in education and in health communication. The latter will
comprise data and findings in the published literature. With both data, I shall explore Jean and
John Comaroff's (2012) Theory from the South to look at various articulations of voice for
engaging with globalization in sociolinguistics. Inasmuch as the varied forces of globalization are
not equally applied and experienced universally, caution must be exercised in pushing grand
theories that may not be firmly rooted across all localities. Similarly, a monopoly of telling rights
managed through a control of linguistic resources and platforms are less than likely to capture all
perspectives. Juan Obarrio's review comment of the Comaroffs viz, '... political and social
movements in the South are producing their own theory and not just importing Northern
academic conceptualizations' frames our interrogations of a North-authored master narrative and
proposes a re-theorization of sociolinguistics' engagement with globalization.
Comaroff, Jean & John L. Comaroff (2012) Theory from the South, or How Euro-America is Evolving
Toward Africa. Paradigm Press.
Connell, Raewyn W (2007) Southern Theory: Social Science and the Global Dynamics of Knowledge
Obarrio, Juan (2012) Symposium: Theory from the South. The Salon, Volume 5, 1-5.
Illusions and delusions of the centre within the framework of globalization
Binding and shifting: Two concomitants to the global spread of faith and its languages
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Ong, Teresa (The Chinese University of Hong Kong)
Ben Said, Selim (The Chinese University of Hong Kong)
Creative Language Forms on Signboards in Hong Kong, Malaysia, and
Research on the Linguistic Landscape (LL), initially pioneered by the seminal work of Landry &
Bourhis (1997), has extensively studied the visibility of languages and other semiotic resources in
multilingual and multiethnic environments. Alongside the preponderance of multilingual signage,
which is a prevalent feature of modern globalized cities, digital technology and electronic
communication have also become an omnipresent feature of people's daily semiotic environment.
In this study, we present data on 'creative language forms' collected from Hong Kong, Malaysia,
and Singapore. What we term 'creative language forms' are not merely code-mixes or bilingual
forms which Luk terms "hybridized intra-lexical mixes" (Luk, 2013), but forms which combine - on the same sign - - conventional language in addition to electronic symbols or stylized images
which are substituted for text. Examples of these creative language forms from our data are
provided for illustrative purposes in the appended images in: (1) for images involving electronic
symbols and (2) for objects stylized to represent letters. We argue that these forms are an
epiphenomenon where simplified/visually concise communicative conventions (which are most
often prevalent in electronic communication, e.g. chat, sms, etc.) are progressively becoming more
visible in the physical landscape of our everyday life and are adopted in the LL. As mentioned by
Blommaert (2012, p. 13) in 'superdiversified' environments, people appear to blend together any
linguistic and communicative resource available to create complex linguistic and semiotic forms.
Through the results presented in this study, we aim at gaining a deeper understanding of the
contemporary linguistic landscape, and the creative language forms witnessed particularly in
Asian countries (of which we present three examples), and the fast changes brought forth by
economic globalization which are impacting literacy and language practices in modern urban
Blommaert, J. (2012). Chronicles of Complexity: Ethnography, Superdiversity, and Linguistic
Landscapes. Tilburg Papers in Culture Studies, Paper 29.
Landry, R., & Bourhis, R. Y. (1997). Linguistic Landscape and Ethnolinguistic Vitality:
An Empirical Study. Journal of Language and Social Psychology, 16, 23–49.
Luk, J. (2013). Bilingual Language Play and Local Creativity in Hong Kong. International Journal
of Multilingualism 10(3), 236-250.
Language commodification
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Opsahl, Toril (University of Oslo)
Røyneland, Unn (University of Oslo)
Reality rhymes – recognition of rap in multicultural Norway
Recent work on language and identity among urban youth in multiethnic environments in
Norway suggests that Hip Hop plays a decisive role in the creation and formation of a new,
multiethnolectal urban speech style (Cutler & Røyneland, 2014; Brunstad, Røyneland & Opsahl,
2010). It is often argued that the use of this speech style will hinder young kids trying to enter the
job market. In the media it is commonly referred to as "Kebab-Norwegian" and framed as
something problematic. However, several Oslo-based rappers from immigrant backgrounds
promote themselves as users of this new speech style and take a clear stance against the prevalent
idea that it poses a threat to the Norwegian language. On the contrary, they argue, it represents
an enrichment of Norwegian. These rappers seem to have both ideological and didactic intentions
in their lyrics. By naming, demonstrating and claiming a place for this speech style they clearly
participate in the enregisterment and acknowledgement of these speech practices (Agha 2005).
Some years ago, two of these rappers rendered "Romeo and Juliet" in "Kebab-Norwegian", situated
in a modern, urban environment. First staged at a small, alternative theatre in Oslo (2007), the
play was eventually a success at the prestigious Bergen music festival (2011). We consider the
impact that this and other emblematic performances have had in the media and not least on the
general public. We argue that there is an emerging change in attitudes toward these language
practices, responding to these rappers' work. This development is clearly evident, we claim, from
the fact that rap lyrics from these performers have been included in several of the most recent
high school textbooks. These works discuss the linguistic practices of current rap music in an
engaging, non-dismissive manner, and juxtapose rap lyrics with dialects and sociolects.
“Hip-hop as a site of pedagogy”: Implications of hip-hop culture for local pedagogies
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Otsuji, Emi (University of Technology, Sydney)
Pennycook, Alastair (University of Technology, Sydney)
City smellscapes and spatial repertoires
Despite the dominant role smell plays in everyday meaning making, it is generally relegated to the
bottom of the sensory hierarchy (along with taste and touch), below the visual (written signs and
text) and aural (conversation). Disrupting this ontological sensual hierarchy, we consider smell as
playing a significant role in ordering and shaping everyday semiotic activities and discourses. We
revisit linguistic landscapes by incorporating olfactory codes into the broader metrolinguistic
spatial repertoire, and scrutinise the limits and possibilities of the linguistic dimension of
landscapes as well as the spatial implication of scapes. Drawing on data from various shops,
markets and streets in diverse suburbs of Tokyo and Sydney, this paper explores ways in which
semiotic landscapes are produced in everyday interactions where linguistic resources, artefacts,
senses (particularly smell) and other forms of multimodal semiosis interact.
In the modern hygenic city, smells are closely associated with ethnic, cultural, and class activities,
as the foods, shops and restaurants of multicultural neighbourhoods send out their sensory
messages to the street. Smells invoke memories, particularly of place, and it is this relationship
between past and present, and between different places, that interests us here as smells evoke
other senses (synaesthesia), linking and expanding the 'here and now' to other spatial and
temporal practices and experiences. This understanding forms part of our wider exploration of
metrolingual practices: Everyday language practices and the city are deeply intertwined, forming
urban landscapes through the constant exchange between people, history, migration, linguistic
resources, eating, buying, selling, telling stories and moving in and across the city. Focusing on
people's everyday linguistic lives in relation to different urban spaces, metrolingualism shows how
linguistic and other resources are combined in emergent spatial repertoires.
Linguascapes, sensescapes and semiotic landscapes
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Oyama, Atsuko (Stony Brook University)
New styles of fatherhood and a global gender and racial order in Japan
Previous research on modernity and gender has claimed that "alliance with men" was what made it
possible for women to have citizenship in the colonial setting (Stoler 2002:110). Similarly, in
Japan's case, alliance with White men was what helped internationalist women in and outside
Japan since the 1990s to better their race and "enter slots for which they had no
birthright" (Kelsky 2001; Taylor 1983:155). In contemporary Japan, the fantasy of modernity and
globalism has become stronger, crafting regular people to particular types of citizens. In particular,
new styles of fatherhood, called ikumen, which encourage male participation in the household and
childcare, appropriate images of actively involved and simultaneously stylish Western fathers to
deal with Japan's shifting economy and demography. In this paper, I focus on the ikumen
movement and argue that this movement that ostensibly targets men is in fact shaped by (and
shapes) women in close relation to their desires to have gender-equal partners and romantic
relationships. Drawing on fieldwork and parenting magazines and advertising, I illustrate how
fathers involved in childrearing are objects to show off, a point of competition and of pride for
some wives, to the extent that ikumen become a form of cultural capital in the twenty-first
century. As the previous studies have suggested, the ikumen movement represents a "colonial"
gender order in Japan, allegedly emancipating women and men within a global racial hierarchy.
Articulating gender and sexuality in contemporary Asia
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Painter, Desmond (Stellenbosch University)
Re-placing whiteness: Spatial dynamics of language attitudes and ideologies
in contemporary South Africa
Apartheid was above all a set of spatial and spatializing practices; and apartheid subjectivities,
including 'ethnolinguistic' ones, were spatially mediated. Yet constructions of space and the spatial
mediation of various cultural and political subjectivities in contemporary South Africa remains
underexplored in social psychology – and this neglect extends to the social psychology of language
as well. In response to this neglect, this paper explores the rhetorical and ideological construction
of white space – from the micro to the macro, from the local to the global – in discourses about
language diversity in two settings in contemporary South Africa: a formerly white, English
language high school and a formerly white, Afrikaans language university. In both cases
interviews with white as well as black speakers of Afrikaans, English and isiXhosa are analysed,
employing a form of rhetorical discourse analysis. It is argued that attitudes about these three
languages, particular language practices, and language diversity as such cannot be abstracted from
underlying spatial constructions and dynamics, in which space does not feature as simply a
variable to be weighed but instead emerges as the fundamental stake in what are essentially
debates about being in and out of place in formerly white post-apartheid settings. In both cases
rhetorical and ideological features of talk about language are shown to be oriented towards
maintaining and contesting the 'whiteness' of public space in relation to contradictory ideologies
of regional cultural diversity, new South African nationhood, and globalisation. The paper ends
with a discussion of the implications of the spatial dynamics of language attitudes and ideologies
in contemporary South Africa for the social psychology of language, the study of global whiteness,
and more practical political question of deracialisation in situations of linguistic diversity.
Language ideology (1)
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Panovic, Ivan (Nanyang Technological University)
The Birth of an Arab Quarter in Istanbul – tourists and refugees as linguistic
Istanbul is witnessing a growing language contact involving Arabic and Turkish. I discuss the
dynamics of this on-going sociolinguistic and sociodemographic transformation by focusing on
linguistic landscaping of a particular area in the vicinity of Taksim Square, where publicly visible
written Arabic has of lately become prominent on various establishments and walls due to the
increased presence of: (1) Arab tourists of different dialectal backgrounds, whose presence in the
city is voluntary and transient, and (2) Syrian refugees, whose presence is mostly involuntary but
Adopting an ethnographic approach advocated by Blommaert (2013), I analyse an extensive
photographic collection of the linguistic landscape of the studied quarter against a number of
interviews conducted with Syrian refugees working in the area and ordinary Turks whose
reactions and attitudes to this change have been elicited. A broader context is provided by
clippings from the Turkish media on "Arabs in Turkey".
I highlight several literacy-as-social-practice issues and discuss ways in which Arabs inscribe their
presence and identities in Istanbul, the discursive elaboration of this presence, and socio-cultural
tensions which this increasing "Arabisation" of Istanbul entails. Approaching language as "a local
practice" (Pennycook 2010), this study is a contribution to the growing field of linguistic
landscape studies (Gorter 2013), in which (except for a number of contributions to our
understanding of the social life of Arabic in Israel) linguistic landscaping involving Arabic has
been largely neglected. It is also a rare treatment of (an aspect of) the linguistic landscape of
Blommaert, Jan (2013) Ethnography, Superdiversity and Linguistic Landscapes: Chronicles of
Complexity. Multilingual Matters.
Gorter, Durk (2013) Linguistic Landscapes in a Multilingual World. Annual Review of Applied
Linguistics. 33: 190-212.
Pennycook, Alastair (2010) Language as a Local Practice. Routledge.
Keywords: linguistic landscaping, Arabic in Istanbul, identity inscription
Linguistic landscape (3)
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Parba, Jayson (University of Hawaii at Manoa/East-West Center
Student Affiliate)
'I Wanted to Fit In': A Young Filipino Immigrant's Story of Transitioning and
Identity Positioning in his New Communities
Narrative analysis in applied linguistics has been a useful tool in looking at how immigrants
(re)negotiate and (re)construct their identities in the new environment in which they navigate
themselves (Pavlenko, 2007). The main goal of this paper is to report on a positioning analysis of
a young Filipino immigrant's stories of transitioning in his new communities in Hawaii. As
Bamberg (2001) espoused, positioning analysis is done by looking at the content and characters in
the story, how the storyteller positions himself to the audience or the storytelling world, and how
the narrator positions himself in and is positioned by the bigger discourses or the macro-context.
The analysis reveals that KC, the participant interviewee, being an immigrant, consistently
positioned himself as a newcomer, a reticent student, and a fairly competent (or illegitimate) user
of the English language. At the same time, KC demonstrates agency by becoming 'investigator' in
his attempt to comprehend his classmates' behavior of 'othering' him once they knew he was
immigrant. Inadvertently, my identity as Filipino researcher-interviewer also helped KC's identity
(re)construction. In other words, my questions and different roles as a supporter, listener, and
sympathizer, helped KC's own sense-making of his own life history. The analysis also reveals that
KC's identity as a young Filipino immigrant positions him within the greater discourse of Filipino
immigration in Hawaii, one which is enmeshed in Hawaii's long history of uneducated, abused,
and unskilled Filipino plantation workers (Jubilado, 2013). Because of these marginalizing
discourses, KC shows great investment in the English language and perceives high proficiency in
it as his ticket towards asserting (or maintaining) legitimate membership in his multiple new
Transnationalism (1)
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Park, Joseph Sung-Yul (National University of Singapore)
Language as commodity, language as doing
While commodification of language (Cameron 2005, Duchêne and Heller 2012, Heller 2010, Tan
and Rubdy 2008) has been a central concern for the sociolinguistics of globalization, some studies
have questioned whether language can be truly considered a commodity (Block 2014, Holborow
2007, McGill 2013). This paper aims to contribute to this debate by offering a theory of
commodification based on critical reflection of the process of labor. In Marx's theory, one
important characteristic of the commodity is that its constitution involves abstraction of the labor
used to produce it, which allows the commodity to be exchanged in the market. This means that
all labor has a dual character: abstract labor, which represents the value that can be gained by
exchanging the commodity in the market, and useful labor, which represents the concrete
activities that actually produce the commodity, but which gets eclipsed and forgotten as the
market foregrounds only abstract labor as the source of value. Holloway (2010) argues that useful
labor should be reconceptualized as concrete doing, for it subsumes not only physical activity
involved in material production, but all conscious creative activity of humans. Following
Holloway, I suggest language must be understood as concrete doing—i.e. it is an inalienable
aspect of our life-activity and a site of our creativity in transforming the world. Commodification
of language, then, can be conceptualized as an ideological process by which the nature of language
as doing is erased, transforming language into an abstract entity that can be associated with
particular forms of market value. Through a critical review of some cases of commodification of
language reported in previous studies, I explore what this theoretical perspective might offer as
ways of contesting the ideology of neoliberalism, which relentlessly commodifies not only
language but all aspects of our lives.
Language commodification
Virtual workplace talk
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Pennycook, Alastair (University of Technology, Sydney)
Markets, flows, fixities and peripheries
Any notion of the periphery has to be understood not only in relation to polycentricity, but also
along multiple lines of differentiation. Peripheralization is a constant process by which class,
wealth, geographical location, gender, race, minority status, language ideologies and much more
combine or compete in producing a relationship of unequal distribution of value. Sociolinguistic
models that have operated with centre/periphery frameworks (linguistic imperialism and world
Englishes, for example) – fixing relations between languages as objects within a static geographic
and political economic framework – failed to grasp these complexities of relational peripheries and
have been increasingly rejected in the face of multifaceted sociolinguistic realities. As Appadurai
(1996) argued, we need a far more complex, overlapping, and disjunctive understanding of the
global cultural economy than the old centre-periphery models. We are living, he argued, in a
'world of flows' where, as more recent work on the sociolinguistics of globalization reminds us,
mobility is crucial. A focus only on flows, however, may miss those intersectional fixities –
locations within cultural, political, economic, linguistic and discursive orders – that are part of the
processes of marginalization or centralization. Looking at data from a range of sources, I will
argue that in order to understand, for example, the way a multilingual worker in a large urban
market is positioned, we need to take into account far more than the macro formations of the
global economy, geographical positioning and language commodification. We need to consider the
operations of globalization from below (the workings of local, informal, market economies) and
everyday multilingualism (the ways in which people draw on spatial repertoires to produce
market metrolingua francas) to understand the ways in which the use of a range of language
resources may or may not have particular value.
Keywords: flows; metrolingualism; markets; fixity; centre-periphery
Mainstreaming the periphery in sociolinguistics
(See Otsuji, Emi for ‘City smellscapes and spatial repertoires’)
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Pérez-Milans, Miguel (The University of Hong Kong)
Introduction: South Asian Youngsters in Hong Kong
This panel examines the discursive (re) construction of youth South Asian identities in the Hong
Kong context. Building on theories of migration, transnationalism, globalization, superdiversity
and late modernity that have emerged during the last decades in the fields of sociolinguistics,
anthropology, sociology and cultural studies, the contributions to the panel investigate daily
experiences of youngsters living at the intersection of multiple and seemingly conflicting cultural
and linguistic ideologies – such as tradition and modernity, local and global connections, or
relationships between home and land. In particular, contributors will focus on the (re)production
or fragmentation of homogeneous collective identities such as those of nationality, social class,
ethnicity, language and/or gender, with attention to subsequent dilemmas, contradictions and
paradoxes. All papers share a view of the local as both a geographical place and a cultural space
for identity performing in which trans-local semiotic resources are discursively mobilized, tried
out and negotiated. Thus, contributors adopt linguistic and ethnographic approaches, with the
aim of shedding light on the processes by which large-scale cultural and political processes
shaping the lives of these youngsters get constituted and made sense through situated meaningmaking practice. Data analysis will draw on fieldwork carried out at different research sites,
including schools, community youth centres, and peer networks in contemporary Hong Kong.
South Asian youngsters in Hong Kong: Negotiating language, place and identity
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Petrie, Gina Mikel (Eastern Washington University)
Imagining English in Southwestern Nicaragua: Cosmopolitanism, Altruism
and Patriotism in Tourees' Visions
This qualitative study explored the perspectives of Nicaraguan residents in the southwest region
of the country about the growing presence of English and English speakers (who are primarily
tourists drawn to the beaches). Interviews were carried out with approximately 30 participants in
which the ways that the residents represented the role of English in their lives and the value that
they gave it--'imaginaries' (Salazar, 2013)--were explored verbally and through visual ethnography
(Pink, 2006). Participants expressed an overwhelming sense of agency in their or their relatives'
relationships to English. Their visions included a hopefulness about the promise of work, a belief
in the altruism of tourism and the sharing of English knowledge with family members, and the
potential to be able to accurately shape messages about Nicaragua and its culture. Most
significantly, the participants (most of whom faced the likelihood that they would never be able to
travel outside of Nicaragua) imagined English as a pathway to cosmopolitanism through cultural
exchange. This hopefulness is imagined in a landscape full of other realities, including the
possibility that many beach-seeking tourists do not seek cultural engagement (Selänniemi, 2001)
or "meaningful contact" (Robinson, 2013).
Pink, S. (2006). Doing visual ethnography: Images, media and representation in research. Sage
Publications: Thousand Oaks, CA.
Robinson, M. (2013). Talking tourists: The intimacies of inter-cultural dialogue. In M. Smith & G.
Richards (Eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Cultural Tourism, 28-33.
Salazar, N.B. (2013). Envisioning Eden: Mobilizing imaginaries in tourism and beyond. Bergbahn
Books: New York.
Selänniemi, T. (2001). Pale skin on Playa del Anywhere: Finnish tourists in the Liminoid
South. In V.L. Smith & M. Brent (Eds.), Hosts and Guests Revisited: Tourism Issues of the 21st
century, 80-92. Cognizant Communication Corporation: New York.
Keywords: Tourism; TESOL; Cosmopolitanism; Imaginaries; Central America
Linguistic landscape (2)
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Petrucci, Peter (Massey University)
Miyahira, Katsuyuki (University of the Ryukyus)
Laughing at US military occupation: Language play and political contestation
in an Okinawan comedy series
This presentation critically examines the discourse of FEC (Free Enjoy Company), a comedy
group that parodies the US military presence on Okinawa. The group's catchphrase, O-warai
beigun kichi! ('laughing at the US military bases'), reflects a discursive space Okinawans have
utilised since the end of the Pacific War for coping with a lived reality of US military occupation
(Nelson 2008). FEC categorise their zany performances as konto 'sketches' or shinkigeki 'comedy
theatre', genres that go back to the Osaka production company Yoshimoto Kōgyō (Stocker 2006).
However, serious base-related topics, such as the unidirectional impenetrability of military base
fencing or Okinawans' invisibility in the Senkaku Islands dispute, are in direct opposition to the
predictably risk-free fodder of Japanese comedy. The presentation seeks to understand the
sociolinguistic resources FEC employ in order to stylise and position projected persona in their
routines. American characters speak an exaggerated and untranslated American English
suggestive of the simple structures taught in Japanese junior high schools, whereas characters
representing Naichi ('Mainland Japan') and, by extension, the Tokyo government, utilise varying
levels of standard Japanese. Significantly, the establishment of a linguistic link between Okinawan
characters and their islands is achieved not by one of the endangered Ryukyuan languages but by
Uchinaa-Yamatuguchi, an emerging Okinawan-Japanese contact language. The presentation argues
that FEC's clever use of language not only represents an empowering contestation of American
and Japanese discourses that have cast Okinawans into the periphery but also acts as a creative
response to the linguistic colonialism they have faced across the generations.
Nelson, C.T. (2008). Dancing with the dead: memory, performance and everyday life on post-War
Stocker, J.F. (2006) Manzai. In Davis, J.M. (ed.) Understanding humor in Japan, (pp. 51–74).
Keywords: Okinawa, performance, contestation, humor
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Pietikäinen, Sari (University of Jyväskylä)
Rhizomatics of transforming peripheries
In this paper, I discuss an emerging conjuncture of two forces – economic development and
identity politics – in spaces understood as peripheries under the modernist nation state regime,
now transforming into developing economic hubs under current globalisation. This
transformation relies on capitalisation of both mobility and multilingualism, which creates
tensions around language, identity and place. Emerging new conditions call for new strategies,
acting within and against economic power, dominant forms of identity politics, and hegemonic
discourses about language, identity and place. At the same time, these same strategies blur the
modernist binary oppositions between tradition and modernity, old and new, centre and
periphery, and consequently shake the footings of existing identity politics and economic
planning. Old peripheries, like those located in the Arctic North, are now caught up in the
simultaneous evolution of these major forces, working with and against each other in tension and
synergy. The present moment is an ambivalent conjuncture and reflects a complex sense of
location and mobility, a changing story of fixity and fluidity of ethno-linguistic boundaries. Far
from being linear, the relationship between these forces needs to be understood as contradictory,
interwoven and ongoing, I would like to suggest that the Deleuzian conceptualization of the
rhizome—a construct that considers the processes and events to be observed in terms of flow and
dis/connections (Deleuze and Guattari 1987, Honan 2004) is one possible way to more forward in
examining sociolinguistics of changing centre-periphery dynamics. Rhizomatic approach makes it
possible to move beyond dichotomies and fixed hierarchies and instead orients towards
circulation and crossings. Similarly to multisited ethnography (Hannerz 2003) or nexus analysis
(Scollon and Scollon 2003) this approach examines emergence and enactments in the
transforming peripheries/centres, taking into account both the multisitedness but also the
multitemporarility of these changes, thus having a potential to contribute to larger project of the
sociolinguistics of transforming peripheries.
Mainstreaming the periphery in sociolinguistics
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Piippo, Irina (University of Helsinki)
"Speak Arabic!": normativity, metalanguage and linguistic models in Arabicspeaking classroom interaction
Schools are a primary institutional locus of language socialization (Ochs & Schieffelin 2011) and
an important site of globalization where the local and global collide (Levinson 1999). This paper
focuses on the processes of language socialization in Arabic-speaking classroom interaction in
three schools in Palestinian Territories. By exploring the interplay between metalinguistic
discourses and linguistic practices, it provides insights into linguistic normativity (Piippo 2012) in
a context that has traditionally been considered as a prototypic example of diglossia. The analyses
focus on the ways the dialects and the standardized register are depicted and deployed in
classroom. Because of the diglossic setting, the ways in which the different registers are modeled
and presented as resources for oral communication are of specific interest. Preliminary analyses
are presented of a database consisting of 52 hours of video-recordings mainly from Arabic lessons.
The analyses sketch a setting where local, supralocal and global collide, co-exist and converge
both on the level of ideologies and linguistic models. Rather than diglossic – a dichotomous
notion to begin with – the situation is in flux especially when it comes to standard Arabic as an
oral register. The paper illustrates how linguistic normativity is connected with the broader sociocultural setting. Global educational ideals, various language ideologies and locally relevant social
categories and identities are all part of the discourses whereby normativity is instituted,
maintained and fractionally changed in interaction.
Levinson, Bradley (1999) Resituating the place of educational discourse in anthropology.
American Anthropologist 101(3): 594–604.
Ochs, Elinor & Bambi Schieffelin (2011) The theory of language socialization. In Alessandro
Duranti, Elinor Ochs, Bambi B. Schieffelin (eds.), Handbook of language socialization, pp. 1–22.
Malden: Wiley-Blackwell.
Piippo, Irina (2012) Viewing norms dialogically: an action-oriented approach to sociolinguistic
metatheory. Unpublished PhD thesis.
Keywords: normativity, diglossia, metalanguage
Bilingual classroom
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Plaza Pinto, Joana (Federal University of Goiás)
Sexualized bodies in a Brazilian migration context
Speech acts are built with subtle pragmatic and metapragmatic resources and at the same time
with vigorous sedimented connections between texts/words and bodies/contexts/institutions.
Such resources deal with the surfaces and marks of bodies and spaces to produce meanings. This
friction between bodies/spaces and texts/words produces the conjunction between "embodied
subjects" and "subjects of language". In this paper, I analyze how certain words on sexual practices
connect with bodies in two sets of public texts on migration to Brazil, in the Brazilian official
press and in the minutes of National Council of Migration. I intend to interpret these connections
with gender and race as underlying empirical categories, which organize the indexical order of
sexual practices in those public texts. Brazil is nowadays a centripetal point to where certain
complex migration trajectories flow. The profiles of migrants are now diverse with profiles
ranging from highly qualified migrants to refugees and they come from impoverished countries
such as Haiti to rising economy countries such as China. Although due to this diversification in
migration one would necessarily expect a variety of issues related to sexuality in the official texts,
in the texts analyzed here the resources available to produce meanings (subtle and vigorous
multimodal indexes) relate certain so-called "dangerous sexual practices" with racialized and
gendered bodies and certain so-called "new sexual arrangements" with unmarked bodies. So, for
instance, "sexual abuse/violence" are articulated to signal "black male migrants"; and "prostitution"
and "victimization" to index "black female migrants"; however, "homosexuality" is articulated to
index unmarked bodies.
Keywords: migration, sexuality, body, pragmatics, metapragmatics.
LGBTIQ and performativity: Queering the sociolinguistics of globalization
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Puckey, Nicola (University of Winchester)
Loester, Barbara (University of Winchester)
Superficial superdiversity - A tale of two cities
Southampton and Winchester are the focus of this study investigating some aspects of the
linguistic and semiotic landscapes present in these centres. The two cities in the south of England
are less than 15 miles apart and about one hour by train from London.
Winchester, with a population of circa 42,000, is an old cathedral city, with a university and
relatively high proportion of service industries. As a designated heritage city it is a tourist
destination in itself. We compare and contrast it with Southampton, a busy trade and port city
which has a population of circa 237,000. Southampton is characterised by a mix of service and
manufacturing industries, educational institutions and the presence of other economic sectors.
Based on similar military histories, good employment and the presence of higher education
institutions, the cities attract incomers, both on a national as well as an international level. The
presence of multi-ethnic and multilingual communities is therefore not surprising. By exploring
the linguistic and semiotic landscapes in conjunction with statistical data, available through the
latest census (2011), it becomes clear that the locations differ greatly beyond the expected.
The material shows that in Southampton we not only have, unsurprisingly considering its size, a
greater number and variety of linguistic landscapes but they largely serve a different purpose
when compared to Winchester. In the latter the evidence hints at what we term 'superficial
superdiversity' – a lack of superdiversity beyond what appears to be of commercial use, for
example French restaurants attracting a mainly English-speaking clientele or signs welcoming
international students to the university.
Keywords: linguistic landscapes, superdiversity, migration, commodification
Linguistic landscape (1)
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Pujolar, Joan (Universitat Oberta de Catalunya)
Historizing interaction: how we develop different investments in languages
The various forms of contemporary mobility, with its concomitant multilingualism, are
questioning the homology between the national and the speech community, the capacity of
citizens to participate as equals and the status of language as a social bond that can be taken for
granted at all levels through a shared experience of language learning and using. In this context, I
propose in this paper to begin exploring how we can bring diverging experiences of language
appropriation into a coherent picture. I will simply show how, in the context of Catalonia,
speakers of Spanish invest in bilingualism, and hence, in speaking Catalan in diverging
circumstances that bring about different investments in the two languages. By looking at lifehistory accounts of linguistic "mudes" (the junctures where speakers attempt changes in their
linguistic repertoires), I will uncover three ways in which linguistic appropriation needs to be
understood as a diachronic process in which social meaning and linguistic ideologies are open to
question and negotiation across time and space. (1) Adopting a new language involves a request
for prospective recognition as participant in specific social activities as well as the creation of a
precedent from which participants can anchor this legitimacy; (2) That such events are commonly
associated with specific biographical changes that tie a specific language to newly emerging social
identities in ways that are socially contingent and in ongoing process; and (3) that these processes
necessarily produce differences in the subjects' relations to the different languages that are
contingent of the specific discourses and ideologies that obtain in the particular social activities in
which they are ruled and the position of the subjects in them. All in all, this approach requires
addressing social meaning as an open process open to negotiation and contestation in interaction
and hence historically contingent and vulnerable.
Keywords: appropriation; social identities; Catalonia; language learning
Mainstreaming the periphery in sociolinguistics
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Quist, Pia (University of Copenhagen)
Monka, Malene (University of Copenhagen)
Urban peripheries and rural centres – adolescent dialect use in superdiverse
Key words: dialect, adolescents, urban vs. rural, globalization
Processes of dialect levelling are generally conceived as counter to and incompatible with
processes of dialect vitality (e.g. Sandøy & Kristiansen 2010; Maegaard et al. 2009). However,
recent studies indicate that both processes may take place simultaneously in a language
community (Monka 2013; Johnstone 2010). As pointed out by Johnstone (2004), globalisation
may produce both dialect loss and renewed dialect awareness and dialect use. In this paper, we
address young people's use of regional dialect in the Danish speech community, which on the one
hand is characterized by a high degree of language standardization and levelling (e.g. Pedersen
2003), and on the other of globalization and superdiversity (Vertovec 2007). In the paper, we
present early results of a comparative study of dialect use among adolescents in two parts of
Denmark: a rural, traditional dialect speaking village and an urban, superdiverse suburb. We find
that in both communities the deployment of dialect serves a range of purposes among
adolescents. In Vollsmose, an ethnically mixed suburb of the town of Odense, speakers use a
distinct multiethnic youth style parallel to what has been described for young people in
Copenhagen (e.g. Quist 2008; Madsen 2012). Occasionally, this style is combined with features
(mostly prosodic, but also phonetic) associated with the regional Funen dialect. In Bylderup, a
rural village in the Southern part of Denmark, we find that the young people employ traditional
Southern Jutlandic dialect for different purposes and to varying degrees. On the basis of examples
of situated dialect use, we discuss the different values and statuses of dialect in the two settings.
Methodically, the study includes 70 9th graders in public schools and draws on ethnographic
participant observation and semi-strutured qualitative interviews.
Dialects and migration
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Quist, Pia (University of Copenhagen)
Monka, Malene (University of Copenhagen)
Scheuer, Jann (University of Copenhagen)
Hovmark, Henrik (University of Copenhagen)
"Dialect in the "ghetto" - the case of Vollsmose in Denmark”
In the rural village of Bylderup in Southern Denmark we find that young people – including some
immigrant speakers – use a plentitude of local dialect features. In the multi-ethnic urban housing
estate of Vollsmose in Odense, on the contrary, dialect features hardly appear. The differences
between Bylderup and Vollsmose are evident. Bylderup is mono-ethnic, rural and predominantly
middleclass, whereas Vollsmose is urban, multi-ethnic, and inhabitants often in little contact with
the labour market. Do these differences sufficiently explain the differences in adolescents’ use of
dialect? Sociolinguistic work on adolescents’ speech in superdiverse urban spaces in Europe is
typically concerned with emergent speech styles and practices (sometimes called ethnolects or
multiethnolects). However, only few studies of multi-ethnic speech practices focus on traditional
dialect features in multi-ethnic speech styles. In Denmark, though, Mette Vedsgaard Christensen’s
studies of a super diverse urban housing estate in Gellerup, Århus, demonstrated that adolescents
with minority immigrant background used significantly more Århus dialect features than did
adolescents of ethnic Danish descent. The Århus dialect features appeared in combination with
so- called ethnolect features such as Arabic and Turkish loan words. Departing from Christensen’s
work, we suggest that something similar may be found in Vollmose. Our initial hypotheses,
therefore, are 1) that Vollsmose may resemble Gellerup (and be different from Bylderup) with
regard to adolescents’ use of non-standard language; and 2) that Odense dialect features are used
in combination with ”ethnic” features. Our first impressions from the fieldwork in Vollsmose,
however, are that regional dialect features are rare. So: why do we find this difference in a small
country like Denmark? In our paper, we discuss the different results from Bylderup, Vollsmose,
and Gellerup, and we offer tentative explanations of the different statuses and uses of dialect in
the three places.
Keywords: dialect, multi-ethnic speech styles, urban social housing area
Dialects and migration
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Rajagopalan, Kanavillil (State University at Campinas
The Allure Of The "Native-Speaker" Construct
Why does the construct "native-speaker" hold such a lasting allure for linguists and lay persons
alike, despite the timely warnings by many researchers (Rajagopalan, 1997, Paikeday, 2003, to
name just a few) of the utter hollowness of the concept? It is my contention that the idea of the
native-speaker of a language gained traction sometime during 19th century, whose Zeitgeist is
clearly reflected also in a host of other concepts that became consolidated in that century or
thereabouts—concepts such as those of "nationality", "statehood", "people (Volk)", and of course
"language" (in its individuating as opposed to abstract or generic sense). I also wish to draw
attention to the varying fortunes of the word "native" over the years, from an earlier clearly
depreciative sense of "someone born in bondage" (Singh, 2009) to its present-day sense of an
exclusive and exclusionary all-or-nothing concept which, in my view, demonstrates the presence
of the very high stakes involved in the post-world war development of English as the world's
leading language of wider communication and the understandable desire on the part of certain
sectors to claim absolute monopoly over the language and, by doing so, special trading privileges
in marketing it world-wide.
Keywords: native speaker, language, deconstruction, imperialism
Beyond bifurcation: Language speakers as complex individuals
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Rambukwella, Harshana (The University of Hong Kong)
The limits of performativity: Language, cricket, music and ideology from a
Sri Lankan perspective
A paradigm shift has been evident in language studies over the past few years. Language studies
has increasingly embraced an anti-foundational view of language that sees it as constitutive,
rather than ancillary to identity – drawing on poststructuralist insights on language, identity and
This paper locates itself within this anti-foundationalist approach and explores the performative
dimensions of language in two discourse contexts: cricket and music in Sri Lanka. While the paper
aligns itself with the anti-foudationalist approach it also argues for the necessity for a critical
orientation that is informed by the ideological and political implications of the contexts within
which performativity may take place.
Context emerges as a serious concern since a significant number of anti-foundational approaches
to language draw inspiration from globalization studies. The dynamic movement of people and
cultures that globalization has engendered has become a rich empirical ground and a kind of
linguistic contact zone from which scholars have sought to challenge and unsettle foundational
notions of language. However, at the same time, a focus on globalization can potentially obscure
the unequal power structures that shape particular contexts and impose limits on performativity
and 'who' has the legitimacy and opportunity to 'perform'.
The study seeks to address this issue by looking at globalization from a 'local' perspective, in line
with a number of recent studies. It attempts to demonstrate how local actors and contexts can
provide unique insights into how language is appropriated in subversive and unsettling ways that
support the rethinking of the nexus between language and subjectivity and implicitly and
explicitly challenge received 'naturalized' notions of language and identity
English in multilingual, globalized Asia
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Rampton, Ben (King's College London)
Superdiversity and…..?: Sociolinguistics and contemporary govern
Superdiversity refers to the huge diversification of national populations that has resulted from
neo-liberal globalisation and increased mobility since the early 1990s, and it is seen as a major
challenge to established systems of social classification. In response, sociolinguists have, inter
alia, purged their analytic frameworks of methodological nationalism, produced new theories and
descriptions of the commodification of language(s) and the mobility of texts, and provided
detailed ground-level accounts of translanguaging. But superdiversity certainly isn't a triumph of
the Bakhtinian carnivalesque, and alongside widening inequality, new forms of control have been
developing (Arnaut 2012). Since the end of the Cold War, a transnational field of security
professionals has emerged (Bigo 2002), and both consumption- and security-oriented digital
surveillance now proliferates, leaving the old styles of classification behind by focusing on bodies
and transactions (Huysmans 2014).
These developments are hard to research: the surveillance codes and algorithms are esoteric, and
the centres where data are calculated are dispersed and difficult to access. But the experience of
surveillance remains under-studied (Ball 2009), and Foucault's notion of 'governmentality' can
give this challenge much wider reach. 'Governmentality' refers to "ground-level social relations
[ordered] according to expertly designed logics of control" (Fraser 2003:162), to "all endeavours
to shape, guide, direct the conduct of others, whether these be the crew of a ship, the members of
a household, the employees of a boss, the children of a family or the inhabitants of a
territory" (Rose 1999:4). Linguistic anthropologists and critical discourse analysts have certainly
shown that their situated interactional micro-analyses can illuminate the 'micro-physics of
power' (Goodwin 1994; Mehan 1996), but how can these new forms of governmentality be
To explore the possibilities, this paper focuses on John Gumperz and interactional
sociolinguistics. It points to several rather profound ways in which Gumperz's approach matches
Foucault's, and explores the ways in which Gumperz's central interests might be adapted to 21st
century governmentalities, providing a sketch of what their empirical study might look like.
Complex sociolinguistics
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Ritter, Anna (University of Erlangen-Nürnberg)
Russian and German languages in immigrant families in time and place
This paper explores bilingual communication in Russian-German immigrant families in Germany
from linguistic and sociolinguistic perspectives. Specifically it focuses on the patterns of language
use in a specific time and place.
After the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Germany was one of the countries to receive a major
part of the immigrants from succession states. Meanwhile many Russian-speaking immigrants
have been living in Germany for 20 years and have children, who were born in Germany or arrived
as toddlers. Thus, their family conversations show different patterns of usage of both languages.
This paper has an intergenerational character and investigates conversations between parents and
children in ten families, based on self-recordings and sociolinguistic questionnaires. It focuses on
the following questions: 1) When and where do parents and children use Russian and German? 2)
What linguistic and sociolinguistic factors may have an impact on this process? 3) How do the
specific family language styles emerge? I explore these questions with reference to studies of
language contact (e.g. Goldbach, 2005) and family language (e.g. Schwartz and Verschik, 2013).
An analysis shows that 20 years after the immigration wave Russian plays different roles for the
first and second immigrant generations. For parents, Russian is a language used at home and in
other places because of the wide spread of Russian-speaking infrastructure. For children, Russian
is predominantly the home language. However, there are different combinations of languages used
between different members of the same family. This may depend on such factors as age,
conversation topics, proficiency in languages, emotional situation or geographical places of
Goldbach, Alexandra (2005): Deutsch-Russischer Sprachkontakt. Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang.
Schwartz, M. and Verschik, A. (Eds.) (2013). Successful Family Language Policy. Dordrecht:
Keywords: bilingual communication, family language, time and place
Russian as a transnational resource
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Rivers, Damian (Future University Hakodate)
The Validity of Victimhood in "Native" and "Non-Native" Discourse
The use of "native speaker" and "non-native speaker" discourse continues to cascade throughout all
domains of language education and academia (Rivers, 2013; Rivers & Ross, 2013). However,
these terms are almost never explicitly defined and therefore tend to elude scientific scrutiny and
research-based challenge, instead functioning as socio-discursive and socio-semiotic constructs
(Toh, 2013). Furthermore, within the academic literature it has become normative, often through
discourse aimed at correcting prejudice and/or discrimination, to view this bifurcation as having a
single beneficiary – the "native speaker" – and thus a single victim – the "non-native
speaker" (Houghton & Rivers, 2013). However, this unidirectional perspective fails to interact
with the more veiled systems through which those labeled as "native speakers" and "non-native
speakers" are both potential casualties of this questionable bifurcation. Drawing upon various
sources of data and illustration, this presentation posits that it is only by striving to protect all
potential victims from the chauvinism and stagnation of the "native" "non-native" speaker
bifurcation, that mutual trust, respect, and the development of a diverse professional identity be
Keywords: native speaker, non-native speaker, discourse, division
Beyond bifurcation: Language speakers as complex individuals
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Rosén, Jenny (Dalarna University)
Bagga-Gupta, Sangeeta (Örebro University)
Back to roots! Languaging and constructing home(land) and (be)longing in
Swedish national language policies across time
A central aim of this study is to analyze how images of home(land), roots and background are
deployed in the (co)constructions of identity positions in national educational policy documents
across time in Sweden. Empirical materials from two ethnographic research projects LISA 21,
Languages and Identities in School Arenas in the 21st century and CIC, Categorization, Identity
and Communication are critically analyzed (e.g. Rosén & Bagga-Gupta 2013). These materials
include policy documents; national curricula in Sweden 1960-2012 and from the compulsory
school years up to adult education including special education and Sami minority education.
Results highlight the subtle but significant ways of othering, including those of locating the
identity of "the targeted Other" both in the physical body of the Other, as well as the physical
spaces of educational settings and the geopolitical spaces of collective imagined (be)longings. The
targeted Other is formulated in and through "webs of understandings" in the policy texts where
identity positions both highlight as well as naturalize specific identity positions to a specific or an
original "place of authentic (be)longing". The geopolitical spaces of imagined (be)longings include
both regional/nation states from which some citizens in Sweden are positioned across time, as
well as linguistic heritage bonding (as the case of the Sami and the deaf). Based upon the
juxtaposition of the findings from our data across educational policy settings and time, we argue
that categorized as the targeted Other, longing and belonging to a specific (an)other space
substantially reinforces the marginalization from important societal arenas.
Rosén, J & Bagga-Gupta, S (2013). Shifting identity positions in the development of language
education for immigrants: an analysis of discourses associated with 'Swedish for
immigrants'. Language, Culture & Curriculum. 26:1, pp.68-88.
Keywords: Othering, Education, Policy, Inclusion, Home(land),
Transnationalism (2)
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Rosowsky, Andrey (University of Sheffield)
'The listeners can go either way' – language shift and language revival among
young British Muslims: the destructive and (re)creative dimensions of
Within recent conceptualisations of globalisation (Roland Robertson, 1992; and Arjun Appaduari
1996), it is possible to understand religious practices as either sub-systemic forms of
communication in themselves (along with economy, polity, education, science, for example, as
subsystems in a functionally differentiated world) or as part of a general cultural 'store' from
which other sub-systems draw. According to the sociologist Beyer (1994), they do both,
constituting 'a social sphere that manifests both the sociocultural particular and the global
universal'. The role of language in both possibilities is obvious. On the one hand, the language
practices of both religious individuals and organisations retreat in the face of sub-systemic
pressures from elsewhere (for example, language shift as a result of economic or political
migration) contributing to cultural homogenisation, or 'the universalisation of the particular'. On
the other hand, sub-systems such as education and information technology have facilitated
worldwide social networking and the revival of religious practices, including language ones with
which they are associated, and give rise to instances of cultural heterogenisation, or 'the
particularisation of the universal'. Furthermore, alongside these two 'shifting' and 'binding'
concomitants of globalisation, we also witness the possibility of convergence of sub-systems (such
as entertainment, technology and mass electronic communication) in creating newer forms of
religio-linguistic practices. In this paper empirical data gathered from the sociolinguistic and
religio-linguistic practices of young British Muslims will serve to exemplify all three of these
sociolinguistic phenomena.
Binding and shifting: Two concomitants to the global spread of faith and its languages
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Ross, Andrew (University of Canberra)
Rivers, Damian (Future University Hakodate)
Australian Hip-Hop: Maintaining Voice and Representing Place
The globalized world can be characterized by a number of elements with the 'spread' of English
and the transfer of culture and cultural practices being among the most significant (Blommaert,
2010). Observers have noted how an increasingly globalized media, including film, television and
music represents one of the most prolific "agents of globalization" (Hafez, 1999: 47) through
which such 'spreads' are propelled. One can also point to the significant influence of US media
across the globe where 'cultural imprints' are often made upon individuals in localized contexts.
Perhaps one of the most deeply trodden imprints has been that of hip-hop, a musical genre borne
out of resistance and dissent. Since its initial development in New York in the 1970s, academics
and scholars from a variety of fields are now "viewing the flow of Hip-Hop cultural materials,
practices, and ideologies with an eye toward understanding the multiple processes of
identification" (Alim, 2009: 4). However, while processes of globalization have aided the 'spread'
of the genre itself, the growth of hip-hop within the geographically-distant nation of Australia has
seen a form of decentering occur as young artists are moving away from authentic African
American hip-hop toward a situation where they seek to "express themselves in a manner that is
true, by being true to their own place" (Arthur, 2006: 146). Accordingly, contemporary works
produced by young Australian hip-hop artists provide insight into localized struggles and histories
of conflict between ethnicities and economies. This presentation examines various lyrical samples
from Australian hip-hop artists as a means of sociolinguistic observation and as a basis for
understanding how a globalized art form has established itself within the context specific
parameters of the local.
Hip-hop and rock pop
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Røyneland, Unn (University of Oslo, Norway)
What should you sound like to sound like you belong? Notions of dialectal
identities, authenticity and entitlement in late modern Norway
A well-known computer entrepreneur and social commentator began his talk at a big national
conference by stating the following: "As you can see I'm from Pakistan, but as you can hear I'm
from the west coast of Norway, and I'm really pleased that I don't speak the Oslo dialect, because
in that case you would have thought that I was a foreigner". The entire audience laughed, nodding
What does this story tell us about dialect use in Norway, and about notions of authenticity and
belonging? First of all it tells us that dialects may be used in formal settings, like a talk at a
conference. Secondly it tells us that dialects outside Oslo probably are seen as more authentically
Norwegian than the Oslo dialect. Although this idea dates back to the 19th century, the fact that
most immigrants to Norway live in the Oslo-area (30% in Oslo compared with 12% nationally)
may contribute to this perception. Hence, people with immigrant background may potentially
profit from using a dialect from another part of the country, as they may be perceived as more
integrated or "more Norwegian". But are they seen as entiteled users?
This presentation reports on a study currently being carried out of attitudes towards dialects
among 600 high school students in four different cities in Norway. The study makes use of
different methods including questionnaires, interviews and a visual verbal guise where the
respondents are asked to evaluate various combinations of faces (traditionally Norwegian looking
and non-Norwegian looking), and voices (rural and urban dialects). The main research question is
what connections young people in Norway make between language, body and place, and how
people with immigrant background are evaluated depending on their speech. What should you
sound like to sound like you belong – and what should you look like?
Keywords: Dialect, authenticity, identity, attitudes, immigration
Dialects and migration
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Said-Sirhan, Yurni (National University of Singapore)
Negotiating linguistic space in a mosque: language maintenance of low-wage
Bangladeshi migrant workers in cosmopolitan Singapore
While the notion of a cosmopolis entails citizens of diverse cultures accepting one another's
differences, Singapore's brand of 'cosmopolitanism', despite the country's reliance on foreign
labour in many sectors, perpetuates elitism and social exclusion where certain skills are privileged
and valorised over others (Yeoh: 2433). With close to one million low-wage transient foreign
workers in cosmopolitan Singapore, complex multilingual and multicultural negotiations in social
institutions cannot be dismissed where these workers also face language and cultural
displacements. Many Bangladeshi Muslims, however, find an accommodating space in mosques
and choose to pray at mosques near their workplaces or dormitories, even though there are a few
mosques with organized activities that cater mainly to Bengali-speaking congregants. Assyafaah
Mosque in Sembawang sees a large number of such workers praying and volunteering, although
its activities are conducted primarily in Malay, with some in English. On special occasions like
Eid, separate prayer sessions with sermons in Bengali are held. Apart from this, there is no
mention of Bengali or indication of its presence within the institution's official website despite a
sizeable number of Bangladeshi congregants who frequent the mosque since it was opened in
2004. The extent to which these workers are integrated into the larger Muslim community in the
mosque while still maintaining their language practices in this institutional setting where Malay
and English are privileged as official languages will be examined in this paper.
Binding and shifting: Two concomitants to the global spread of faith and its languages
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Saito, Junko (Temple University Japan Campus)
The use of English in Japanese speech: Evidence from native speakers of
Japanese in a foreign company in Japan
Drawing on the notion of Community of Practice (CofP), this paper explores ways in which
Japanese employees use English in otherwise Japanese speech and the functions of such English
usage in business meetings.
Because of today's globalized societies and increasing social mobility, speakers who belong to a
CofP such as a workplace that happens to be a bilingual community may need to use two
languages whether or not they are proficient in both. Since such speakers have received less
scholarly attention, we still do not know much about the ways they practice language alternation
and what functions it serves in their interactions. Furthermore, previous studies on Japanese
workplace discourse (e.g., Moody 2014) usually mention language alternation only in
intercultural settings. To address some of these gaps in the literature, this paper focuses on how
Japanese native speakers practice intra-sentential language alternation in business meetings where
only native speakers of Japanese are present.
The data were collected at business meetings in the Tokyo office of an American IT company over
a period of three months. Each meeting lasted approximately one hour. These meetings were
audio-recorded, and the transcribed data were qualitatively analyzed. The data show that the
Japanese employees' insertion of English in Japanese speech frequently serves to highlight a
speaker's point or claim in talk. In this CofP, the act of English insertion is an efficient way to
make it clear what is significant in the talk. This paper suggests new directions for research on
language alternation, as well as contributing to the study of workplace discourse in Japanese and
other languages.
Moody, S. (2014). "Well, I'm a Gaijin": Constructing identity through English and humor in the
international workplace. Journal of Pragmatics 60, 75–88.
Keywords: Japanese; language alternation; workplace; community of practice
Multilingualism (1)
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Salö, Linus (Stockholm University)
The linguistic sense of placement in Swedish academia
In the 20th century Swedish academia underwent a profound process of de-nationalization.
Expectedly, these fluxes brought about sociolinguistic change, as research practices progressively
geared toward transnational marketplaces. Currently – and increasingly so – English serves as the
chief language of scientific publishing across most disciplines. In language political discourse, this
non-conformance to the state-endorsed language ideology has given rise to the assertion that
Swedish, in some disciplines, is not being used as a scientific language. However, as this paper
will show, this assertion is contradicted in a recent study on the discourse unfolding throughout
processes of co-writing English texts. Here, Swedish is used so long as all participants master it,
thus indexing that the strong presence of English has not disarrayed the language ideology that
imposes Swedish to be the legitimate language among Swedish speakers. Accounting for this
logic – one of native imaginaries or not – I shall argue that Swedish researchers, as socialized
agents, are holders of an internalized sense and ability to assess the value of symbolic semiotic
goods in different markets, which guides and constrains their present and forthcoming linguistic
practices. Durable albeit not permanent – this linguistic sense of placement (Bourdieu 1991) is
thus a property of their linguistic habitus that endure the sway of globalizing processes. In fact,
reflecting upon their linguistic practices, the researchers point to a near-physical awkwardness
linked to uncalled-for use of English among each other. Metapragmatically realized in terms of
'ridiculousness' or 'strangeness', these sensibilities pertain to the unease of being out of place,
which also prevents agents from lapsing into what is socially perceived as unacceptable ways of
using language in their linguistic exchanges.
Bourdieu, Pierre. 1991. Language & Symbolic Power. Malden: Polity.
Keywords: habitus, the linguistic sense of place, Swedish academia, language ideology, Bourdieu
Native imaginaries:
Resistances and regimentations in unstable senses of space, time and self
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Salonga, Aileen (University of the Philippines-Diliman)
We Serve the World: Identity, Nationalism, and English in the New Service
This paper explores constructions of everyday nationalism in the new service economy, in
particular, the offshore call center industry, and how these constructions are articulated in the
offshore call center workers' attitudes to and ideologies about the practice of English in the
industry. The paper is especially concerned with the everyday ways in which the call center
worker identity is made sense of vis-à-vis English as it is practiced in the industry, and their
implications on how notions of nation and nationalism are being managed and negotiated in the
new global order. Using both a sociolinguistic and discourse analytic framework, the paper
examines the narratives of twenty Filipino call center workers, who occupy various roles in the
Philippine call center industry, and a commercial released by Convergys, one of the leading call
centers in the Philippines today. Both the narratives and commercial suggest that the call center
worker identity is tied to the notion of a modern-day hero who, in serving the world, also serves
the nation. This construction is then tied to English, the language of choice in the call centers,
where English is asserted as the language through which this everyday nationalism is articulated.
Overall, the paper hopes to map out the intersections between identity, nationalism, and language
not only in the Philippine offshore call centers, but also within globalization processes. This is an
important endeavor, because in a world that is becoming more and more connected and yet also
more and more unequal, notions of nation and nationalism become even more hotly contested as
different parties find themselves having a stake in how these notions are managed and negotiated.
Keywords: globalization, new service economy, call centers, identity, nation and nationalism,
Language commodification
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Sandaran, Shanti (University Technology Malaysia)
Legitimating government agenda via the discursive construction of a national
crisis as authority
Presidential addresses in times of crises or war have their uses in shaping opinion. As Kiewe
(1994) notes, such addresses aim to garner support from the people and help to justify the
actions of leaders and the sacrifices they demand of their people. For these reasons, the language
in which crisis is discussed is very selective in terms of what it highlights and what it obscures
(Edelman, 1977). This paper uses an example of presidential address that was delivered at a time
of 'national crisis' to reveal how the crisis was discursively constructed and used to help legitimate
government agenda. It looks at George W. Bush's 2002 State of the Union Address that was made
in the wake of September 11. This speech which has come to be known as the 'Axis of Evil' speech
has been extensively researched in relation to Bush's legitimation of war. This study extends upon
such works and focuses on another agenda, namely the launching of the USA Freedom Corps, a
national service campaign to engage the American people in voluntary community service.
Drawing upon Van Leeuwen's critical discourse analytic framework, the findings reveal that
although volunteerism was a pre-September 11 agenda for welfare reform under the political
philosophy of compassionate conservatism, it became re-presented/recontextualised as the much
needed resolve in the wake of September 11 via the discourses of war and nationalism. More
importantly, Sept 11 itself, became nominalised as a form of 'timing' and as the 'authority' that had
summoned the people's involvement in voluntary community service. This was a move to
legitimate the USA Freedom Corps which incidentally, has been reported to be the most
successful national service program by an American president to date.
Language ideology (2)
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Sandhu, Priti (University of Washington)
Globalized Indian Middle Class Aspirations and Commodified English
This study examines how urban middle class Indians discursively index the commodification of
English and English medium education (EME) in an increasingly globalized and transnational
India. The paper, analyzing selected excerpts from interviews with 65 North Indian women and
men from five urban sites audio-recorded between 2008 and 2013, examines how the participants
construct English as a commodity providing its "owners" with an "easy" and "assured" access to the
professional, educational and personal benefits of neo-liberal economic policies enacted since the
early 1990s. These economic measures resulted in the rapid though skewed growth of capitalintensive sectors like IT and service industries (Luce, 2006) where, given the multi-lingual nature
of Indian society, English emerged as the lingua franca (Nobrega & Sinha, 2008). Consequently,
'good' education comprising EME and 'suitable' professional degrees are now viewed as leading to
economic enhancement (Rothermund, 2008) and providing entry into the newly-emergent,
overtly consumer-oriented middle class, characterized by its exclusionary practices (Fernandes &
Heller 2006).
Participants discursively index the "need" for English (1) to succeed in educational and
professional domains (2) and/or to gain entry into middle class social circles. The study examines
how this linguistic commodification and reification of English is indexed by the participants who
simultaneously index a lack of EME and English fluency as "disadvantageous." The study is
especially significant as it seeks to showcase how English, previously found impacting
professional and educational spheres (i.e. Ramanathan 2005; Rubdy, 2008), has now become a
significant identity marker in theretofore rarely examined personal domains like familial
relationships, romance, arranged marriages, friendships and social associations. Interviews are
treated as speech events rather than as direct conduits to inner cognitive states (Talmy, 2011;
Roulston, 2010) and are conceptualized as co-constructed by all the interactants (Holstein and
Gubrium, 1995; Mishler 1986).
The commodification of language: Changing ideologies and identities
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Santello, Marco (Warwick University)
"What do the paesani do in the mainland?" Re-articulating The Centre from
Italian migration has been often noticed thanks to the presence of Italian clusters in big cities
such as Buenos Aires, New York and Toronto where groups have created ethicised zones, among
which Little Italies are the most easily recognisable. However, Italian migration has reached
remote areas that have created less visible spaces, which have been excluded from what are
collectively perceived as the centres of Italianness abroad. Starting from an understanding of
sociolinguistic space as originated through and within interaction in narrating migrant
experiences (Liebscher and Dailey-O'Cain 2013), in this contribution I examine the ways in which
Italians who migrated to Tasmania use the tools of positioning in relation to their 'imagined'
peripheral location. Drawing on data from a set of narratives of managers and patrons of an Italian
day centre in Hobart this paper investigates how peripherality and 'delusional' centres emerge in
an interactional setting and how they account for the fluid nature of centre/periphery trajectories.
In this geographically isolated diasporic space Italians play out shifting and ambiguous positions
(Ang and Stratton 1996) along which the continuing discursive power of the centre(s) as allpowerful centre comes to terms with its impermanence in the everydayness of migrant lives.
Liebscher, Grit &Jennifer Dailey-O'Cain (2013) Language, Space, and Identity in Migration.
Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan.
Ang, Ien & Jan Stratton (1996) Asianing Australia: Notes toward a critical transnationalism in
cultural studies. Cultural Studies, 10, no. 1: 16-36
Keywords: Centre; Australia; Italians; Migration; Sociolinguistic Space
Illusions and delusions of the centre within the framework of globalization
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Sawin, Thor (Middlebury Institute of International Studies at
Recontextualising the faith: Navigating time and space scales to legitimate
Evangelical Christianity
Much recent contact across faith lines arises from economic and political migration from the
global East/South to the West/North. Missionaries and faith workers, however, continue to
undergo the reverse migration, seeking to disburse capital rather than to accrue it, and often
expressly to spread their faith. For any proselytising religion, identification with and
internalisation of the religion in a new local context hinges on the ability of its messengers to
produce legitimacy - legitimacy created and maintained through linguistic means (Bucholz & Hall,
2005). As a global faith seeking to establish a new local centre (Blommaert, 2007) of authority,
Evangelicalism is overshadowed by two more powerful ideological centres. On the one hand,
legitimacy is produced through connecting to Christianity's ancient and ongoing literary and
academic history. This strategy is especially effective where Evangelicalism is positioned as a
recent and heretical innovation, in historically Christian territories, or among adherents of other
equally ancient faiths. Yet legitimacy is also effectively produced by linking Evangelicalism with
the new authority centres of globalisation- English, informal language, global entertainment
culture, social media and digital innovation. This paper analyses the linguistic performances of
Evangelical Christians in Central European church services, outreach events, written texts,
internet sites and social media interactions, in order to demonstrate the use of and tensions
between language which is archaic or contemporary, and which is local or global. Polycentricity
(Blommaert, 2007), superaddressees (Bakhtin, 1981), and performance schedules (Goffman,
1977) are used to model this tension, showing the mechanisms by which this balancing act can
succeed and also backfire within the local religious ecosystem. These practices have implications
for any religious community that pursues legitimacy both as a reflex of an ancient, continuous
tradition and simultaneously as a discontinuity (Robbins, 2007) representing spontaneity,
informality, and innovation.
Binding and shifting: Two concomitants to the global spread of faith and its languages
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Saxena, Mukul (University of Nottingham Ningbo)
Unpacking (or Dealing with?) the Realities of Multilingualism in the Global
South and North: Lifestyle Diglossia and Constructive Resistance
Research on language planning is considered to be first invented in post-colonial contexts and
since the 1990s, it provided powerful critiques of the discourses about multilingualism and
language policy that circulated in those contexts of the global South (e.g., Stroud, 2003;
Canagarajah, 1999; and Lin and Martin 2005). More recent research has combined this critical,
interpretive perspective of top down policy with that of ethnography of policy (Hornberger and
Johnson, 2007; Johnson, 2009; Saxena and Martin-Jones, 2013). I follow this strand of research
and linguistic ethnography (Rampton, 2007) of multilingualism and my findings suggest that
some of the sociolinguistic issues of global South lend themselves to conceptualising globalisation
differently than it is being done in the global North. This will be the main focus of this paper
which will draw on research that I have carried out in both global South and North (India, Brunei,
China and UK) for the last three decades. I will try to show what Southern multilingual realities
haven't been fully taken into account by the scholars focused simply on the multilingual realities
of the global North. I will try to demonstrate this through selective data from different sites of my
research and particularly in relation to two concepts, viz. 'constructive resistance' (Saxena 2009)
and 'lifestyle diglossia' (Saxena 2014) that have emerged from my research. In my research over
time, I have elicited data through a variety of methods: ethnographic observations, interviews,
audio-/video-recordings, diaries and surveys, some of which I will draw on in this paper.
Keywords: post-colonial context, ethnography of policy, constructive resistance, lifestyle diglossia
Illusions and delusions of the centre within the framework of globalization
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Schedel, Larissa Semiramis (University of Fribourg)
Embodying the language border: The commodification of local bilingualism
in the tourism industry
The exchangeability of tourism destinations as a consequence of globalization entails a return to
the branding of local particularities by referring to "authenticity" as an added value (Hamon and
Dano 2005). Local languages and varieties play a key role in the construction of an authentic and
local tourism experience (Pietikäinen and Kelly-Holmes 2011; Duchêne and Heller 2012; Urciuoli
and LaDousa 2013; Hall-Lew and Lew 2014). This is also the case in the bilingual town MurtenMorat which uses its location at the intra-national language border between the French- and
German-speaking parts of Switzerland to attract tourists. In promotional discourses, the language
border is foregrounded as a tourist attraction, highlighted through (presupposed) bilingualism of
the local population that attracts both German- and French-speakers and enables Swiss, German
and French tourists to discover another culture without experiencing a language barrier. In my
research I will focus on the ensuing consequences of the commodification of local languages for
workers in the tourism industry who have to embody the language border and perform an
"authentic" local bilingualism – ideally in several languages for an international target audience.
Their challenge consists in representing the border situation in an attractive, authentic, but still
comprehensible way that demands specific linguistic choices. Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork
in the tourism industry of Murten-Morat, I will show how tourism workers negotiate authenticity
and legitimacy in the light of increasing demands for flexibilization. I will argue that the branding
of the town as a genuinely bilingual destination leads to a re-hierarchization of speakers of
different local languages, affecting recruitment practices as well as employability.
Keywords: language and commodification, tourism, authenticity, legitimacy, language border;
The commodification of languages and speakers in late capitalism
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Schluter, Anne (Marmara University)
Goncalves, Kellie (Universitat Berne)
Polycentricity and the Prestige of Portuguese among Migrant Workers in a
New Jersey, U.S.-based Cleaning Company
The literature citing the influential role of English in a globalized world is vast, including
reflections on its hegemonic nature (Phillipson 1992) as well as its classification as the
hypercentral language at the top of De Swaan's (2001) hierarchy of world languages. This impact
of English is especially prominent as it is largely discussed in EFL settings. With an
understanding of the language's dominance in these settings, it is reasonable to predict a larger
space for English in ESL settings like the United States, where English (according to De Swaan's
classification) is simultaneously a hypercentral, supercentral, and central language. An
investigation into the language choices and ideologies of Portuguese and Spanish-speaking
workers at a Brazilian-owned cleaning company in New Jersey, U.S.A., however, suggests that
there is still considerable space for languages other than English even within the world's Englishspeaking superpower.
Data collection consisted of semi-structured interviews with two principle groups: workers of
Portuguese [N=10], Brazilian [N=4], Ecuadoran [N=3], and Honduran [N=1] descent and their
Anglophone clients [N=20]. Analyses of the linguistic landscape of the Ironbound District of
Newark, NJ – home to the majority of the workers – helped to inform the interview data. The
results indicate a higher value for Portuguese than for English among most of the workers. This
finding can be explained in terms of the workers' polycentric (Blommaert 2010) environment that
mitigated the influence of English. Key Portuguese-dominant centers included the majority
Portuguese-owned Ironbound District (Gonçalves 2012), the Brazilian-owned and operated
cleaning business, tight Portuguese-language social networks, and (for the Brazilian and
Portuguese workers) the diasporic reconstructions of a Portuguese-language home.
Keywords: Portuguese diaspora, language ideologies, polycentricity
Transnationalism (2)
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Scotland, James (Qatar University)
Critical EAP: Using locally situated texts to create a discursive space within
an undergraduate writing course in a Qatari institute of higher education
Although the theories underpinning critical pedagogy have been well documented, teachers
engaging in critical work are often given few guidelines or resources, and little time for major
adaptation of curriculum and classroom processes. This session connects theory with practice. It
explains how aspects of critical pedagogy were implemented within an English for Academic
Purposes (EAP) course at an institution of higher education in Qatar.
Emancipatory action research was employed to create a discursive space. This discursive space
provided an opportunity for Arabic undergraduate students (n = 42) to write term papers about
the discourses which permeated their lives. Data was collected through administering openended questionnaires and examining students' term papers.
Writing the term papers enabled the participants to: express counter hegemonic positions,
experience critical moments, and reshape some of their societal perspectives. This session is
example of the practical possibilities offered by critical pedagogy. It shows that even with
institutional constraints and responsibilities instructors can still provide students with
opportunities to explore the traditions and assumptions in which their identities and immediate
lived experiences are situated.
Keywords: critical EAP; critical pedagogy; discursive spaces
Critical discourse analysis
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Secova, Maria (University of Bath)
Cheshire, Jenny (Queen Mary University of London)
General extenders in Paris French and London English: are they changing or
This paper examines the use of general extenders (such as and stuff in English and et tout in
French) in the MLE – MPF corpus, where the GE forms as well as frequencies vary across factors
such as gender, age and ethnicity. Some forms also appear to be grammaticalising and acquiring
new pragmatic functions, especially among young people. The analysis includes a comparison of
different age groups, and finds that not only age grading but also generational change might be
occurring in both languages.
In London, forms such as and stuff and and that diverge along ethnic lines, whereas in Paris et
tout is becoming the dominant variant across the board. While different variants in both
languages are indirectly associated with different social personae, they perform similar pragmatic
functions such as hedging, marking solidarity and appealing to common knowledge between the
speaker and the interlocutor(s). Extenders in both languages are also similar in grammaticalising
from putatively longer forms to shorter ones, a process that is accompanied by semantic bleaching
and pragmatic extension (Cheshire 2007, Secova 2014).
This paper will compare the social and the linguistic conditioning of GE use in the two languages,
discuss the different kinds of spread in the two cities, and reflect on the possibility of linguistic
Cheshire, Jenny. (2007). Discourse variation, grammaticalisation and stuff like that. Journal of
Sociolinguistics 11(2), 155–93.
Secova, M. (2014). Je sais et tout mais . . .' might the general extenders in European French be
changing? Journal of French Language Studies, 24: 281-304.
Keywords: General extenders, grammaticalisation, pragmatics, semantic bleaching.
Language change in London and Paris
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Sewell, Andrew (Lingnan University)
Decentering, recentering and the Hong Kong English dictionary
Regional varieties of English, among them 'Hong Kong English', are the central concern of the
World Englishes research paradigm. The codification of these varieties has been a recurring
theme in World Englishes discourse. In this talk I will consider 'A Dictionary of Hong Kong
English' (Cummings and Wolf, 2011), which is intended to contribute to the legitimation of Hong
Kong English as a variety. I will consider the dictionary in terms of various contrasts:
'decentering/recentering' (or 'centrifugal/centripetal'), and 'polycentric/pluricentric'. Questions
that will be raised include: what are the assumptions about language and communication that
underlie the production of a dictionary, and how do these relate to the sociolinguistics of
globalization? Is the very existence of the conventional dictionary an anachronism? What possible
futures are there for dictionaries of English, given Benson's (2001) observation that what they
purport to describe is 'heterogeneous, dynamic and infinitely variable in its regional, social and
temporal dimensions'?
Benson, P. (2001). Ethnocentrism and the English Dictionary. London and New York: Routledge.
Cummings, P. and Wolf, H.-G. (2011) A Dictionary of Hong Kong English: Words from the Fragrant
Harbour. Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press.
Keywords: globalization, decentering, legitimacy, normativity, variation
Language ideology (1)
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Shan, Quanling (China University of Geosciences, Wuhan)
Wang, Weihong (China University of Geosciences/The University
of Hong Kong)
Teaching Mandarin Chinese to international students in a Chinese university:
A counterbalance to English hegemony within China
In face of globalization, many studies have contributed to the discussion of English globalization
and its influence on language policies and practices worldwide. This study explores Chinese
globalization in the light of the Confucius Institutions and classrooms springing up around the
globe. While research on Confucius Institutions is external facing mostly, this study focuses on
international students going to China to learn Chinese instead.
With a sociolinguistic ethnographic design, this study chooses one university in mainland China
as an illustrative case and closely examines how the ideological constructions of Chinese and the
practices of teaching Chinese to international students negotiate into being at this university site.
To achieve a holistic understanding, data collected include participant observation (of students'
Chinese practices in and outside of classrooms), semi-structured interviews (with students,
teachers and school administrators), policy documents (concerning promoting Chinese to
international students at the institutional and national levels), and detailed fieldwork notes (taken
during my prolonged stay at the site). For data analysis, Layder's (1993) research resource map is
adapted as the analytical framework to understand Chinese globalization with an integrative
consideration of four dimensions of social realities: contexts, settings, situated activities and self.
The initial month-long stay at the site seems to reveal that: Both Chinese government's extensive
effort in promoting Chinese and the international students' active appropriation of Chinese have
contributed to counterbalancing the global spread of English in China. English hegemony seems
to be just one strand in the wider programme of global politics in the new era.
Layder, D. (1993). New strategies in social research: An introduction and guide. Cambridge: Polity
Keywords: Chinese globalization, language ideologies, English hegemony, teaching Chinese to
international students, Chinese universities
Nodes and trajectories (2)
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Sharma, Bal Krishna (University of Hawaii at Manoa)
Commodifying and representing Nepal: The nature of discursive work in
guided tours
This presentation takes an ethnographically informed discourse analytic approach in order to
investigate the market-driven discursive practices which serve to portray the linguistically and
culturally diverse cultures of Nepal as desirable commodities for outsiders to consume. It
examines the production and circulation of these discursive practices from the perspective of
Nepali workers in the tourist industry by researching how they create and (re)produce these
discourses in their guided tour narratives. The presentation draws data mainly from the audio and
video recordings of guided tours conducted in English by Nepali tour guides.
The existing body of work on tourism as an economic service industry where large part of its work
includes language labor has recently gained more prominence in sociolinguistics (Heller, 2003;
Heller & Duchêne, 2012). This area rightly deserves more scholarly attention since many of the
activities that characterize, and also create tourism as a sellable commodity, are discursive in
nature. The paper shows that in guided tours language is not only employed as a neutral means of
communication to represent meanings, but also used in a certain way to construct and sell
cultural and linguistic authenticities and identities of Nepal. I focus on the nature of discursive
work in guides tours and analyze how these discourses construct and (re)produce authenticity as
an object of experience for cultural outsiders. My preliminary analysis shows that such discursive
practices are largely shaped by capitalist market ideologies that commodify the nature of
communication itself with a heavy use of humor, frequent use of second person pronouns, a range
of accommodation strategies, and display of positive affect. The presentation will contribute to the
body of work on commodification of language, authenticity and communication skills in
sociolinguistics, paying special attention to the role of language as a neoliberal labor.
The commodification of language: Changing ideologies and identities
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Sheridan, Cheryl (Indiana University of Pennsylvania)
Considering Space and Scale in Academic Journal Publishing in Taiwan:
Scholars' Perspectives
Notions of space and scale (Blommaert, 2010) form the theoretical lens to consider scholars'
national journal publishing experiences in Taiwan, where "publish in English internationally or
perish" policies constitute a globalization-induced language regime (Blommaert, Collins, &
Slembrouck, 2005). Local journals are considered lower status in non-Anglophone non-center
contexts (Lee & Lee, 2013; Lillis & Curry, 2010; Salager-Meyer, 2008). However, English medium
national journals (EMJs) are sites "developing and harnessing local knowledge and local
knowledge making" where scholars invest significant time and energy (Lillis, 2012, p. 698).
Similar conditions were found in Taiwan (Sheridan, in press), where institutional practices
compel faculty to shun non-SSCI journals (Chou, 2014). Furthermore, institutional support and
government funding for Taiwan-based journals (Sheridan, 2014), indicates they contribute to
discourse communities and national development. While research on national EMJs has grown,
little is known about contributors' views.
Research questions:
1. What are Taiwan-based humanities and social sciences scholars' perceptions regarding their
experiences publishing in national English medium journals?
2. What factors influence participants' involvement with national journals?
Contributors of four EMJs in Taiwan's humanities and social sciences citation indexes were
interviewed, and journals' and institutions' documents gathered. Journals were chosen for
disciplinary variation and editors were invited to participate through snowball sampling.
Randomly selected authors of each journal between 2004 and 2014 were emailed an invitation to
participate. Immersion and template analysis was used to discover themes in interview
Initial results indicate national journals attempt higher scale-level translocal normative practices
of SSCI publications to counter perceptions of being lower scale-level. Participants engage in
vertical work shifting between lower- and higher-scale publications depending on semiotic
resource access. Orders of indexicality connote issues of "authority, access, and
power" (Blommaert, 2010, p. 39) through complex horizontal process of global and national
Nodes and trajectories (1)
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Sherman, Tamah (Charles University in Prague)
Homoláč, Jiří (Akcent College, Prague)
Language, mobility and the trajectories of young Vietnamese in the Czech
In recent decades, the Vietnamese community in the Czech Republic has not only grown in
number, but has expanded in terms of the diversity of experience among individuals within it,
particularly as concerns processes of acquisition of the majority language, Czech, and of
acculturation. In the case of young people, these processes are critical for individuals' later
mobility – within the transnational community, within the majority community, and beyond. This
study, based on semi-structured interviews, participant observation in Czech language courses
offered to adult migrants, and data from the new media (YouTube, Facebook), examines the
trajectories and subjective experiences of three groups of individuals from the same generational
cohort, as well as the ways in which these groups understand one another. These are: a)
individuals who use the linguistic and cultural capital gained in the Czech space to move on to
more global endeavors, b) individuals who, through their pioneering role as "the first Vietnamese"
in Czech educational contexts, have moved toward careers as in which they provide this capital to
others, and c) individuals whose everyday interactions rarely extend beyond the transnational
community and who thus merely exchange one "localness" for another. We will also examine the
ways in which the concept of different "generations", both within a single age cohort (including
between siblings) and in relation to one's parents, based on ideas of acculturation and relationship
to the Czech majority, is constructed by the Vietnamese community members themselves.
Global youth
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Shin, Priscilla (University of Arizona)
Negotiating a "proper" Singaporean identity
This paper investigates the meaningful organization and use of semiotic resources that
Singaporeans combine and negotiate in enacting a "proper" Singaporean identity. Variation in
Singapore English (SgE) is a predominant linguistic resource for Singaporeans to balance
linguistic practices indexing being global and local. I argue that a "proper" Singaporean must
effectively balance "appropriate" degrees of globalness and localness, achieved through linguistic
and social practices. These clusters of semiotic resources come together as semiotic repertoires or
packages (e.g., Benor 2010, Goebel 2008), which provide Singaporeans a performable model of
behavior (Agha 2007).
Analyzing the "proper" Singaporean as a semiotic repertoire allows for a consideration of the range
of semiotic resources available: from macro-level socioeconomic practices (i.e., education, career,
etc.), to linguistic practices and variation in SgE – using Standard Singapore English (SSE) or
Singlish (or Colloquial Singapore English), and to the level of fine-grained linguistic features (i.e.,
phonetic variation).
This work draws upon notions of indexicality (Silverstein 2003) and the indexical field (Eckert
2008) to explain fluid relationships between sign and meaning. For example, speakers of SSE are
generally acknowledged as educated, cosmopolitan, and globally mobile. Similarly, speakers of
Singlish can be seen as uneducated, economically immobile, and too local. However, these
associations with being global and local shift within different social contexts, such that the use of
SSE among one's hometown friends is interpreted as being snooty. Or conversely, the use of
Singlish is seen as a linguistic marker of local solidarity.
Through interview data with Singaporeans, I will show that a "proper" Singaporean is a highly
intersubjective (Bucholtz and Hall 2005) and carefully negotiated identity, fastidiously maintained
and created through linguistic resources that make meanings associated with being appropriately
global and local.
Keywords: semiotic repertoire, indexical field, Singapore English, identity, enregistering global
and local
Identity (2)
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Shohamy, Elana (University of Tel Aviv)
Engaged language policy: Theory and two case studies
The focus here is on the role of the linguist within language policy (LP). This means dropping
approaches of LP as a mechanism dictated by linguists to 'manage' languages in nations as topdown acts where authoritative groups impose policies reflecting national agendas of governments
and political ideologies. Rather, current approaches reflect language realities and experiences
which aim at critiquing and correcting injustices, initiating language policies in engaged and
negotiated ways (Davies, 2014, Johnson, 2012) and reacting to community needs (Menken and
Garcia, 2012). These policies focus on institutions and entities such as hospitals, schools, families
(Spolsky, 2012), and employ ethnographic methods for 'policy engagement' (Johnson, 2013). This
paper shares two initiatives of applying these approaches. One is negotiating LPs within a
multilingual school in Tel Aviv-Jaffa where all 1000 students are children of refugees, asylum
seekers and foreign workers, whose residential status is threatened. Working with parent,
community leaders andschool administrations, the LPs are embedded in political, social, economic
and educational contexts. These are anchored in multiple and often contradicting steps
attempting to embed the LP within hegemonic national ideology for gaining recognition and
legitimacy but at the same time cultivating multiple home languages as well as incorporating
English as a 'safe' language for the unknown future of the students. The second case is a project
involving school principals who are expected to determine LP in their schools with no knowledge
about it. Within a University course they engage in activities of experiencing 'otherness' and
transforming them to 'engaged LP . These cases will be described, challenged, critiqued and
examined with a focus of the role of the linguist in these initiatives.
Keywords: engaged language policy, principals, asylum seekers, refugees,
Engaging the world of language work/ers
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Silverstein, Michael (University of Chicago)
Contemporary Condominium Competence in the Socio-cultural Fields of
The image of my title derives from the modern redefinition of what it means to own real-estate
the parameters of which include not only space, but time. In the corporate world of condominium
ownership, one has all the rights to a particular built space for, say, a particular week in the yearly
cycle, subtly different from merely renting such space for that period of time in that it is an
alienable holding of a now complexly dimensionalized piece of property. It is chronotopic
ownership. What I wish to suggest is that the contemporary mapping of language communities
to/from the socio-cultural dimensions of language-in-use reveals parallel complexities. The
dimensions of language-in-use vary as do the possible components of any communicative event,
and in particular as do the social structural/social organizational characteristics of participants
involved. But additional dimensions are essential here, such as the envelope of interdiscursivity
in which the particular event is framed, increasingly complex as precipitated texts draw on many
trajectories of emanation of meaning and significance from polycentric, value-conferring sites that
frequently cross strict denotational boundaries of the traditionally static language and language
community (see Blommaert and Jacquemet, for example). Thus, the kind of 'communicative
competence' evidenced in the contemporary Anthropocene must be re-conceptualized in terms of
complex ways users of language in-and-by that very use "own" and "occupy" socio-space-time and
the 'language communities' into which, formerly, people were mapped.
Complex sociolinguistics
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Singh, Jaspal (Cardiff University)
Breakin social differentiation: Hip hop solidarity in intercultural cyphers in
Practices associated with hip hop culture have by now been recognised by scholars as tools for
pedagogy and social and personal transformation (e.g. Alim 2007; Ibrahim 2009; Beach and
Sernhede 2012; Petchauer and Garrison 2014, Dattatreyan and Singh, under review; and papers in
this panel; see also Petchauer 2009 for a survey). Language is typically a central concern in such
studies. However, the breakin battle, a.k.a. the b-boyin/b-girlin battle, is a hip hop ritual that is in
many ways practiced without language, or at least without verbality; it is nonetheless a ritual in
which complex forms of communication occur. It involves kinestetic, proxemic, haptic and iconic
modes of communication that allow dancers of different linguistic backgrounds to communicate
nonverbally with each other – or rather against each other. During ethnographic fieldwork in
Delhi's hip hop scene, I observed that breakin battles have the potential to create, precisely
because of their nonverbality, 'intercultural cyphers' that bring together dancers from differing
caste/class/gender/age/regional/linguistic backgrounds and thereby challenge dominant Indian
ideologies of untouchability across social stratification and differentiation.
Over the last 65 years Delhi's rapid urbanisation and drastic in-migration from all over India and
from abroad formed superdiverse layers of complexity (Blommaert 2013) that incite imaginations
of social differention (Wengoborski and Singh 2013). Since the last decade the breakin scene in
Delhi, as well as in other urban centres of South Asia, have been challenging these imaginations
and these scenes begin to foster solidarity between youths from diverse backgrounds (see also
Nohl 2003; Fogarty 2012 for comparable findings). I will discuss one video recording of a battle
and suggest that in this breakin battle difference is articulated, negotiated and decisively
surmounted by an enactment of hip hop solidarity.
“Hip-hop as a site of pedagogy”: Implications of hip-hop culture for local pedagogies
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Singh, Shailendra Kumar (North Eastern Hill University)
Alternative Sociolinguistics of Globalization
Compared to the `Enforced Globalization' of the 20th century, in the 21st century we are living
collectively in an era of `Enlightening Globalization'. Thus, a little over a few decades from now,
we will be equipped with surprising new ways of linguistic living and the linguistic world will
undergo the deepest transformation in all its millennium of the history. The paper addresses the
following questions:
(1) How, in the midst of `power shift', `demographic shift', `technological shift' and `socialpsychological shift', indispensable transformation is taking place in world's linguistic makeup and also giving birth to the `New Linguistic World Order' in the 21st century ?
(2) In which ways the `enlightening globalization' will bestow new impetus to the prospect of
`New Linguistic World Order' in the 21st century?
(3) Why are we witnessing an emerging deep-multilingual system in which no language is
revolving around us as a single hegemonic language and the way new linguistic breed is now
focusing more on the quality of linguistic contribution and not primarily on identity issue
with language?
(4)Who is more relevant today – Local Language, Global Language or Emerging Languages?
Even, who will boost the cause of Local Language, Global Language or Emerging
(5)In what ways can `alternative sociolinguistics' better perceive the veracity of new linguistic
world order?
(6) So, where does alternative sociolinguistics departs and leaves sociolinguistics as a blanket
In particular, the paper identifies the analytical framework for thinking about `New Linguistic
World Order' and globalization – the idea of paradigm shift around the world which is stirred by:
`power shift', `demographic shift', `technological shift' and `social-psychological shift'.
Key Words: Alternative Sociolinguistics, `Enforced Globalization', `Enlightening Globalization',
`New Linguistic World Order'
Language and globalization (1)
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Sissons, Helen (Auckland University of Technology)
Smith, Philippa (Institute of Culture, Discourse & Communication,
Auckland University of Technology)
Mistaken identity: The consequences of journalistic transparency in online
The expectations on journalists in the digital age to modify stories, to a greater or lesser extent,
for the different online platforms, has presented new challenges when it comes to dealing with
the wealth of material accessible for news reports. Not all information that is gathered from social
media sources is reliable and because of greater transparency of journalistic practice as a result of
the internet (Karlsson, 2011; Riordan, 2014), published errors that are noticed and commented
on by readers can spread as fast as the initial story, potentially damaging a news organisation's
This paper uses critical discourse analysis (Fairclough, 1995) to examine a case study whereby the
wrong photograph of a New Zealander published in the New Zealand Herald made headlines
around the world and on social networks. In considering the changes to journalism practice
brought about by the demands of new technologies, we firstly recount how the error occurred and
the response of the editors. This is followed by an analysis of the online comments of readers and
other media that resulted to illustrate the consequences of journalistic transparency in the digital
age. The paper will include material gathered from fieldwork inside an online newsroom and
interviews with working journalists.
Keywords: online news, journalistic practice, critical discourse analysis
The new news: Online revolution and the practice of journalism in the global era
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Skovse, Astrid Ravn (University of Copenhagen)
Girls going global, boys heading home? On the interplay between place,
everyday mobility, linguistic practice and gender in rural and urban Denmark
In a globalised world, differences in mobility practice matter substantially in reference to e.g.
educational opportunities and career prospects. Young Danes differ with regard to their degree of
geographical and socio-economical mobility as more women than men move to the cities to study.
Does such a difference in mobility practice show, however, as early as in primary school? Is there a
gender component to how adolescents make use of, conceptualise and relate to their local place
and to how they linguistically index the local (Johnstone 2010b)?
This study examines the intricate relationship between everyday mobility, place, linguistic practice
and gender among adolescents in two very different Danish settings: a rural, mono-ethnic village,
Bylderup, and an urban, poly-ethnic residential area, Vollsmose. In Bylderup, the use of local
dialect is prevalent, whereas in Vollsmose, regional dialect seems to coexist with poly-ethnic
language styles.
Data are obtained through participant observation, sociolinguistic interviews, questionnaires,
mapping methods and peer group recordings.
Results are expected to show that adolescents in both localities use linguistic features from
different scale-levels (Blommaert 2010) in order to signal attachment to/dissociation from the
local place, and that female informants express lower degrees of attachment to the local place and
use less local varieties than male informants.
The study is part of the research project LaPUR (Language and Place in Urban and Rural
Denmark) which aims to explore the specific nature of place as a sociolinguistic factor. See
Blommaert, Jan (2010). The Sociolinguistics of Globalization. Cambridge University Press
Johnstone, B. (2010b). Indexing the Local. Handbook of Language and Globalization N. Coupland.
Chichester, Wiley-Blackwell
Keywords: mobility, place, youth language, gender, dialect, poly-ethnic language
Nodes and trajectories (2)
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Smith, Philippa (Auckland University of Technology)
Aguirre, Alwin (Auckland University of Technology)
A change of face: Layout, meaning, and ideology in a newspaper home page
and front page
The newspaper front page is an entry point for readers to gain knowledge about the world and
acts as the face of the newspaper giving off ideas about its identity as a social institution and
attitude toward its audience. Kress and van Leeuwen (1998) found newspaper front pages to be
(complex) signs. This paper argues that transporting the news to online platforms comes with an
increased modal density (e.g. news stories compete with multi-semiotic elements for readers'
attention) and reading the home page as one sign becomes a much more complicated process.
Using "composition" as a signifying system (Kress & van Leeuwen, 1998) we compare the layout
of the home page of the online edition of the New Zealand Herald with the front page of its hard
copy counterpart on the same day to determine how complex this "initial" reading has become. By
using a multi-modal approach, we seek to add to the understanding of the "genre-specific visual
grammar for online-newspaper home pages" (Knox, 2007). We also underscore the importance of
examining the process of "innovation" that the print medium is undergoing to keep up with
market trends. Finally, we demonstrate how the relationship of the visual and verbal design
between print and online news media deploys ideologies of "newness" and "nowness" not only of
the specific news items but also of the news organisation itself in response to the demands of the
digital and global era.
Knox, J. (2007). Visual-verbal communication on online newspaper home pages. Visual
Communication, 6(1), 19–53. doi:10.1177/1470357207071464
Kress, G., & van Leeuwen, T. (1998). Front pages: (The critical) analysis of newspaper layout.
In A. Bell & Peter Garrett (Eds.), Approaches to Media Discourse (pp. 186–219). Oxford:
Blackwell Publishers Ltd.
Keywords: online news, multimodality, front page, home page
The new news: Online revolution and the practice of journalism in the global era
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Soto Pineda, Carlos Enrique (The University of Hong Kong)
Pérez-Milans, Miguel (The University of Hong Kong)
Language, voice and place among South Asian Youth in Hong Kong
Contemporary sociolinguistic developments have shown how the modern ethno-national
ideological imaginations of 'language' are harder to maintain under current conditions of mobility
and cultural/linguistic superdiversification. In contrast to the idea of language as a bounded
system tied to a given territory, the last decades have seen the emergence of alternative
vocabularies that allow us to better describe people's communicative practices vis-à-vis wider
socio-economic processes involving unequal distribution of symbolic and material resources. By
drawing on multi-sited and auto-ethnographic research carried out by a group of 10 youngsters
with Nepali and Pakistani background in Hong Kong, this paper examines closely some of these
alternative terms. In particular, attention is paid to 'repertoire', 'enregisterment', 'voice' and
'semiotic traces of power', with focus on their analytical potential to describe intersections
between ideological constructions of language, space and time in the context of the life
trajectories of these youngsters. Data analysis will show some policy implications derived from
this approach, in contrast to dominant deficit perspectives underpinning contemporary language
education policies for South Asian students in Hong Kong whereby their linguistic repertoires are
examined against the background of standard languages and modern understandings of
"legitimate speakers”.
South Asian youngsters in Hong Kong: Negotiating language, place and identity
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Staicov, Adina (University of Zurich)
San Francisco Chinatown: Negotiating ethnic identity in North America's
oldest Chinese diaspora community
Chinese Americans are the most visible minority in San Francisco and the community actively
contributes to San Francisco's cultural and linguistic tapestry. Since the arrival of the first Chinese
immigrants in the mid-19th century, the community has occupied one of the central locations in
San Francisco, namely Chinatown. Today still, Chinatown can be described as an ethnic enclave,
with social, cultural, and religious institutions and organizations catering to the community's
needs and keeping Chinese culture alive in the city. Linguistically Chinatown is also a diverse
space, where Cantonese is the dominant language, and where English is a strong currency for
those who want to advance socially and economically.
Based on sociolinguistic interviews collected during three stays in the community, this paper
analyses how first and second generation Chinese Americans position themselves with regard to
matters of language, ethnicity, and identity (Edwards 2009, Fought 2010, Fishman and Garcia
2010). It particularly explores how community strength, transnational ties, and orientation
towards mainstream society are affecting linguistic choices and ethnic identity construction. On
the basis of this analysis, it subsequently questions whether forces of globalisation and the rise of
China are influencing the linguistic market (Blommaert 2010) and are leading to a shift not only
from Cantonese to English, but also from Cantonese to Mandarin.
Blommaert, Jan. 2010. The sociolinguistics of globalization. Cambridge: Cambridge University
Edwards, John. 2009. Language and identity. Cambridge/New York: Cambridge University Press.
Fishman, Joshua A. and Ofelia Garcia (eds). 2010. Handbook of language and ethnic identity. Vol. 1,
2nd edition. Oxford/New York: Oxford University Press.
Fought, Carmen. 2010. Language and ethnicity. Cambridge/New York: Cambridge University
Keywords: Chinese Americans, Ethnic Identity, Transnational Ties, Globalisation
Identity (2)
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Starks, Donna (La Trobe University)
Nicholas, Howard (La Trobe University)
Noticing linguistic landscapes as agentive behaviour
Multiplicity is a framework for describing the resources that individuals draw on in creating their
communicative acts (Nicholas & Starks 2014). The framework acknowledges the complex
interplay between the social and the individual in learning and communication processes and
offers a means of understanding how individuals draw on social resources to create individual
repertoires and identities. By providing a systematic way of identifying, grouping and relating
individual's communicative resources, Multiplicity provides a way of framing the learning process
in ways that are principled and testable. 'Noticing' (Schmidt 1990) is a key step in this learning as
it is the first step in bringing material from the social reservoir to the individual repertoire.
This paper considers the processes by which individuals come to 'notice' features of their
communicative environment and then incorporate them within their own repertoires. We report
on what four multilinguals noticed when they were presented with (a) multilingual images with
no given context, (b) images plus their potential location in their second viewing, and (c) the
screen images as part of a focal group viewing six weeks later. The findings show that what gets
noticed from on-screen images is significantly less and much more diverse in form than has been
assumed in descriptions of what is potentially available to learners as part of their linguistic
landscape. We relate our findings to individual agentive viewing, and provide initial insights from
conversational excerpts from the focal group to show how viewing and noticing are affected by
discourse with others and how such information can be explored within the framework of
Nicholas, H. & Starks, D. (2014) Language education and applied linguistics: Bridging the two fields.
London: Routledge.
Schmidt, R. (1990) The role of consciousness in second language learning. Applied Linguistics
11(2): 129-158.
Keywords: multilingualism; linguistic landscapes; noticing
Linguistic landscape (2)
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Starr, Rebecca (National University of Singapore)
Navigating local and global Englishes on Say the Word, a Singaporean
pronunciation game show
While British English remains the educational target in Singapore, US English and other varieties
are prevalent; acceptance of local norms is also increasing (Schneider 2003). This landscape is
reflected in the 2013 game show Say the Word, an effort to promote standard English by quizzing
contestants on pronunciation. Although British English is the de jure standard on the program,
other varieties are ratified and even preferred in certain respects, thus demonstrating how local
and inner-circle varieties come into tension in the construction of the notion of standard
While Say the Word explicitly promotes "General British English," this standard can only be seen
in limited respects. Certain US English variants are rejected (e.g., derby as /dərbi/); however,
regular phonological features of US English, such as rhoticity, are consistently accepted. As for
Singapore English (SgE), judging largely targets lexical exceptions (e.g., salmon as /sælmən/),
while variants resulting from regular SgE phonological patterns, such as final consonant cluster
simplification (e.g., assessment as /əsɛsmən/) are accepted.
Tolerance of Singaporean features in the quizzes contrasts with the comedic sketches aired
between rounds. These sketches feature B.B. See, a satirical character who affects a British accent.
See patronizingly corrects phonological features of SgE (e.g., cot/caught merger) and is
disparaged as a "fake angmoh (Caucasian)". These sketches contradict the rest of the program in
that they critique features that are accepted in the quizzes. At another level, the sketches ridicule
Singaporeans who adopt British English. In this sense, the program ratifies local norms and
rejects British English as a desirable target, although this is the variety it ostensibly promotes.
This ambiguity reflects the broader reality of cosmopolitan Singapore, where local and external
standards of correctness compete for sociolinguistic capital.
Keywords: media; language ideologies; Singapore English
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Stell, Gerald (The University of the West Indies)
English in Namibia: Indigenization and nation-building
Despite not having much local history prior to that date, English has become Namibia's official
language in 1990 at the expense of Afrikaans, formerly the country's established lingua franca, and
all other indigenous languages. The general question that I pose is to what extent Namibia has
witnessed the emergence of an indigenized form of English that could be referred to as Namibian.
To answer this question, this paper provides a picture of English varieties used in informal
contexts of communication in Namibia. The data used are obtained from a range of
experimentally set up intra-ethnic and inter-ethnic interactions in which members of Namibia's
main ethnic groups are made to participate. They show evidence of linguistic usages ranging from
patterns whereby English extensively co-occurs with indigenous languages via code-switching to
more or less monolingual English varieties. Whereas code-switching between indigenous
languages and English is mostly associated with intra-ethnic stylistic repertoires, the more or less
monolingual varieties of English are mostly associated with inter-ethnic communication between
Whites and Nonwhites, and with inter-ethnic communication between Northern and Southern
Nonwhite ethnicities. It is in the latter context that an indigenized Namibian variety of English
tends to reveal itself most clearly through what seems to be linguistic markers of a Black
Namibian pan-ethnicity, of which a defining feature is that they can generally not be traced to any
specific indigenous language. The paper places the evidence of a Black Namibian English against
the background of the emergence of New English varieties in Outer Circle countries marked by
ethnolinguistic diversity, suggesting that their developing features are a function of how far local
nation-building processes are blurring ethnic distinctions, or are conversely obstructed by them.
Language and nationalism
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Storch, Anne (University of Cologne)
Angelika, Mietzner (University of Cologne)
A multilingual standard: On super-diverse repertoires in rural Uganda
As a result of trans-national warfare and armed conflict in Central and Eastern Africa, some of the
northern, rural regions of Uganda have turned into attractive settlement areas for a large and
diverse group of refugees. As a consequence, even small and rural settlements are almost always
entirely "mixed", and exhibit a high degree of linguistic super-diversity. Even though the
multilingual inhabitants of these areas are able to communicate in a number of widely present
languages, (north)east African vernacular languages such as Swahili and Sudanese Arabic become
important linguae francae. This especially holds true for the working space, like in farming and
food-processing plants. In such work places it is, however, not compulsory to speak, for example,
"standard" Swahili, but rather regionally established varieties. In our talk, we argue that with the
emergence of new super-diverse settlements and the increased availability of globalized labour,
standard language becomes an uncommon and less preferable mode of communication, whilst
new and dynamic varieties emerge. A particular feature of these varieties is that they form part of
extremely large multilingual repertoires, which are seen as a standard by themselves and
considered the only possible form in which language as such could be framed. In these
sociolinguistic contexts, diverse and flexible repertoires and multilingual practices greatly
undermine Western concepts of "language". It is thereby intriguing that the establishment of
multilingualism as a standard per se is characteristic for small rural settlements rather than for
large urban centres (such as Kampala). This talk will provide an answer to the question of why
villages inhabited by speakers of minority languages need to be melting pots.
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Stroud, Christopher (University of Western Cape)
Dignity in Diversity: Turbulent approaches to linguistic citizenship
This paper will deal with the ‘dark side’ or underbelly of globalization. Conflict, tension and
marginalization suggest a need for an ethical sociolinguistics that can enhance conditions for
linguistically mediated dignity. Two questions in particular will be in focus for this presentation:
how can we grasp the complex, layered and shifting conditions of entanglement implicated in
competing regimes of language that characterize situated and unequal encounters across lived
diversity? And how can we understand the simultaneity of living within the limits of bordered
categories (both traditional and invented), on the one hand, and the historically-grounded but
contemporary deconstruction and reconstruction of these categories that comprise individual’s
experience of radical social change, on the other? In order to approach these questions, the paper
will offer illustrations of how people seek to pursue a dignified life in Southern African
(postconflict) societies undergoing transformation, discussing these in terms of a metaphorical
framing of a sociolinguistics of mobility in the notion of turbulence. Following Cresswell and
Martin (2012) ‘turbulence’ can be understood as a productive analytic concept to describe the
local contingencies of encounters, the messy and disruptive moments of ‘disjunctive interplay’
when ‘shifting registers of order and disorder, neither of which is permanently stable’ (p.516)
meet. A ‘turbulent’ approach promises to capture the fundamentally ‘restless’ nature of being
human, and thus the contingent, novel, unpredictable nature of linguistic practices relevant to
diversity encounters. It also offers some purchase towards an ethical sociolinguistics rooted in an
ethnography of interruption, and empathy, as well as points to how a notion of linguistic
citizenship may articulate an approach to a politics of language for turbulent spaces.
(Plenary lecture 4 )
Native imaginaries: Resistances and regimentations in unstable senses of space, time and self
Language and the black box of migration: Asian and African perspectives
Illusions and delusions of the centre within the framework of globalization
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Sturtzsreetharan, Cindi (CSU Sacramento)
Language and masculinity: The role of Kansai dialect in contemporary ideals
of fatherhood
The use of dialect in films can signal a variety of information: setting, geographical location, and
national/regional origin of character; it can also signal educational level, class standing,
modernity, and heterosexual marketability (Shibamoto Smith & Occhi 2009; Lippi- Green 2012).
This presentation reports preliminary findings of the use of Japanese dialects in film. This paper
reports on an investigation of the use of Kansai dialect in the film Soshite chichi ni naru (English
Title: Like Father, Like Son) directed by Hirokazu Kore'eda (2013). This award-nominated film is
set in the Kanto (Eastern) region of Japan. There are two main families: a well-heeled marketing
executive, his wife, and son; and an electrician, his wife, and children. The marketing executive is
the archetypical white-collar business man who works long hours and is rarely home. His
(infrequent) interactions with his son focus on elementary school admission criteria and piano
lessons rather than play. In contrast is the electrician; he is depicted as frequently engaging in play
with all of his children, fixing their (electronic) toys, and bathing with them. These two father
figures connect to different kinds of Japanese fatherhoods and masculinities: one an older, more
traditional style, the other a more contemporary, rapport style. This paper argues that these styles
are indexed linguistically through the use of Standard Japanese and Kansai Dialect respectively.
Close discourse analytic tools are used to provide insight into the role of dialect in this film. This
films serves as the first analyzed in a larger project looking at issues of modernity, regional
language, and gender in contemporary Japan.
Lippi-Green, Rosina. 2012. English with an Accent. 2e. Routledge.
Shibamoto Smith, Janet & Debra Occhi. 2009. The Green Leaves of Love: Japanese Romantic
Heroines, Authentic Femininity and Dialect. Journal of Sociolinguistics 13(4): 524 – 546.
Articulating gender and sexuality in contemporary Asia
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Su, Hsi-Yao (National Taiwan Normal University)
Chun, Chen-Cheng (National Kaohsiung Normal University)
Tourism, Orthographic Controversy, and Language Ideologies: Is Simplified
Chinese Necessary in Taiwan?
This study investigates the discourses and practices concerning an orthographic controversy--the
use of simplified Chinese writing in Taiwan--after Taiwan opened its tourist market to Chinese
free independent travelers (FITs) in 2011. The official orthography in Taiwan is traditional
Chinese. Simplified Chinese is mainly used in China, a country with which Taiwan has high
political tension and yet much economic interaction. The tourist market opening invokes a general
ambivalence among Taiwanese, which played out linguistically in an orthographic debate about
whether to adopt simplified Chinese in various tourism-related platforms, including government
websites, public signs, tour brochures, etc.
This study explores the competing discourses concerning the orthographic use and investigates
the following questions: what symbolic meanings and communicative functions are attributed to
the two writing systems? How are these meanings related to broader issues, such as national and
cultural identities, aesthetics, modernity, etc.? How do individuals or groups, positioned socially
in different ways, legitimize their stances toward the writing systems?
Data include (1) government press releases, (2) media reactions, (3) 50 interviews with
Taiwanese hosts of touring businesses and Chinese FITs, and (4) a linguistic landscape analysis in
popular attractions. The results reveal gaps of discourses and practices at multiple levels,
including those between the policy and actual governmental practice, between the symbolic and
functional values attributed to the writing systems by the government and variously positioned
individuals/groups in the private sector, and between individuals/groups with different
understandings of the role of writing in tourism communication. While these gaps illustrate a
tension between commodification and authenticity/identity, the focus on orthography and the
complex political and cultural entanglement between Taiwan and China further provide a unique
perspective to explore the interrelations between tourism, identity, and language ideology.
Keywords: tourism, language ideology, Chinese writing system, Taiwan, linguistic landscape
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Suen, Yiu Tung (The Chinese University of Hong Kong)
Baynham, Mike (University of Leeds)
Queer lives/Queer Narratives: sociological and sociolinguistic perspectives
This paper will explore sociological and sociolinguistic perspectives on researching queer lives
through open-ended ethnographic interviewing, highlighting the pervasiveness of narrative in
such data. Comparing and contrasting the data from studies of LGBTIQ students in Hong Kong
(Suen) and queer migration narratives (Baynham), one sociological in orientation the other
sociolinguistic, this presentation explores commonalities and differences in sociological and
sociolinguistic perspectives on queer lives, proposing areas of theoretical and methodological
complementarity. Drawing on notions of performativity and intersectionality, and the literature on
narrative and identity, we will show how gay men in these studies use narrative to do queer
identity work. Besides focusing on what is said, the paper will also discuss on what is not said - or
what is silenced - and discuss how this silencing may be telling of larger historical and social
reasons, power dynamics between the researcher and the researched, as well as possible
methodological limitations.
Key-words: queer lives, narrative, performativity, intersectionality, ethnographic interviewing
LGBTIQ and performativity: Queering the sociolinguistics of globalization
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Susilowati, Meinarni Susilowati (Malang University)
Identity, youth and football in contemporary Malang
Youth and their language practices is an area of sustained sociolinguistic investigation (e.g.
Pilkington, 1996). This paper is a preliminary investigation into how Javanese speaking youth of
Malang (Central Java, Indonesia), have been drawn into global football languaging practices (Del
Percio & Duchene, 2012). While some of their practices are copies of what we can find in any
group of football fans, here I focus on how a group of Malang youth, locally referred to as "Arema"
(Arek Malang "young people of Malang") with their walikan language, position themselves as
Aremania "heroic fans of the Malang football club". Using data from the media and interviews I
examine the dialectic nature of globalization and localization (Pennycook, 2010) as these youth
negotiate and construct their identities as Javanese, soccer fans, Indonesians, and part of global
culture. I link my analysis with ongoing changes in the job market where over three decades of a
massification of higher education has produced highly educated, but mostly unemployed youth
(Pilkington, 1996).
Del Percio, A., & Duchene, A. (2012). Commodification of pride and resistance to profit:
language practices as terrain of struggle in a Swiss football stadium. In M. Heller & A.
Duchene (Eds.), Language in Late Capitalism: Pride and Profit (pp. 43-72). Hoboken: Routledge.
Pennycook, A. (2010). Nationalism, Identity and Popular Culture. In Nancy H. Hornberger and
Sandra Lee McKay (eds) Sociolinguistics and Language Education. Bristol: Multilingual Matters
Pikkington, H. (1996). 'Youth Culture' in contemporary Rusia: Gender, consumption and
identity. In Hillary Pilkington (ed.) Gender, Generation, and Identity in Contemporary Russia.
London: Routledge
Margins, hubs, and peripheries in a decentralizing Indonesia (Part 1)
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Suwiryo, Adhika Irlang (Sign Language Research Laboratory)
Isma, Silva (Sign Language Research Laboratory)
The Language Attitude of the Deaf Towards (Sign) Languages in Family
There are small numbers of research of sign languages is Indonesia (Marsaja 2008, Isma 2012,
Palfreyman 2013, Suwiryo 2014). It could be stated that there are more than one sign language in
Indonesia. Regards of sign language use by the Deaf, the absence information about their attitude
towards sign language is an ongoing research. This work is to figure out the language attitude of
Deaf people towards sign language in family. As a pilot work, interesting findings show that there
are numbers of spoken language used by the Deaf, e.g. Indonesian (the official language),
Javanese, and Minang language. Among those three spoken languages, Indonesian occurs more
frequent than the other two languages. This could be because Indonesian is used across
Indonesia, but not with the two local languages. Besides, a small number of informants also
mentioned sign language as the mode of communication in their family. Interestingly, they
combine the activity of signing with speaking. Other than the spoken languages and sign
languages, a really small number shows that the Deaf also use writing system (e.g. writing) to
communicate with the other family members. This phenomenon might be caused by the absence
of Deaf family members.
Isma, Silva Tenrisara Pertiwi. (2012). Signing Varieties in Jakarta and Yogyakarta: Dialects or
Separae Languages? (Unpublished master's thesis). CUHK.
Marsaja, I. G. (2008). Desa Kolok—A Deaf village nd its sign language in Bali, Indonesia. The
Netherlands: Ishara Press.
Palfreyman, Nick. (2013). Sociolinguistic variation in Indonesian sign language varieties: the
expression of the completive aspect in Makassar and Solo. powerpoint notes presented in
the 3rd International Conference on Sign Linguistics.
Suwiryo, Adhika Irlang. (2013). Mouth Movement Patterns in Jakarta and Yogyakarta Sign Language:
A Preliminary Study (Unpublished master's thesis). CUHK.
Keywords: Deaf, Sign Language, Spoken Language, Indonesia, Sociolinguistics
Identity (1)
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Svendsen, Bente Ailin (University of Oslo)
Ryen, Else (University of Oslo)
Lanza, Elizabeth (University of Oslo)
Taking the temperature on language!
This paper reports on a national research campaign where we invited all the pupils in all grades in
Norway to be language researchers. The campaign is annual and organized by the Research
Council of Norway and the Center for Science Education at the University of Bergen, in
collaboration with a research unit. This year MultiLing got the campaign, and it is called Take the
temperature on language!
The main goal with the campaign is to increase metalinguistic awareness of the linguistic diversity
in Norwegian schools. Unlike many other countries there are no Norwegian large-scale Census
data on language competence and use. Moreover, research reports that the pupils' competence in
their heritage language is largely invisible and thus represents an unexploited resource in the
classroom (Kulbrandstad et al. 2008). In the campaign, the pupils investigate inter alia the
languages and dialects represented in their class, at their school and other schools around the
country, and in what context the languages and dialects are used. Moreover, they report on
patterns of language use in their families. The data are registered electronically in a data base (for
preliminary results from the Research Campaign, see In this paper, we
present results from the campaign and frame them within a translingual orientation to language
and communication (Canagarajah 2013) where we advocate the need to include the pupils'
heritage languages and their translingual practices in general in the classroom (cf. Creese and
Blackledge 2010; Cummins 2008; García and Li Wei 2014). The results indicate how mobility
characterizes language use and implicit language ideology in contemporary Norway, especially
among the younger generation of speakers.
Keywords: heritage languages, education, mobility, language ideologies, translingual orientation
Language and globalization (2)
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Swanenberg, Jos (Tilburg University)
Dialect as emblem: language resources, geographical margins, cultural
New ways of communication through digital media belong to the processes in globalization that
have made our societies more complex than ever. Since globalization always takes place in a
certain locality, reproducing local values, as a process it is created and permeated by that locality.
In other words globalization revolves around scales. Thus it involves connections between local
phenomena and phenomena occurring at higher scale-levels, and it involves effects of such
connections at all scale-levels involved (Wang 2014). Therefore the local aspects of linguistic and
cultural diversity and dynamics are of interest in sociolinguistics, and our perspective should be
widened from typical urban, metropolitan settings of research in plurilingualism to more marginal
settings, but also from spoken data to written data. The increased use of social media, particularly
Internet forums and social networking sites, has given new modes of expression to cultural and
linguistic identities, which "off line" may be restricted to small regions or localities. Moreover the
modern means of communication have triggered freer use of linguistic repertoires, drawing also
upon dialectic language varieties, in writing. This indicates language resources being used as
emblems for cultural identities, e.g. in marginal regions.
Texts in our data collection (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) contain remarkable and recognizable dialect
features and voice the images the writers are aiming to portray. In the process linguistic features
may be enlarged or stereotyped, leading to new meanings and authentications. This paper
analyzes and discusses the way such linguistic features are used in online communication and
how online identities thus become constructed.
Wang, X., Spotti, M., Juffermans, K., Cornips, L., Kroon, S. & Blommaert, J. (2014)
Globalization in the margins: toward a re-evaluation of language and mobility. Applied
Linguistics Review 5 (1), 23-44.
Keywords: regional identities, dialects, social media, globalization in the margins
Language ideology (1)
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Takaki, Nara Hiroko (Federal University of Mato Grosso do Sul)
Literacies in English language education in Brazil: Resignifying in global
Abstract: Critical literacies in Brazil are new if based on Freire´s own revision of his theories, after
2005. The Brazilian National Curriculum Guidelines for Secondary Schools - Foreign languages
(Menezes de Souza, Monte Mór, 2006) address such a revision. This paper is part of my research
at the Federal University of Mato Grosso do Sul in Brazil. It is also part of the National Project for
Teacher education: New Literacies, Multiliteracies and the Teaching of Languages (Monte Mór,
Menezes de Souza, 2009). This work discusses the question of critical citizenship within English
Language Teaching and Language Teacher Education in a community of under-graduate students.
Qualitative and interpretive research methodology is adopted for all the participants´ views and
the researcher´s theoretical underpinnings (theories of literacies, New London Group, 2000; postcolonial ethics, Takaki, 2013) are considered. Data include students´ production of video clips,
interactions via a specific Facebook group, participation in the classroom, reports on internship at
public schools. The outcome indicates that developing critical citizenship in education represents
an opportunity as the participants engage in resignifying their identities, meaning making and
reconnect their socio-historical roles within local-global contexts and digital societies.
Key words: Literacies, English language Education, Freire´s own revision.
Freire, P. Pedagogia da tolerância. (2005) São Paulo: Editora da UNESP, 2005.
Menezes De Souza, L. M.; Monte Mor, W. (2006) Orientações Curriculares para o Ensino Médio:
linguagens, códigos e suas tecnologias – conhecimentos de línguas estrangeiras. Brasília: MEC/SEB.
New London Group. A Pedagogy of Multiliteracies. Designing social futures. In B. Cope & M.
Kalantzis (Ed.), Multiliteracies. Literacy learning and the design of social futures. London, England,
New York, NY: Routledge, 2000.
Tajaki, N. H. Da metodologia d pesquisa em letramentos e sociedade para a ética: implicações
na formação continuada da comunidade científica. Polifonia, v. 19, nº 25, 2013, p. 87-109.
Global English
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Takano, Shoji (Hokusei Gakuen University)
Attitudes towards rapid globalization of a rural community and speakeroriented style shifts: the case of Niseko in Hokkaido
This study in progress (Takano 2014-2016) investigates the transformation of local identity and
its potential effects on linguistic variation and change in a rural community where globalization
has rapidly advanced. The research site, Niseko in Hokkaido, Japan, has experienced drastic social
changes for this past decade, along with a sharp increase in the number of foreign tourists and
long-term out-of-towner residents due to Niseko's worldwide fame and popularity as a ski resort.
It has been well documented that drastic social changes in local communities have a significant
impact on the residents' local identity and attitudes towards language varieties and may play a
critical role as a cause to lead linguistic variation and change in a particular direction (Labov 1963,
Gal 1978).
In this talk, I will focus on systematic relationships between Niseko residents' attitudes towards
the globalization of their community and variable style shifts in their language use. Analytical data
(elicited from approximately 30 Niseko residents) come from different modes of linguistic
practices including questionnaire surveys on language use, sociolinguistic interviews, and
pinpoint question sessions for knowing the residents' attitudes towards the globalization of the
community as well as their language ideologies.
Based on sociolinguistic interviews with a few residents who vary in terms of how they react to
social changes in the community, I first demonstrate that the speakers take advantage of stylistic
choices as the sociolinguistic resource for foregrounding their local ideologies that are
antagonistic to such radical social changes. Second, I discuss qualitative differences between the
outputs from questionnaire-based language use surveys and intra-speaker variability observed in
individuals' natural speech production, and finally I argue for the heuristic utility of adopting
different modes of linguistic data for investigating shifting identity and its impact on language use
in this globalized world.
Language and globalization (2)
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Tan, Tina (University of San Francisco)
Finding Canton(ese) in Guangzhou: An Exploration of Globalized Cultural
As the story goes, after the Xinhai Revolution in 1911, Sun Yat-Sen, who originated from the
Guangdong province, promoted Cantonese to be elected as the official Chinese language, but it
lost to Mandarin by two votes. There are questions as to the validity of this story (Ramsey, 1987),
but nonetheless, the story points to the distinction, and oftentimes contention, between Mandarin
and Cantonese. Mandarin is the official Chinese language in modern China, a new globalized
language; Cantonese is one of the oldest surviving Chinese languages in China (Snow, 2004),
used in Hong Kong, Macau, and overseas Chinese communities. In the Cantonese capital of
Guangzhou, the Cantonese language is facing encroachment as the Chinese government
implements the predominant use of Mandarin in public broadcasts and the educational system
(Tan, 2014).
In recent years, Guangzhou has displayed both implicit and explicit efforts in "defending
Cantonese" (Tong & Lei, 2014) through various cultural factors and social protests. I will closely
examine how the policy of Guangjun (
) Group to hire only Guangzhou natives to drive its
yellow taxis ("
") has played an implicit role in creating an "us-versus-them" dichotomy
(Jackson, 2013) between Guangzhou natives and the outsiders. Additionally, I examine the
explicit efforts of Guangzhou natives campaigning for "Cantonese Day." By looking at the cultural
politics over the usage of Cantonese in Guangzhou, this paper explores notions of how the
linguistic identity (Sidiropoulou, 2004) and cultural distinction (Bourdieu, 1979) of Guangzhou
serve as counter-forces of globalization (Chong, 2008) of the dominant use of Mandarin in the
mainstream Chinese media and as a so-called global language.
Chineses across the Sinospheres in a contemporary era of globalization: Resistance,
empowerment, and change
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Taquechel-Chaigneau, Roxana (Beijing Foreign Studies University)
Improvised interpreting as a solution in international professional
International companies are increasingly faced with the linguistic and cultural diversity of their
teams. Despite the fact that English is considered as a lingua franca to communicate in
multicultural contexts, the social actors only count it as an option among others. This means that
at all times and in all kind of situations, ELF is not the only solution to solve the multilingual
differences present in these companies. The absence of official interpreters that would be hired by
the international companies, and the issues related to the social actors' skills in English conduce
to the elaboration of improvised and local solutions in order to achieve the professional activity.
This obviously bears consequences on the way the activity is organized and on the coordination of
participation in the multi-participant situation.
The purpose of this research is to contribute from a conversation analysis perspective to studies
focused on cultural and linguistic diversity management. Through a series of audio-video
recordings of naturally occurring interactions at work in Beijing, I will examine how, despite the
variety of languages and cultures, interactants maintain 'social solidarity' (Heritage, 1984;
Clayman, 2002) and ensure the progression of the ongoing professional activity. It is assumed in
this work that international companies elaborate and use different kinds of solutions to carry out
their internal communication successfully without constraints of time ("time is money", Tietze
2008: 25). that often provoke linguistic efforts and the resolution of misunderstandings. In terms
of solutions, this research focused on multilingual interactions using improvised interpreters.
This study is focused on those 'interruptions' (Zimmerman & West, 1975; Okamoto et al. 2002;
Gibson, 2005) for initiating interpreting sequences warranting the progressivity of activity or
treating issues of misunderstanding, disagreement, among others. Moreover, I intend to
demonstrate how these interruptions are also exploited by interactants for ensuring the intercomprehension.
Keywords: multilingual interaction, professional settings, improvised interpreting, interruption,
Conversation Analysis
Workplace communication
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Taylor-Leech, Kerry (Griffith University, Queensland)
Transnational identities and new literacy practices in three new Australian
families of non English-speaking background: A simultaneity perspective
Contemporary Australian discourses express a strong expectation that non English-speaking
immigrants quickly acquire English and integrate into Australian society. This presentation
reports on a study of the bilingual home literacy practices of three new Australian families of non
English-speaking background, exploring in particular the role of new literacies (i.e., digital and
online literacies, mobile phone technologies and messaging) in the three families' lives. The aim
was to explore how their literacy practices might support second language development and
integration into the wider Australian community.
While transnational ties are nothing new, communication technologies now play a central role in
sustaining these ties, enabling instantaneous communication and rapid information transfer. This
means that migrants today are more engaged than ever before in transnational media flows and
multiple connections encompassing those who leave and those who stay behind (Levitt & GlickSchiller, 2004).
The notion of simultaneity, which incorporates ways of living located both in the country of
settlement and transnationally, provided a useful analytical lens. Observation, interviews and the
families' documentation of their own literacy practices provided detailed insights into their
everyday literacy habits and routines. Findings show that all families were avid users of new
technologies. Constant access to satellite TV, newspapers, music and film online provided
entertainment and sustained linguistic and cultural connections with the country of origin.
Internet telephony enabled easy contact with family and friends back home. Mobile phones
enabled contact with local community networks while social media provided instant access to
information about critical events and national/international networks in Australia and abroad.
This presentation explores the implications of these transnational literacy practices in relation to
the families' emerging identities as new Australians.
Keywords: transnational identities, Australia, NESB families, new literacies, simultaneity
Identity (2)
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Teo, Cherise Shi Ling (National University of Singapore)
Commodifying Green: A do-it-yourself or luxury lifestyle
Environmentalism or "Green living" is a global movement that has become what Wee (in press)
calls an "ethical regime" — an ethic that governs one's way of living. It has permeated many
organizations and changed the marketing discourse of tourism and other industries (Frandsen &
Johansen, 2001). Frandsen and Johansen also note the paradox of organizations' adoption of
Green initiatives as a corporate social responsibility in order to market themselves to consumers
when the Green movement tries to be the antithesis of consumption. Jaworski and Yeung (2010)
report that language can shape the attributes of a linguistic landscape by framing its functionality,
power or symbolic value. Keeping this principle in mind, this study investigates how the semiotic
landscape of Green living is commodified and differentiated through discursive practice in
Singapore's housing advertisements, i.e. how such housing are framed to constitute and support
Green living. These practices include naming strategies, such as the explicit incorporation of "eco"
in names like EcoSanctuary and eCo, and nature-themed names like Forestville and FernGrove.
Related phenomena are observed in promotional materials that highlight facilities for edible
gardens and recycling programs. Furthermore, an additional theme of luxury intersects with
environmentalism in private housing ads; advertisers push forward images and texts of estates
that won the "prestigious" Green Mark (a local award for environmentally-friendly buildings) due
to having sustainable landscaping that can be enjoyed by rich eco-conscious consumers. After all,
in this densely-populated city state, space to enjoy nature near/at home is considered a privilege.
Through a multimodal discourse analysis of housing advertisements, this study demonstrates
how a global movement may be translated into a less than homogeneous ethical regime to create
desirability, where commodified aspects of environmentalism are differentiated by luxury and
consumption culture.
Keywords: Environmentalism, Housing, Luxury, Mediation, Semiotic Landscape
Linguistic landscape (2)
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Tetreault, Chantal (Michigan State University)
Muslima Political Performances for the Online Umma: Women Activists and
Global Islam in the Internet Age
This paper adopts a discourse analytic perspective to address the emerging semiotic and
sociolinguistic patterning of recent political performances on the Internet by Muslim women who
are increasingly creating new spaces and roles for an online female political Islam. Specifically, I
analyze political activism by Muslim women who operate primarily from France, Canada, and the
United States, but whose online presence has attained global resonance. Taking the classical
Arabic notion of the Umma or "community of Islam"—a supranational concept dating from the
Qur'an—this paper analyzes its emerging semiotics in online forums in conjunction with
sociolinguistic patterns of enactments and descriptions of Muslim activist political identity. At the
core of these shifting semiotics is the figure of the muslima, or Muslim woman, both in terms of
how she represents herself in her activism but also what she represents in the emerging online
Umma. Whereas the concept of the Umma seems to indicate a shared understanding of
community and religious practice, recent YouTube videos by and about Muslim women's political
activism demonstrate a splintering of ideologies and interpretations regarding the role and place
of the muslima in modern global Islam, particularly physically within and discursively in relation
to "the West." Thus, the Internet serves as a new forum for exploring, generating, and contesting
supranational Muslim identities and communities, but also, through erasure, as a way to create
new prescriptive standards and ideologies regarding the contested figure of the muslima. I explore
these issues by examining current tropes and discursive trends, linguistic and visual, of the young
"modern Muslim woman" in online communication. Analyzing shifting interpretations and
meanings of this figure, I argue that the ideological ground of belonging and identity evoked by
muslima activism for the online Umma necessarily entail radically shifting scales relative to
geography and community.
New media, new standards? Standardization processes in digitally mediated space
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Theodoropoulou, Irene (Qatar University)
Sociolinguistic anatomy of mobility: Evidence from Qatar
This is a sociocultural linguistic study on the ways whereby mobility is reflected upon in life
narratives in English. An ethnographically informed sociolinguistic scale analysis of data taken
from 6 men, who have been living and working in Qatar for the past five years shows that they
construct their sense of mobility as a system with two axes on which people locate themselves:
one horizontal, with a spatiotemporal focus, and one vertical with a social stratification focus.
Both the Qatari nationals and the expat participants (one Italian, one Filipino and one Indian)
engage in upward mobility, but the social hierarchy system of the country is such that it allows for
certain levels of mobility maintained and perpetuated through people's lifestylistic practices and
sociolinguistic choices. Socially speaking, upward mobility is evident through the very high
salaries and the benefits locals receive from the State and the much higher salaries expats receive
in Qatar than in their native countries, which in turn pave the way for improvement of life
circumstances for all residents of Qatar, regardless of whether they are Qatari nationals or expats.
On the other hand, the linguistic aspect of this upward mobility is argued to be fleshed out by
looking at people's self-reflections, in which they employ primarily sociolinguistic upscaling and
stancetaking to talk about their life in Qatar and how it has improved compared to the past,
namely they allude to higher-order, i.e. decontextualized, scales. The two axes interact with each
other in indexically complex ways, which construct the very idea of mobility. Epistemologically
speaking, this study contributes towards the modeling of mobility as a constructed experience in
an under researched absolute monarchy-led, financially booming, rapidly expanding and
globalized context, such as Qatar.
Transnationalism (2)
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Thornton, Sean (Toyo University)
Does a corpus analysis of Robert Phillipson's theory of Linguistic
Imperialism reveal any characteristics that justify it being labelled, by some
scholars, as a conspiracy theory?
Robert Phillipson's theory of Linguistic Imperialism has been called a conspiracy theory by other
scholars such as Bernard Spolsky and Alan Davies. The basic theory of Linguistic Imperialism is
that dominant nations take overt and covert action to use their language as a tool to consolidate
their dominance.
This study aimed to empirically assess the theory of Linguistic Imperialism and to determine
whether there is any validity to the accusation that it constitutes a conspiracy theory.
Three corpora were built and analysed using Wordsmith and Wmatrix: a corpus of Robert
Phillipson's works on Linguistic Imperialism, a corpus of self-identified conspiracy theories, and a
control corpus comprised of mixed academic works from multiple disciplines. Suiterbert Ertel's
DOTA - "Dogmatism Text Analysis" technique was used to assess the level of dogmatism present
in the three corpora.
The operative hypothesis was that there is a correlation between the level of dogmatism and the
level of conspiratorial thinking. The corpus analysis was primarily concerned with collocations
and how they manifest in the concordances of the corpora, with some additional consideration
given to semantic prosody.
The core findings of the study were that the conspiracy theory corpus was high in dogmatism and
that the Robert Phillipson corpus was not only low in dogmatism but, at points, lower even than
the control corpus. The premise of the work being that dogmatism correlates with conspiratorial
thinking means that the study concludes that Linguistic Imperialism does not constitute a
conspiracy theory.
Keywords: Linguistic Imperialism, Corpus Linguistics, Conspiracy Theories, Dogmatism,
Language Policy.
Language ideology (2)
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Thurlow, Crispin (University of Bern)
Decentring the linguist OR Language workers of the world unite!
The academic literature is awash with research on language in the workplace, and there are
hundreds of studies that examine any number of institutional and professional contexts. With
surprisingly few exceptions, however, sociolinguists, discourse analysts and applied linguists
(even linguistic anthropologists) tend to write about the same old domains: medicine, law,
education, etc. There remains very little research on the far wider richer world of wordsmiths and
almost none which privileges the perspectives of language workers themselves. Workplace
language is invariably abstracted and recontextualized as a "text" (or, better yet, a transcript) for
analysis and discussion. Language is thereby detached and removed from language workers and
re-presented (knowingly and expertly) by academics on their behalf. In this opening paper, and in
line with the other presenters in this panel, I want to consider how we might close the gap
between linguists and other language workers, without "selling out" and necessarily sacrificing our
own scholarly principles and objectives. Inevitably and quite understandably, language workers are
caught within institutional orders of discourse and well as their own language ideologies, their
own beliefs about language. But then, so are we.
Keywords: language workers, applied linguistics, collaboration, 'knowledge mobilization’
Engaging the world of language work/ers
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Tinkler, Gisela (Vienna University of Economics and Business)
Management consultants' self-presentations in LinkedIn Summaries
Investing in impression management (IM) and communicating one's worth as a professional has
been shown to be relevant for career advancement (Guadagno & Cialdini 2007). So far, male
professionals have been more successful than their female peers in applying self-presentation
tactics, one reason being that female professionals are often systematically excluded from settings
used for doing IM (Rudolph 2004). More recently, however, professional online social networking
sites (SNSs) such as LinkedIn are providing a means for overcoming such systematic obstacles
found in the offline world. The LinkedIn Summary is a section in which users can freely compose
their professional mini-biography. While there is an abundance of guidelines for such a LinkedIn
summary, actual compositions have not been studied. Thus, this study intends to provide first
insights into what constitutes a LinkedIn Summary. More precisely, the study focuses on
summaries composed by a particular type of professionals, viz. management consultants. Having
applied genre analytical procedures for eliciting macro-level moves (Bhatia 1993; Biber, Connor &
Upton 2007), the results suggest a strong emphasis on moves highlighting the consultants as
knowledgeable, reputable individuals. Interestingly, the results reveal that on this macro-level,
there are no significant gender differences, suggesting that the male and female consultants in
this sample follow similar strategies for self-presentation.
Bhatia, V. 1993. Analysing Genre: Language Use in Professional Settings. London: Longman.
Biber, D., U. Connor, T. Upton. 2007. Discourse on the move: Using corpus analysis to describe
discourse structure. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
Guadagno, R. & R. Cialdini. 2007. Gender Differences in Impression Management in
Organizations: A Qualitative Review. Sex Roles 56(7-8). 483-494.
Rudolph, H. 2004. Beyond the Token Status: Women in Business Consultancies in Germany.
Discussion Paper SP III 2004-202. Berlin.
Keywords: online self-presentation, LinkedIn, genre analysis, management consultants, gender
Language and globalization (1)
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Torgersen, Eivind (Sør-Trøndelag University College)
Fagyal, Zsuzsanna (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)
A comparison of speech rhythm and vowel processes in Multicultural London
English and Multicultural Paris French
It has been hypothesized that language contact can lead to change in rhythm types through
changes in the vowel systems. We argue that multicultural language varieties in London and Paris
show such contact influence and that the mechanisms might be related. Today, young non-Anglos
in London are more syllable-timed than Anglos due to a leveling of vowel contrasts (Torgersen
and Szakay, 2012). Contact influence on rhythm was also found in Paris where speakers with only
knowledge of French were syllable-timed, while speakers of immigrant descent who spoke
typologically stress-timed languages in addition to French were more stressed-timed due to a
greater overall variability of vowel durations (Fagyal 2010a).
The syllable-timed rhythm in London is closely linked to monophthongisation of particular
diphthongs and these vowel variants have shorter duration (Torgersen and Szakay, 2012).
Similarly, the contact-induced stressed-timed rhythm observed in Paris can be linked to shorter
vowel durations in unaccented syllables (Fagyal 2010b) and perhaps greater variation in the vowel
system with the return of low back vowel allophone [ɑ] (vs. [a]) before coda /ʁ/ (e.g. /vwɑʁ/
Jamin (2007)).
Fagyal, Zs. (2010a). Rhythm types and the speech of working-class youth in a banlieue of Paris:
The role of vowel elision and devoicing. Methods in Sociophonetics. In D. Preston and N.
Niedzielski (eds.). Berlin: Mouton. 91-132.
Fagyal, Zs. (2010b). Accents de Banlieue: Aspects prosodiques du français populaire en contact avec les
langues de l'immigration. Paris: L'Harmattan.
Jamin, M. (2007). The return of [ɑ] in Parisian French. Nottingham French Studies. 46(2): 23-39.
Torgersen, E. and Szakay A. (2012). An investigation of speech rhythm in London English.
Lingua 122(7): 822-840.
Language change in London and Paris
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Turner, Irina (Bayreuth University)
My avatar and I – does concurrence matter when entering the job market?:
Linguistic online identities of isiXhosa graduate students
While even monolingual people apply different registers in varying communicative contexts,
multilingual persons, in addition, make use of code- switching and -mixing skills to adhere to the
culture and requirements of a specific social setting. Though, in certain contexts, this might not
be an advantage.
Although South Africa is a genuinely multi-lingual society with 11 official and many unofficial
national languages, the South African business world is dominated by English and skills in this
language are an important qualification on the job market. Thus, employers often check
applicants' online profiles to aid their appointment decisions.
Young educated people on the brink of the job market subconsciously or strategically use social
media, such as Facebook, LinkedIn, or WhatsApp, not only to chat to friends but also to build a
"personal brand" and develop a network, relevant to their future career. Thus, the lines between
private/social and professional/career-related are often blurred in these spaces.
Does the publicly accessible sphere of the internet perhaps result in a phenomenon where the
online personality, the avatar, even in communication amongst peers, differs from the offline
personality, where code-mixing and switching might be more prevalent? Are one's chances of
getting a job seemingly increased by the portrayal of a "global" English identity?
The paper seeks to explore the question of whether there is a discrepancy between linguistic
online self-representation and offline language use among isiXhosa-speaking graduating students
at Fort Hare University, South Africa; with a special focus on career-related issues.
A qualitative Discourse Analysis of students' online profiles is contrasted with face-to-face
interviews on language use and attitudes towards multilingualism as well as stakeholder
interviews with potential employers and their assessment criteria with regards to internet
Keywords: Online-identity, code-switching, employment, graduate students
Nodes and trajectories (1)
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Umemura, Yayoi (Tsukuba University, , Graduate School of
International and Advanced Japanese Studies)
Miscommunication in talk at work between Japanese and Chinese employees
in a joint-venture company in China
By the end of 2009, more than 35 thousand Japanese-Chinese joint ventures have been registered
in China. As has been well documented corporate globalization increases communication conflicts
among individuals of different cultural backgrounds. Considerable quantitative and qualitative
work has been done and much effort has been invested in identifying the source of the
misunderstandings (Nishida 2007, Bazzannella and Damiano 1999). However, there have been
few studies exploring these Japanese-Chinese joint ventures from a linguistic perspective.
This paper focuses on the naturally occurring talk in interaction between native speakers and nonnative speakers that was recorded during fieldwork at a Japanese-affiliated company located in
Suzhou, China. Using Japanese as a lingua franca, Chinese and Japanese employees communicate
with each other in Japanese about work. By analysing their conversations based on a theoretical
and methodological framework of conversation analysis and focusing on the trouble sources
which trigger misunderstandings, I attempt to explore how miscommunication arises (Schegloff
et al. 1977).
I will present several extracts, in some of which the Chinese and Japanese employees recognize
the emergence of trouble and solve it successfully, but in some, they fail to do so. In the latter
cases the interlocutor's understanding is partially or totally deviant from what the speaker
intended to communicate, and they are not aware of the trouble occurring in the on-going
interaction. This unrecognized and unconscious trouble subsequently causes the
misunderstanding. Nevertheless, I argue that this cannot to be solved only by acquiring an
advanced Japanese competence on the side of Chinese employees. Instead, I have proposed to the
company that cooperative communication training is necessary to overcome the difficulties among
Keywords: globalization, Japanese-Chinese joint venture, cross-cultural communication,
conversation analysis
Virtual workplace talk
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Vajta, Katharina (University of Gothenburg)
Learning a language, learning an ideology: French and its travelling discourse
In this paper, drawing on the notion of discourses that travel (Blommaert 2005: 72), I will present
how the discourse about France and French language has traveled through time and space and,
more precisely, consider how French national imaginary and language ideology can end up in
current language textbooks in French, published in Sweden.
Textbooks in languages generally endeavor to make the culture of the target language desirable
and attractive, and therefore display verbal and iconic representations pertaining to it. In addition,
the context of learning is a context of power and authority which also legitimises representations
transmitted within it. Hence, the studied language school books will here be considered as a
discursive space where values, attitudes and language ideology are reproduced into a foreign
context. I will discuss how the school books display cultural knowledge as linked to France and
French national imaginary, give examples of how French language ideology is present and show
how French national symbols operate in the multimodal text. I will argue that learning French
here also implies a subtle learning of a national ideology linked to the country and to the
language. Consequently, French culture can be seen as a decontextualised and recontextualised
national discourse which, however, looses in value and meaning. This process could then also be
seen as a process of commodification of culture, turning France and French culture – for instance
French food – into a commodity. Methodo¬logi¬cally, the analysis draws on critical discourse
analysis and systemic functional grammar as well as on a multimodal approach.
Blommaert, Jan (2005) Discourse. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Keywords: French, language text books, ideology, national imaginary, discourse
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Vakser, Sabina (University of Melbourne)
Solovova, Olga (University of Coimbra)
'Stuck in this time warp': Exploring temporality in superdiversity
This paper explores discourses of temporal discontinuity from the perspective of a Russianspeaking couple in Melbourne, Australia, self-positioned at 'opposite ends of the Russian
spectrum'. Through self-recordings from the couple and follow-up interviews, I explore depictions
of migrant groups as 'stuck' in supposed 'time warps'. Such groups come to represent cultural
'parodies' by virtue of salient practices which echo former times and places, but which, once
recontextualized, embody a whole new reality. This creates a conflation of timescales (Wortham,
2005), as perceptions of Russianness are compared across national, regional, and generational
Interestingly, it is speakers within the same 'Russian community' who portray fellow members as
'stuck': between times, between countries, between languages – between a figurative land and sea,
deemed as 'fish out of water', despite decades overseas. I argue that a nuanced engagement with
the notion of scale (Lemke, 2001; Blommaert, 2007) helps to reconcile these contradictions, and
that such narratives, often conveyed in exaggerated language, propel discursive shift towards
transnational normality.
I further explore these spatial and temporal disjunctures with reference to Erickson's (2004)
discussion of dual time. The paper concludes by sketching a provisional bridge between studies of
temporality and superdiversity (Blommaert & Rampton, 2011).
Blommaert, J. (2007). Sociolinguistic scales. Intercultural Pragmatics, 4(1), 1-19.
Blommaert, J., & Rampton, B. (2011). Language and superdiversity: A position paper. Urban
Language and Literacy, 1-22.
Erickson, F. (2004). Talk and social theory: Ecologies of speaking and listening in everyday life.
Cambridge: Polity Press.
Lemke, J. (2001). The long and the short of it: Comments on multiple timescale studies of
human activity. The Journal of the Learning Sciences, 10(1-2), 17-26.
Wortham, S. E. (2005). Socialization beyond the speech event. Journal of Linguistic Anthropology,
15(1), 95-112.
Keywords: temporality, superdiversity, transnationalism, Russianness
Russian as a transnational resource
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Valdez, Paolo Nino (De La Salle University)
Tan, Neslie Carol (De La Salle University)
Repackaging the Local: English and Resemioticization of Tourism Discourse
in the Philippines
Since globalization is characterized by mobility of resources, the tourism industry is considered as
one potential area for those interested in sociolinguistics of globalization. While tourism can be
attributed to the growing capitalist dream of exploration, it is replete with asymmetrical
hierarchies that are motivated by consumption, exploitation and commodification. This paper
examines the Philippines' campaign, 'it's more fun in the Philippines' employing the analytical lens
of sociolinguistics of globalization. Specifically, it attempts to identify the linguistic and
multimodal resources deployed in ads promoting the Philippines. Moreover, it also seeks to
determine the indexical hierarchies that constitute to the tourist experience as a commodified
entity. It initially maps out the current state of the tourism industry in the country and proceeds
with identifying indexical markers produced by tensions between global and local political, socioeconomic and socio-cultural forces. Employing a linguistic and semiotic analysis of ads produced
by the campaign, the paper identifies patterns of appropriation and resemioticization which does
not only recontextualizes the potential tourist experience but effectively repackages the notion of
locality as a construct possessing material value. Further, it argues that due to the ever growing
chaos brought by globalization, tourism brings about interesting intersections between the local,
global as well as authenticity and commodification.
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Van Der Aa, Jef (Tilburg University)
The complex situation and how best to address it
Half a century ago, Erving Goffman complained about the fact that in spite of significant advances
in analytical technique, the young generation of sociolinguists of his era still underestimated and
"neglected" what he called "the situation". This situation, he explained, was the concrete material
and sociocognitive arena in which people interacted. Decoding the complexity of such situations,
as we know, provided the impetus in his work and led to an extraordinarily sophisticated
systematic "frame analysis". Half a century later, it is claimed that superdiversity has generated
even more complexity in the Goffmanian "situation". While Goffman was concerned with
interactions characterized (and delineated) by physical co-presence, situations now include highly
intricate aspects of online and offline "co-presence" (a term now in search of a referent), and any
notion of "context" – descriptive as well as analytically, as the source of "contextualization cues",
now has to account for layered, scaled and fractured "frames within frames" infusing different
forms of meaning effects within interactions, across interactions and beyond interactions. We thus
effectively arrive at a complex sociolinguistic ontology, in which objects of analysis can no longer
be presented as unidimensional moments of meaning-making (the classic "events" of early
sociolinguistics and much of contemporary discourse analysis). Such objects now raise analytical
issues having to do with spacetime distribution and trajectories of meaning-making, of multiple
actors beyond the immediate "event", of very different meaning-effects, of new forms of interplay
between momentary and systemic aspects of socially meaningful behavior – all of which require a
different methodological stance and vocabulary. In this paper, we shall present data documenting
contemporary forms of social work interaction in a superdiverse urban setting in Belgium, and we
shall propose a renewed form of ethnographic monitoring as a model of analysis, useful for a
sociolinguistics of complexity
Complex sociolinguistics
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Van Hoof, Sarah (University of Oslo)
Linguistic practices in non-commercial media: standardization and hybridity
in a late 1970s monopolist public broadcaster
As a result of the emergence of the globalised new economy, modern metadiscursive regimes have
been challenged by new conditions which have often been argued to be more favourable to hybrid
linguistic practices. In Flemish Belgium, particularly the broadcast media are often considered to
illustrate this transformation. The liberalization of the Flemish TV market is seen to have
transformed the public broadcaster VRT from a modernist institution aiming at educating viewers
into a competitive corporation eager to commodify vernacular language use to attract high ratings.
The media thus appear to have become a key site for the positive validation of both traditionally
low-status speech styles and hybrid linguistic practices, mixing standard and dialect features.
This contribution questions the discourse on the sociolinguistic effects of the commercialisation
of media on the basis of an analysis of programmes aired by the VRT in an era which is usually
considered to predate the abovementioned changes, viz. the late 1970s. Focusing on TV fiction,
this paper demonstrates how at that time the genre already evidenced hybrid linguistic practices.
Rather than being a counter-hegemonic force brought about by commercialisation, these practices
seem to result from actors' and producers' critical engagement with the standard language
ideology the broadcaster explicitly propagated in other, more serious, genres. Therefore this
contribution argues that instead of conceiving of the sociolinguistic changes in Flemish
broadcasting as a transition from (modern) standardization to (postmodern) hybridity, it might be
more productive to describe them as a gradual shift in balance between standardising and
vernacularising forces. This shift does not entail the negation of the ideology of the standard.
Rather, the vernacularization of TV fiction in large parts reproduces the cultural assumptions on
language that the ideology of the standard has sustained for decades in Flanders.
broadcast media, standardization, language and commodification
The commodification of languages and speakers in late capitalism
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Vandenbroucke, Mieke (Ghent University)
Displacing gentrification: a diachronic case-study of language in Brussels'
Quartier Dansaert
Global cities in the Global North are increasingly experiencing similar socioeconomic
developments: (i) urban regeneration and gentrification of postindustrial central neighbourhoods,
(ii) demographic changes which result in an increasingly diversified, multilingual, global and
highly mobile population, as well as (iii) adamant post-Fordist social inequality and professional
income polarization. While much has been observed and written about these globalized
phenomena in general, this paper focuses on these social changes as they play out 'on the ground'
and are (in)directly reflected in the semiotic landscape of one inner-city neighbourhood in
Brussels, the Quartier Dansaert.
By drawing on a systematic, diachronic corpus of LL data (2008-2014) combined with earlier
studies of its main commercial artery (1978; 1991; 1998) and interviews with local inhabitants,
front row witnesses and long-term participants in its urban redevelopment, I address the
Quartier's petit récit and socioeconomic and ethnolinguistic history with particular reference to
the emblematic role language played in its transformation from a francophone, downscale
immigrant-populated, impoverished quarter in the 1970s into an artistic hotspot gentrified by
Dutch-speaking Dansaert-Flemings during the 1990s and, most recently, an even more
expansively gentrifying sought-after neighbourhood by the arrival of a new transnational elite;
each subsequent demographic change in part displacing and decentralizing inhabitants and
commercial establishments previously in place.
In line with these three diachronic stages, the LL data uncovers a shift in commercial activity (in
terms of genre, commodities and range), prevalent language choices and hierarchies, foreign
language diversity, commercial discourses of ethnic or commodified language use, etc, all
indicative of larger socioeconomic changes in demographics, resources, clientele and consumer
As a case-study of everyday social life in global cities, this paper also underlines the inherent value
of contextualized, mixed-method approaches to LL-related academic inquiry.
Linguistic landscape (2)
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Vandenbussche, Wim (Vrije Universiteit Brussel)
Cotter, Colleen (Queen Mary University of London)
Journalists as standard-language advocates and the dynamics of newsroom
Journalists have a very conscious awareness of language as the primary tool of their craft,
correlating prescriptive usage with professional literacy and skill and emphasizing these points at
all stages of professional development, starting in newswriting classes and continuing throughout
their careers. On one level, as self-identified “protectors” of the language, they explicitly follow
prescriptive norms and operate as arbiters of usage, in the process functioning as an active partner
in society’s language standardization dynamic, fostered by the written variety. On another level,
they respond to social and cultural change, promoting (or reacting to) linguistic innovation in
ways that other standard-language-based registers (e.g., in education, academic publishing) do
The ethnographic and historical data we provide make this intersection clear (e.g., prescriptive
grammatical rules are upheld; socially sensitive terms of reference are modulated). The state of
the language is very much part of journalists’ professional discourse or meta-talk, as we show in
contemporary and historical examples, in the US and Europe. The data show the degree to which
there is an ongoing conversation or meta-talk about language within the news profession (the
contemporary examples); the expansion of this engagement that journalist-specific online
discussion formats have afforded in the 21st century and the way this local communityprofessional expert dynamic played out in the 19th century; and the active role the news media
expect themselves to play in the linguistic and social support and maintenance of the standard
variety -- across time periods and socio-cultural situations.
De) standardization in the newsroom: an internal perspective on news products and
newsmaking processes.
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Vandendaele, Astrid (Ghent University)
Van Praet, Ellen (Ghent University)
Unseen is unsold: the role of the subeditor in a globalized media landscape
Contexts of rapid change, mobility and unfettered flows of information significantly impact on
newsroom dynamics. Zooming in on the sub-editing phase of news production, this paper aims to
open the debate about the role of the journalist, and the skills he/she should be equipped with to
compete in the ever-changing, globalized, economically challenged news media landscape.
Relying on a corpus of 60 articles from a Belgian broadsheet newspaper, we trace the differences
between the 'initial' (article right before the sub-editing stage) and 'final' (published) versions of
five different types of news article. Our main findings are that (i) in the sub-editing phase –
contrary to popular believe that sub-editors mainly 'hack away' at news stories - additions are
predominant. Moreover, (ii) most interventions occur in the high stakes articles (e.g. front page
news articles). Finally, (iii) interventions can be mainly found in the so-called 'entry points' of an
article: those elements of an article, such as headlines, photo captions and quotes, where readers
stop scanning and actually start reading.
The subeditor's role gradually shifts from processing content to producing content. His task
entails the crucial skill of capturing readers' attention, and highlighting what is seen, and
therefore, crucially, what is sold. Relating these observations to aspects of media globalization,
our paper aims to shed light on understanding the role of the journalist in the global age: in a
Digital First and globalized newsroom, journalists who have specialized in subediting will play
multiple roles. Could the sub-editor in fact be 'the journalist of the future'?
(De)standardization in the newsroom: An internal perspective on news products and
newsmaking proces
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Veronique, Conte (University of Technology, Sydney / Université
Lumière Lyon2)
Global Resources for Local Repertoires : investigating resources in
interaction across contexts
Drawing on the "(de)centring and (de)centralization" paradigm under which the conference is
held, this paper investigates the way university students handle the hyper-diversity of cultural and
linguistic resources which characterised the XXI° century.
The focus on university students relies on the fact that these generation Y members are nowadays
fully participating in the multiplication and diversification of both linguistic and cultural
resources. Not only traveling and living abroad have become easier, but they also make the most
of the dematerialised access to goods and online means of communication, transforming the
world into one whole pool of available resources.
Taking up on the challenges this represents, this study targets students who are participating in
an academic exchange programme between France and Australia, exposing themselves to different
institutional and metrolingual contexts.
In order to understand how the available resources are combined, taken up or disregarded by the
students, the corpus is based on day-long recordings – both in their "home country" and during
their exchange. This allows us to observe how the resources are used by the students in
interaction and across contexts - such as home, university, at work, meeting friends, shopping and
so on. In doing so, we are combining a biographical and a spatial approach to Repertoire
(respectively developed by Blommaert and Pennycook & Ostuji), offering an original insight on
repertoire, trajectories (of people and of resources) and communicative creativity.
Blommaert, J. 2014, From mobility to complexity in sociolinguistic theory and method, Tilburg Paper in
Culture Studies
Otsuji & Pennycook, 2014, Unremarkable Hybridities and Metrolingual Practices in The Global-Local
Interface and hybridity, Multilingual Matters
Rymes, B. 2014, Communication beyond Language, Everyday Encounters with Diversity, Routledge
Language mobility
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Víctor, Corona
(Instituto de Investigación y Desarrollo Educativo, Universidad
Autónoma de Baja California)
The emergence of Latino voices in Barcelona: Reggaeton, language style and
Barcelona is one within a network of cities with an urban, multilingual, and multiethnic context.
In these places, as Harris argues (2006) we observe how people, especially of the younger
generation, can redefine or renegotiate their identities in daily activities that entail the use of
languages. From the field of sociolinguistics, this phenomenon has been perceived in some of the
results obtained through an ethnographic sociolinguistic investigation (Pujolar, 2000; Heller,
2003; Bloomaert, 2003) that I conducted over a period of 7 years with a group of young people
with Latin American origins (2005-2013). In this presentation I will be sharing some data which
shows how these young people understand what is considered "Latino" as "communities of
practices" (Rampton, 2006) in which ethnic origin, linguistic varieties, and style related with the
musical genre reggaeton are of great importance. In fact, as other studies have shown in different
contexts (Androutsopoulos, 2003, 2009; Alim, 2004, 2006; Pennycook, 2007; Sakara & Allen,
2007) it is precisely this musical genre, which is included in the world of Hip-Hop, that locally
develops and reaffirms them as "Latinos". In the examples that I will analyze, we will see how
rhythm, lyricism, and other privileged linguistic varieties that are used in reggaeton songs display
Latin youth in everyday conversations with other young people, especially in moments where they
are particularly inclined to express their "Latinidad".
“Hip-hop as a site of pedagogy”: Implications of hip-hop culture for local pedagogies
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Vigouroux, Cecile B. (Simon Fraser University)
Migrants' mobilities, the linguistic habitus, and language ideologies
As is evident from the now vast literature on the linguistics, anthropology, and sociology of
migration, language has become a key component of the global mobility regime and a means used
by nation-states to assert their sovereignty. Work done in linguistic ethnography has convincingly
shown how language may be an impediment for people who don't speak the "right" variety as they
may be excluded from the local job market or denied asylum. On the other hand, many of our
questions as linguists have been informed by a literacy-based ideology of language learning which
is not the one by which all migrants operate.
Based on longitudinal ethnographic fieldwork in Cape Town with African migrants from the
Democratic Republic of Congo, I argue that language ideologies and linguistic habitus are two
important factors that influence the way migrants construct their mobility from a language point
of view. Multilingual migrants whose experience of language acquisition has been mainly
unguided don't always frame the lack of proficiency in the language of their new, host
environment as a potential barrier to their economic or social adjustment. Having learned their
African vernacular or vehicular languages naturalistically, they are used to face the challenges of
novel communicative settings and learn the new language by immersion rather than by enrolling
in a course. I claim that part of our scholarly construction of the correlation between language
proficiency and socioeconomic mobility does not necessarily reflect migrants' diverse experiences
on the ground. Quite importantly, it does not reflect how they construct their linguistic
repertoires and identify their resources, to survive in different environments. This perspective
entails considering when a migrant can claim competence in a particular language and what such
a claim helps them accomplish socially or economically.
Keywords: Language and migration, language ideology, linguistic habitus
Language and the black box of migration: Asian and African perspectives
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Vitorio, Raymund (National University of Singapore and King's
College London)
Language Ideologies and Linguistic Performances in the Superdiverse
Philippine Tourism Industry
Globalization has played a significant role in the construction of the Philippine tourism industry
as a superdiverse linguistic market. While the Philippine tourism industry creates new structures
of inequality, it also serves as a site of semiotic mobility. Using an ethnographic approach, this
paper examines three fieldwork sites—Intramuros, a Spanish heritage city in Manila; Boracay, the
country's most famous beach island; and Puerto Princesa, a relatively new tourism hotspot. While
globalization assigns different currencies to various linguistic repertoires, the ten tour guides
observed in this study challenged such notions with their own language ideologies of ownership
and linguistic performances. Tour guides assigned positive instrumental values to Philippine
languages. They also engaged in performances of metalinguistic humor, crossing, and re-scaling of
semiotic resources (eg. use of costumes and props), which allowed them to strategically negotiate
their position in the linguistic market. This counters the dominant rhetoric of the wider
Philippine society that local varieties and languages are not valuable because they only serve local
functions. Philippine English proves to be a viable resource in simultaneously creating images of
local authenticity and cosmopolitanism. It allows tour guides to challenge the perceived
superiority of native speakers of English and other foreign languages, an attitude that is still
prevalent in the tourism industry. This shows that traditional power structures are consistently
negotiated, which makes the tourism industry an example of polycentricity. I argue that these
ideologies and performances help us understand how tour guides exercise their voice, or "capacity
for semiotic mobility" (Blommaert, 2005:69). By revisiting the notions of re-scaling, orders of
indexicality, and polycentricity, I also identify possible trajectories of English and other languages
and varieties in the Philippine tourism industry.
Blommaert, J. (2005). Discourse. Cambridge; New York: Cambridge University Press.
Keywords: tourism, superdiversity, language ideologies, performativity, mobility
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Vladimirou, Dimitra (Hellenic American University)
Daskalaki, Maria (Kingston University/ School of Management)
Crisis Discourses in Organization Studies: Movements Across Centers and
Academic knowledge production and evaluation has been studied as a phenomenon situated
across global and (semi)peripheral contexts (Bennett 2014). The metaphor of scales draws
attention to the study of academic discourses as practices that develop across vertical,
hierarchically organized layers (Blommaert 2011). The present paper drawing on conceptual tools
from social geography and sociolinguistics, seeks to explore representations of the recent financial
crisis (2008-2014) in a corpus of management and organization studies journal articles. Drawing
on 4 sub-corpora, each occupying a different position in the impact factor continuum, we address
the question: Who talks about the crisis, where and how?
Building on the work of Lillis and Curry (2010), we view networked activities and citation
practices as social capital in the global academic economy. In our analysis we first map out
authors' networked activities by examining their affiliations and their citation practices. We focus
on the formation of local and transnational networks, based in center and/ or peripheral
institutions, and we explore their functions across the different types of journals examined. In the
second part of the analysis we turn our attention to the geopolitics of academic knowledge
production by examining the rhetorical construction of the so-called 'Global Financial Crisis' as a
locally and/or globally relevant phenomenon. To achieve this, we pay special attention to the
representations of locally relevant studies in contexts heavily affected by the crisis during the last
6 years (such as Spain, Greece).
Finally, this paper also contributes to critical studies of management and organization studies by
mapping out the spaces occupied by differentially ranked journals (Association of Business
Schools List, 2010) and by uncovering some of the complex process of knowledge construction
across these spaces.
Critical discourse analysis
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Wagner, Melanie (University of Luxembourg)
The antagonistic view of multilingualism in Luxembourg: love and hate of
Luxembourg is officially a trilingual country with most indigenous Luxembourgers speaking
Luxembourgish, German and French, even if not necessarily all to the same standard. A high
proportion (44.5%) of the population consists of immigrants whose different linguistic
repertoires add other languages to the multilingual landscape of the country. Multilingualism is a
highly salient feature of Luxembourg's society and plays out differently in different domains, such
as home, school, work or public institutions. Multilingualism, language use, language choice and
language competence are topics frequently debated in Luxembourg's society and are fiercely
discussed in newspapers' letters to the editor and in Facebook group.
In this paper, I would like to investigate the antagonistic view of this historically grown
multilingualism in Luxembourg, which is mostly seen as a positive and exemplary attribute by the
outside world. A preliminary analysis of a corpus, compiled of letters to the editor as well as
Facebook group pages, has shown that views on Luxembourg's multilingualism are twofold. An
analysis of the metalinguistic comments will provide an insight into existent language ideologies
and will show that on the one hand, multilingualism is considered an advantage and a positive
asset, but on the other hand, that people consider living in this multilingual setting a challenge or
even a struggle. In this paper, I would like to show that living with multilingualism is not black
and white but that there are many grey areas where language policy comes against language
ideologies and competence and that this consequentially may lead to heated discussions.
Keywords: multilingualism, antagonistic perception of multilingualism, language ideologies,
language policy
Multilingualism (2)
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Walker, James (York University)
Nagy, Naomi (University of Toronto)
Hoffman, Michol (York University)
Challenges of Diversity and Identity in Toronto
Toronto's ethnolinguistic diversity challenges its residents to balance assimilation to the majority
language and culture with maintaining their heritage language (HL) and culture. The city's 'ethnic
enclaves' help promote HL maintenance but are argued to result in English 'ethnolects'.
This paper reports on two projects studying the sociolinguistic consequences of diversity from
two perspectives: 'Contact in the City' investigates the English of different ethnic groups and
'Heritage Language Variation and Change' examines HL maintenance and change. Both projects
divide speakers between 1st (G1) and 2nd/3rd (G2/G3) generation and use recorded
sociolinguistic interviews that include an Ethnic Orientation (EO) questionnaire to gauge ethnic
identity and language attitudes.
We present an overview of studies testing the effects of sociolinguistic factors on phonetic and
grammatical features that represent stable variation, ongoing changes in Canadian English, and
ethnolectal features. As expected, G1 speakers' English is non-native and their HL shows little
evidence of English influence. Although G2/G3 English differs in rates of use, the linguistic
conditioning of the variation is not significantly different across groups. G2/G3 HL shows some
evidence of innovation but little evidence of English influence.
These results suggest that young Torontonians of different ethnic backgrounds have all acquired
the same linguistic system of Canadian English. However, they appear to convey their ethnicity
through subtle manipulation of rates of use, phonetic realization and degrees of participation in
ongoing changes. Similarly, they maintain their HL as a living language that features variation and
change, and may be tracking developments of the HL in the homeland. Examining the
sociolinguistic consequences of globalization in Toronto from both perspectives allows us to gain
a more nuanced view of how speakers use the linguistic resources in a multilinguistic context to
navigate the construction of complex identities.
Nodes and trajectories (1)
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Wang, Chaofang (Chang Jung Christian University)
Variants superlative expressions in the Hispanic world
The aim of this paper is to show the variants superlative expressions in the Hispanic world. My
goal is to find out the use of the superlative forms and varieties. Following this direction, I have
focused my analysis on input from surveys made by Spanish speakers from different countries.
First, locate the varieties of Spanish in terms of this application. Second, relate them to their
social and geographical context to give a more complete picture of the Spanish. This result
reflected the variation of both diatopical as diastratic superlative formulas. Addition, we will
discuss some peculiar expressions occurring in both Spain and Latin America such as " very": bien
mucho trabajo(Spanish in Mexico), te quiero un chorro (Spanish in Mexico), repetition of -ísimo
as hermosísisimo (Spanish in Mexico), full (the influence of English in young Ecuadorians), etc. If
we analyze the results of these surveys from the sociolinguistic point of view, we note that the
younger the respondent, the more words are accepted, especially in the case of young women.
Meanwhile, respondents between 40 and 60 years both women and men tend to have more
negative reaction and critical of the words that are unusual in their linguistic knowledge: we can
confirm this from only one meaningful response very two respondents aged 40-60 years. They are
more conservative. For the other hand,it seems certain that the other side of the Atlantic are more
regularly used "demasiado" and "sobrado" with "very" meaning. We can thus confirm that variants
superlative expressions in the Hispanic world are immense and diverse, especially, are distributed
according to the sociolinguistic factores.
Wang, Chaofang (2013): The Spanish superlative formulas in the eighteenth and nineteenth
centuries, Autonomous University of Madrid, thesis: unpublished work.
Keywords: superlative expressions in Spanish, Spanish varieties, Sociolinguistics, regional
varieties, Anglicism
Language and globalization (2)
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Wedel Schoning, Signe (University of Copenhagen)
Madsen, Lian Malai (University of Copenhagen)
Linguistic hybridity and constructions of centrality and peripherality in
Recent studies of the effects of globalisation in peripheral and rural contexts have argued that
there have been an 'urban bias' in research on language and globalisation (e.g. Varis & Wang 2011,
Wang et. al 2013). These studies have shown that hybrid linguistic and communicative practices
also characterise interaction in peripheral settings. Yet, merely establishing that linguistic
hybridity exists and that this is a sign of the impact of globalisation processes - also in rural places
- does not tell us much about what the impact is. We argue that it is fruitful to pay close attention
to the linguistic materials that make up the hybrid practices, and to how their situated use inform
speakers' understandings of centrality and peripherality in globalisation.
The aim of our presentation is to scrutinise dichotomies between central and peripheral places in
present-day Denmark by comparing metapragmatic activities highlighting particular linguistic
styles in data from the capital of Denmark and a small rural town. The data are part of two
sociolinguistic and ethnographic studies and consist of self-recordings made by adolescents with
peers and family members and metalinguistic commentaries from interviews. We investigate what
linguistic resources are reflexively employed in Copenhagen and Oksbøl? What are the semiotic
meaning potentials associated with these resources? How do these signify constructions of place?
And how do they correspond to the wider sociolinguistic economy in Denmark?
Varis, P., & Wang, X. (2011): Superdiversity on the Internet: A Case from China. In Diversities
13, 2, pp. 71-83
Wang, X., Spotti, M., Juffermans, K., Cornips, L., Kroon, S. & Blommaert, J. (2013):
Globalization in the margins. Tilburg Papers in Cultural Studies, paper 73
Keywords: Linguistic hybridity, central-peripheral dichotomy, place, adolescence
Multilingualism (1)
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Wee, Lionel (National University of Singapore)
Language Ideologies and Technologies of Insecuritization in Singapore
The global spread of English has given rise to greater variability in language use and questions
about the extent to which such variability can be considered correct or acceptable. With this in
mind, I discuss two examples from Singapore – concerns over how to pronounce the name of a
public train station, and worries over whether a game show's catchphrase is ungrammatical – to
show how anxiety over language correctness can be problematic for the speakers involved.
I argue that the anxiety is compounded by unthinking adherence to standard language ideologies.
And this is extremely problematic, particularly when community norms change rapidly, and when
both the general public and the Singapore government are quick to interject with their own views
on what should be considered right and wrong, good and bad about English. There is therefore a
need for greater acceptance of the fact that variability is both inevitable and legitimate. Also,
speakers have to be more confident with making their own linguistic judgments especially when
traditional sources of authority provide little guidance.
However, I also show that because of certain technologies of insecuritization, the challenge
involved in trying to move away from standard language ideologies remains significant. By
technologies, I refer to the array of practices that govern social conduct, including linguistic
conduct, by prescribing, implicitly or otherwise, what should be considered normatively
appropriate or culturally acceptable.
English in multilingual, globalized Asia
Ethnic-linguistic minority youths in Mainland China: Multilingual practices, ideologies and
Discussant (with Blommaert, Jan)
Transnationalizing Chineseness: Language, mobility, and diversity
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Wei, Jennifer M. (Soochow University, Taiwan)
A Critical Discourse Analysis of Gender Stereotype Comments on Taiwanese
Female Politicians
We propose to apply critical discourse analysis (Wodak 1997) to study gender stereotypical
comments (Heilman 2001) on Taiwanese female politicians. We hypothesize that (1) progressive
social movements such as democratizations and media liberalization may have an impact on
changing ideas/ideals of femininity and masculinity, and (2) a candidate's deviating from the
binary gender line—positioning oneself as either a man or woman candidate—may also change
and challenge expectations of gender stereotypes. These social and political factors may
destabilize normative expectations toward males and females, thus challenging existing gender
stereotypes. Our data are taken from voters' comments on some of the most prominent female
politicians posted on the Internet. We will study these comments to find out how the global
trends of increasing female participations in politics may influence local gendered ideologies. We
are interested in the following questions:
1) Are female candidates subject to sex stereotypes as women in general?
2) Does political ideology influence how a fe/male candidate would be criticized?
3) How do global images of female politicians interact with the local discourse of gendered
stereotyping comments?
4) What linguistic mechanisms endorse/sanction the actions of a candidate?
By applying critical discourse analysis to these comments, we should be able to see if and how
changing gendered stereotypes influence female participation in politics. The results should be of
benefit to the study of politics and gender in general and to the sociolinguistics of gender
Heilman, M.E., 2001. 'Description and Prescription: How Gender Stereotypes Prevent Women's
Ascent up the Organizational Ladder'. Journal of Social Issues, 57: 657-674.
Wodak, R. 1997. Some important issues in the research of gender and discourse. In R. Wodak
(ed.), Gender and Discourse: 1-20. London: Sage.
Keywords: gender, stereotypes, political rhetoric, critical discourse analysis
Critical discourse analysis
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Westinen, Elina (University of Jyväskylä)
Migrant rap artists on/offline: Construction of 'new' Finnishness
This paper aims to explore the (multi)semiotic construction of self as the 'Other' (the 'new' Finn)
in the context of Finnish hip hop (see Westinen 2014), by drawing on recent sociolinguistic work
on globalization (e.g. Blommaert 2010; Pennycook 2007). As data, I will use on/offline material
(lyrics, YouTube videos and Facebook profiles) of Finnish rap artists of (im)migrant origin. In
particular, I examine the multisemiotic (linguistic, discursive, embodied, visual and aural)
resources the rappers draw on when constructing themselves as 'authentic'.
Because Finland and Finnish hip hop are still ethnically relatively homogeneous, these 'Black'
artists need to negotiate their authenticity through various (dis)identification processes – some of
which draw on (yet also run counter to) 'traditional' identity categories such as ethnicity. These
artists construct themselves as the 'Other' but simultaneously also as 'authentic' in the Finnish hip
hop scene, vis-à-vis the 'original' hip hop culture. While doing this, they engage in discourses of
discrimination but also of tolerance – their language use and discourse(s) are multi-voiced and
stylized as well as humoristic and ironic. In general, the artists can be seen as 'facilitators of
cultural reassessment' (Coupland 2001) in that they exemplify how multiple voices exist in
(super)diversifying Finland and how one can be part of society in various ways.
Blommaert, Jan (2010). The Sociolinguistics of Globalization. Cambridge: CUP.
Coupland, Nikolas (2001). Dialect stylization in radio talk. Language in Society 30(3), 345–375.
Pennycook, Alastair (2007). Global Englishes and Transcultural Flows. London: Routledge.
Westinen, Elina (2014). The Discursive Construction of Authenticity: Resources, Scales and
Polycentricity in Finnish Hip Hop Culture. Jyväskylä Studies in Humanities. Doctoral
dissertation. University of Jyväskylä [online].
Keywords: hip hop culture, rap music, resources, superdiversity, authenticity
Hip-hop and rock pop
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Weston, Daniel (Norwegian University of Science and Technology)
Greenall, Annjo (Norwegian University of Science and Technology)
A comparison of how Norwegians and Hong Kong people code-switch into
One of the most salient sociolinguistic effects of globalization is how English is mixed into
languages by speakers from all over the world. Awareness of such hybrid speech varieties has even
passed into the public imagination, leading to apt (and familiar) coinages such as Singlish,
Spanglish, Hinglish and Chinglish. Hong Kong and Norway are no exceptions to this trend, as
attested by studies of English mixing in Gibbons (1983), Li (1998), Chen (2008), and Johansson
& Graedler (2002). And yet, while individual scholars have been keen to dissect the codeswitching they have discovered in their respective speech communities, they have been less keen
to make comparisons across communities. This is unfortunate as comparing speakers from very
different places can help to bring into focus each community's sociolinguistic distinctiveness.
The present paper is one such comparison. It contrasts from a sociolinguistic perspective how
English is integrated into Cantonese and Norwegian respectively, by speakers from Hong Kong
and Norway. In so doing, it reveals predictable distributions of code-switching behaviour across
the two populations (peaking, for example, in the speech of young, educated people), while at the
same time demonstrating marked differences in how speakers avoid the perceived dangers of
ethnolinguistic disloyalty i.e. appearing too English-speaking. The paper also shows that while
certain English loanwords related to global culture are integrated by both sets of speakers, the
cultural and social differences between Norway and Hong Kong lead their respective speakers to
draw on quite different registers of English vocabulary. The unusual pairing of these two
dissimilar places thus serves to accentuate the unique ways in which speakers from each engage
with the global language.
English in Scandinavia
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Williams, Quentin
(Linguistics Department, Centre for Multilingualism and
Diversities Research (CDMR))
Introducing an order of visibility: what multilingual students say about
graffiti writing as an 'Ill-Literacy' in an undergraduate literacy course?
In this presentation, I report on our attempt to introduce graffiti as an environmental art form
into the university linguistic and language education classroom to cultivate awareness among
students about whether it is a form of writing. In the first part, I describe how we introduced
graffiti writing, an 'ill-literacy' practice of hip-hop (Alim 2011), as a component of an
undergraduate social literacies module. Our challenge in this component was not to question
graffiti as a form of writing, but to challenge students' views about its 'order of visibility'; that is,
the visibility made palpable by the actors' interconnectedness of the local hip-hop style
community and their literacy practices. I will present how we tried to persuade students about the
value of introducing such an ill-literacy form into tertiary and primary level classrooms to
overturn stereotypical values already assigned to graffiti writing in urban settings. In the second
part, I briefly reflect on hip-hip linguistics' contribution to NLS and hip-hop based education in
Cape Town. In the third part, I present an analysis of anonymous assessments by students as they
reflected on conducting research on graffiti and the introduction of graffiti as a form of ill-iteracy.
I conclude by providing new insights into policies for multilingual university classrooms and point
to opportunities for further research into the pedagogical possibilities of ill-literacies in Cape
Alim, H. Samy. 2011. Globa Ill-Literacies: Hip-Hop cultures, youth identities, and the politics
of Ill-literacy. Review of Research in Education
Keywords: visibility, ill-literacy, graffiti writing, Cape Town
“Hip-hop pedagogies”: Educational experiences to develop language, literature and critical
skills among young people
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Wilson, Adam
(Aix-Marseille Université/Laboratoire Parole et Langage)
Language in motion in the era of globalization: language(s) as a mobile
resource in international tourism
International tourism can be considered as both a result and a mirror of globalization. The world
over, advances in transport and technology lead to ever increasing numbers of (virtual and
physical) intercultural interactions. Thus, international tourist encounters can be seen as a
physical manifestation of the globalization processes taking place more generally world wide.
Taking up the challenge set by Blommaert (2010) to "reinterrogate" sociolinguistic theory in the
light of globalization, this paper explores the mobility of languages and their speakers in a
globalized world. Aiming to theorize "actual language resources in real situations" (Blommaert
2010: x), this paper analyzes data from an innovative ethnographic fieldwork project which
produced an original corpus of recorded natural interactions between international tourists and
advisers in the tourist office of a well-known French city.
Taking into account mobility through "orders of indexicality" (Blommaert 2010) as well as
through space and time, this paper shows that languages - and especially minority languages – are
explicitly and ideologically presented as valuable mobile resources both in tourist documentation
and in wider language policies. Tourists are encouraged to use these languages which can add to
the "authenticity" of the tourist experience (Dann 1996). However, using examples from the
fieldwork project it is shown that, in practice, minority languages remain low-mobility resources
with little social value. Equally, the status as a socially valuable high-mobility resource is shared
only by a small number of "globalized" languages.
In conclusion, it is suggested that language use in international tourism could be considered to
reflect the wider social effects of globalization: while the dominant explicit ideology seems to
empower minority languages (and their speakers), in reality social actors conform to the
"globalization process" of facilitating communication by using dominant "globalized" languages,
thereby further empowering these already-powerful languages (and their speakers).
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Witteborn, Saskia (The Chinese University of Hong Kong)
Dislocating the Local: Naming Practices and the Creation of Locality by
Transnational Migrants
In a global age with political and economic instabilities, people are on the move. And with them
their communicative practices. Place becomes a central concept when people move transnationally
and search for material and symbolic affiliations and a sense of belonging.
This paper takes a practice approach (Hymes, 1972) to understand how transnational migrants,
Uyghurs from China in particular, create place through naming. Uyghurs are one of the 56
officially recognized minorities in China and have migrated to countries in Central and West Asia,
Europe, North America, and Australia. Based on several years of ethnographic research, this study
presents data from China, the United States, and Germany as well as virtual space.
Naming creates a universe of meanings and interlinks with other practices like "doing" cultural
identity, political advocacy, or strategic culturalism (Appadurai, 1996; Blommaert, 2005). Naming
is not just a representation of a locality and social reality but it moves people to act (Cooren,
2010). It creates locality.
By the example of naming practices such as Xinjiang, I will show how interlocutors authorize
values and figures, connecting the discursive with the material (Cooren, 2010; Garfinkel, 1967;
Philipsen, 1992, Sacks, 1992). I will also illustrate how naming practices create agency as they dislocate the communincative interaction and place itself. Understanding how migrants engage in
naming practices creates knowledge about how people on the move (de)essentialize locale for
strategic purposes.
Blommaert, J. (2005). Identity. In J. Blommaert (Ed.), Discourse (pp. 203-232). Cambridge:
Cambridge University Press.
Cooren, F. 2010). Action and agency in dialogue. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
Hymes, D. (1972) 'Models of the Interaction of Language and Social Life', in H. H. Gumperz &
D. Hymes (eds.) Directions in Sociolinguistics: The Ethnography of Communication, pp. 35-71. New
York, NY: Holt, Rinehart & Winston.
Keywords: Migration, locale, ventriloquation, practice, naming
Transnationalism (1)
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Wolny, Matthias (Heidelberg University)
Superdiverse communicative spaces: immigrant communities and their
repertoires in the city of Venice
Superdiverse urban environments [Vertovec (2007)] are among the most important aspects of
globalization for sociolinguistic research. In Venice, more than a hundred 'immigrant languages'
are spoken in the city alongside the city's vernacular, Italian and the languages of the tourists
visiting the city.
This research is based on data taken from ethnographic observation and semi-guided interviews
with immigrants from Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and the Republic of Moldova in the city of Venice.
The focus of this study lies on the immigrants' communicative spaces – in the physical and in the
virtual world – and the role of the linguistic repertoires' elements in these spaces. Starting from an
analysis of the migrants' repertoires [Blommaert (2010); Blommaert/Backus (2012)], this
research elaborates the complex communicative realities faced by transnational migrants. The
central point of the research is the relation between communication in the immigrants' home
language(s) – often via telephone or Internet – and communication in the non-native language(s)
at the workplace: the role of immigrant speakers change with their interlocutors – they are
employees on the labor market of the host country, fathers/mothers at their homes or sons/
daughters/friends in the computer mediated communication with the home country. As a
consequence, the different elements of the immigrants' repertoires possess different values in
different communicative spheres, building up to a layered linguistic market taking Bourdieus
findings [Bourdieu (1982)] to a globalized level and giving new implications for language
maintenance and change.
Blommaert, J. (2010): The sociolinguistics of globalization, Cambridge: CUP.
Blommaert, J./Backus, A. (2012): "Superdiverse repertoires and the individual", Tilburg Papers in
Culture Studies, 24.
Bourdieu, P. (1982): Ce que parler veut dire: L'économie des échanges linguistiques, Paris: Fayard.
Vertovec, S. (2007): "Super-diversity and its implications", Ethnic and Racial Studies, 30 (6),
Keywords: Superdiversity; multilingualism; repertoires
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Woolard, Kathryn (University of California, San Diego)
Nation Branding and Cosmopolitanism Nationalism: “Singularizing” Catalan
Language and Culture for the Global and Local Market
National branding is one of the motivating forces in the trend toward linguistic commodification
that has been identified with the globalized economy. As a (currently) stateless nation attempting
to win international visibility and approval as well as economic viability, Catalonia has
participated in the branding phenomenon and has featured language strongly within it.
“Catalan culture” was the designated guest of honor for the Frankfurt Book Fair in 2007, raising
the controversial question: is Catalan culture expressed in one language or two? Should Catalan
authors who write in Castilian be included at Frankfurt? National branding emerged as key to
political leaders’ arguments for emphasizing Catalan over Castilian-medium literature. In this
case, although national motifs were ostensibly used to compete in an international market, the
greater significance of the Catalan branding process was inverted. This was an opportunity not
only for promoting Catalan industry internationally, but also for competing elites to prosecute
competing agendas for Catalonia at home. Positively sanctioned in the contemporary global
economy, national branding replaced arguments about linguistic authenticity that had become a
political liability. Political and cultural agents took up a discourse circulating globally and revoiced
it strategically to legitimize an understanding of the nationalist project as cosmopolitan. This
vision of the nation and the discourses that support it continue to be significant in the
contemporary sovereignty movement.
(Plenary lecture 5)
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Woydack, Johanna (Vienna University of Economics and Business)
"Where are you calling from?" Comparing call centre agents' experience of
class in a European and Asian call centre
After a marginalisation of research on social class, there has been a recent surge in interest in it as
a key construct for investigating inequality. Exemplary of this are the recent BBC great class
survey (2013) which developed new class categories, and David Block's recent book on social class
in applied linguistics (2014). In workplace contexts, descriptions of call centres as the
'communication factory' of the 21st century (Cameron 2000), or as a low-skilled or unskilled job
(e.g. Holtgrewe et al. 2002), have always implied it to be a working class job with low status.
Nonetheless, apart from a few mentions of class and hegemony in the literature (e.g. Poster 2007;
Mirchandani 2012; Sonntag 2009), the construct itself or agents' perception of this has never been
systematically researched. This is particularly interesting, as according to a large-scale survey, a
significant proportion of call centre agents worldwide are graduates (Holman et al. 2007),
especially in offshore call centres. Drawing on research conducted in a UK and a Filipino call
centre, which includes interviews, call recordings and participant observations, it is suggested
that agents experience 'social class' and prejudice on the phone or outside their workplace mostly
because of the stigmatisation of their profession rather than their socioeconomic status,
education, accent or parental background. In this paper, I will explore the different facets in which
agents talk about experiencing 'class' and their attempt to overcome any prejudice they may
encounter, sometimes successfully and sometimes not. I will interrogate the conceptualisation of
call centre workers as 'emergent service workers' that has been proposed by Savage et al. (2013)
because they are not as homogenous a group as is often imagined.
Keywords: onshore and offshore call centres, globalised workplace, social class, virtual
Virtual workplace talk
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Xiang, Xuehua (University of Illinois at Chicago)
From "too simple, sometimes naïve" to "
": hybrid language,
language crossing, and the pragmatics of speaking in other voices
Using a mixed-methods approach (discourse analysis, multimodal analysis, "Google" as corpus),
this study traces the original discourse context of a Chinese neologism and its subsequent virtual
transformation and current uses. The original use was a borrowing from English in the form of a
cliché, "too young, too simple, sometimes naïve", used by former Chinese President Jiang Zemin
in a public outburst reacting to questions asked by a Hong Kong reporter in 2000. A decade later,
the expression re-emerged as a transliterated neologism severed from its original political context
The study demonstrates that Jiang's original discourse is hybrid, mixing high and low registers
and oral speech genres. His switching to English evokes the global status of English to index
universality and in turn his own epistemic and moral superiority. His switching to Cantonese is in
the mannerism of "mock-Cantonese" (cf. Hill 1998), evoking such associations as provinciality
and naiveté. These "language crossings" (Rampton, 1995) capitalize on the semiotics of these
cliché as "ritual actions" (Goodwin 1990), and in effect, linguistic hybridity becomes a tool for
power control disguised as ordinary morality.
The phrase, "too simple, sometimes naïve", took on a virtual life on Internet-based social
platforms. Some uses evince a reversed moral order from the phrase's original context (e.g. defiant
stylization of one's identity, i.e. "proud to be simple and naïve"). Many uses are also "meme"-like,
indexing the source's pragmatic contexts (e.g., simultaneity of comic and seriousness, mockery
and didactics). These uses constitute double-speak, appropriating but also mocking the original
source's hegemonic overtone. In contrast, the Chinese transliteration severs the expression from
its original discourse context and becomes a phonologically and orthographically stylized
expression for self/other-mockery.
Language ideology (2)
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Xiao, Smile (The Chinese University of Hong Kong)
Discursive Construction of Self-Orientalism on the Official Tourism Website
of China
Tourism has long been recognized as a rapidly growing sector of great importance in the process
of globalization. Many researchers have noted that the tourism industry has a significant impact
on global mobility, social development and identity construction. Considering the situation in
Orient, it is established in the literature that touristic images of the Orient have predominantly
focused on Western-produced representations of others – Orientalism. What is missing is an
investigation of how the "other" represents itself in contemporary tourism discourse – selfOrientalism. My study intends to conduct a discourse analysis on the official tourism website of
China to see how the verbal and visual displays on this site work together for the discursive
construction of self-Orientalism from the perspectives of space, time and evaluation by adopting
the analytic approaches of Composition Theory and Mediated Discourse Analysis.
The results reveal that on the English version official tourism website of China, visual and verbal
elements appear to be well balanced. Altogether, they are packaged into stereotypical Oriental
representations for the Western gaze, with China both as an ancient country which seeks its own
place in the world with its unique culture (historical, local and exotic China) and as a modernized
country which shares much similarity with many other counter parts in this globalized world
(modern, global and comfortable China). The study sheds light on the tension between local and
global, and implies the Oriental nations' yearning to become part of the global world without
giving up their independent identities. By adopting the globally oriented visual and verbal displays
online, the local practices of China are used to 'write the global' – a process known as
'glocalization' whereby the local and global identities are discursively negotiated and defined by
each other.
Keywords: self-Orientalism; tourism discourse; Mediated Discourse Analysis; glocalization
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Xu, Siqun (The University of Nottingham Ningbo China)
Discourse and Identity Construction: A Qualitative Study in Two Divorced
Mother-led Families in Contemporary China
China is one of four great ancient civilizations, and the biggest socialist country in the world with
a history of more than 5000 years. Traditional values promote family unity and harmony. Before
1978, divorce was considered a catastrophe and a most humiliating event for the whole family as
well as the community. A single parent family could never be accepted by this ancient, socialist
Since 1978, policy of the reform and opening up has been carried out; traditional family structures
have changed dramatically along with the economic development and social progress. People have
begun to care about life quality and the realization of their self-values. Divorce is not a rare
phenomenon any more in China.
Generally speaking, family interaction, a normal three-person family (two parents and one child),
is an ongoing power struggle among the participants, and also an ongoing struggle for connection.
Moreover, family interaction is a locus for continuing negotiation of gender identities and roles.
I would like to explore (1) how spoken interaction accomplishes in single parent families and (2)
how mother/daughter identity is done in specific ways in China. To my knowledge, no one looked
at single parent family interaction anywhere even though this phenomenon of single parent family
is on the increase everywhere.
20-hour data will be collected from two single parent families nationwide. The relationship
between identity and family interaction will be examined from a variety of methodological and
analytical perspectives including interactional sociolinguistics, narrative analysis, linguistic
ethnography and conversation analysis. By taking parent-child communication in single parent
families in China, I hope to make contributions to the comprehensive theories of both family
interaction and identity construction studies.
Keywords: mother identity, duaghter identity, construction,
Discourse analysis
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Yamashita, Rika (the University of Tokyo)
Twitter reactions to English-Japanese mixed code on company web pages:
Global and hegemonic versus local and unconventional
As the world of work and services become highly transnational, problems of insufficient English
skills have been addressed in Japan. Stuck between the double-monolingualism norm as
knowledge workers and lack of confidence in English, young people often express insecurity and
resentment. By using discourse analysis, this paper analyses how young people on web reacted to
two company pages with mixed codes (or 'unnatural Japanese'), paying close attention to language
ideologies and associations being formed and reproduced, vis-a-vis the information and the image
the companies had been promoting.
The data are (1) two particular web pages in which a 'mixed code' of Japanese and English
appeared, as well as other parts of the company web sites and (2) varied reactions from twitter
users on them. One page was a job advertisement of company G (over 10,000 employees). Its
company name can be widely seen, including various web, commercial, and financial services. Its
'global' orientation is clear as it publicly announced the introduction English as an official working
language of the company. The other was a company statement of a small upcoming company
called L (60 employees). Despite their size, company L had been successful in gaining public
attention via their highly unconventional blogs, strategically targeted at young people. Both
companies represent the presence of the new IT based service industry.
Although both pages were subject to criticism under double-monolingualism norm which
associates lack of administrative skills with a mixed language, company L had more supporters as
its page was interpreted as a playful counter-force against English hegemony represented by
company G. This was made possible by company L's repeated, unconventional and discursive ways
of referring to the locality and to the neoliberal IT business culture at the same time.
Multilingualism (2)
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Yanaprasart, Patchareerat (Universities of Lausanne and Geneva)
Language in the Workplace: between Monolingual Ideologies and
Multilingual Practices
In recent years, in order to meet global demands, multinational enterprises have developed
practices of recruiting international staff. Workforce diversity has created, in turn, novel
communication challenges in the workplace: teams have been moving from monolingual to
multilingual ones. Polyglot employees may face "a plurality of normative orders", when they are
taught to think in one language, work in a second, reason in a third, and socialize in another,
sometimes at the risk of misunderstanding and conflicts. Therefore, it is not only essential to
better understand how staff from diverse linguistic backgrounds mobilize their linguistic
resources in their professional practice, but also to understand in what way and in which
linguistic forms they communicate at the workplace.
Based on the findings of two research projects, the first main objective of this contribution is to
deliver detailed knowledge of actual communication in a variety of multilingual professional
settings, highlighting the complex interplay between observed practices, actors' representations
regarding language, and contextual elements, which all contribute to our understanding of the
real world communication process. Secondly, we are questioning the notions of "language" and
"language boundaries" by pointing out the contrast between two conceptions of multilingualism,
that is: the traditional view of "language" which is based on the ideology of "standard languages",
and the perception of "multilingual speech", condemned by some as "bad usage" while praised by
others as "production strategies". Should multilingual settings be characterized by the absence of
norms or by their proper multilingual norms? (Jessner, 2008) What kind of grammatical speech
should be applied in multilingual practices? (Lüdi, 2014) Finally, under what conditions and in
what ways does a multilingual mode based on a "multilanguaging" (Makoni/Makoni, 2010)
philosophy to handle linguistic dynamics in the workplace create an inclusive environment for
effectively managing language diversity? (Yanaprasart, 2012, forthcoming)
Workplace communication
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Yang, Jinsuk (University of Toronto)
Linguistic nationalism, decolonization, and the production of national
language: A case study of Korea, 1910-1945
Using the example of Korea, this paper traces the spread of linguistic nationalism among the
linguistic peripheries in the early twentieth century. I focus on the process through which the
colony took up linguistic nationalism as a way to reclaim political sovereignty and constitute itself
as a modernized nation state. Korea was colonized by Japan for 35 years (1910-1945). Over three
decades of Japan control, at stake was the right of communication in Korean in public space-but
what happens when the state had failed to have unified writing representation due to the
hereditary class order? Based upon texts by Heller (2007) and Hobsbawm (1992), I discuss how
Hangeul, Korea's national writing system, was socially rediscovered as the legitimate
representation of national language from one vernacular variety.
For this research, the digitized archive of Korean daily newspaper called Dong-A Ilbo was
consulted. The analysis addresses (1) how debates over language unfold by various social actors;
(2) the process through which Hangeul is made; and (3) the sociopolitical consequences of such
social engineering. I argue that the production of national writing system in Korea has double
functions: first, as one means to muster nationalistic sentiment necessary for anti-colonial
movement; second, as a social marker that legitimates class division among the populace. A
critical reflection on linguistic nationalism as one means of political emancipation follows. I
contend that insofar as the conditions of modernization presupposes hiearchization (i.e., unequal
relations of power between center and periphery), the nationalistic effort toward entry into the
globalized new economy corresponds to the construction of its own peripheries.
Heller, M. (Ed.). (2007). Bilingualism: A social approach. New York: Palgrave
Hobsbawm, E. J. (1992). Nations and nationalism since 1780: Programme,
myth, reality. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Language and nationalism
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Ye, Lijuan (Messiah College)
Situated Identities in a Cross-cultural Misunderstanding
This study explores situated identities projected during an attempt to clarify a cross-cultural
misunderstanding among an American couple (Kelly and Chloe) and their two Chinese friends (L
and Hui) within the Discourses of Chinese and American cultures (a chart of socio-culturally
situated identities is employed). The topic of the misunderstanding is introduced through a
narrative in the context of a dinner conversation, and centers around the situated interpretation of
a particular English word. "I do not mean to be impolite by using the word annoying" expresses
L's struggle in this intercultural communication to explain to her American friend K that she does
not mean the word annoying in a negative way; rather, she is trying to show close friendship
toward him. In line with Gee's (2005) Discourse and identity and Scollon's (2001) view of
relationship style between Chinese and American people, this analysis demonstrates identities
and relationships through each narrator's languages in explicating the misunderstanding between
K and L. In particular, K and L exerted great effort in sorting out the misunderstanding. K is
willing to explain the contextual usage of the word annoying within American culture during the
dinner party, and L also actively engages with him to explain that she is trying to indicate that
they have a close relationship. By reaching a mutual understanding of the cultural Discourses,
their friendship survives the misunderstanding and is therefore, further strengthened.
Identity (1)
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Yu, Mandy (Lancaster University)
Dos and don'ts for single women looking for a partner: An appraisal analysis
of the representations of unmarried middle-aged women in the reality show
Bride Wannabes
Over the past decades, Hong Kong has successfully restructured from a manufacturing to a
capitalist economy and become a global city. In the globalisation process, Hong Kong has
undergone significant shifts in gender norms. Like the cases of many global cities, Hong Kong
women enjoy access to higher education and high-ranking jobs and the freedom to choose
whether to get married and whom to marry. However, gender expectations still consist of ideas of
Confucian patriarchalism, especially in terms of romantic relationships and marriage. This
research discusses how unmarried middle-aged women (often seen as those in their 30s-40s) are
subject to such expectations.
My data is an excerpt of the reality TV show Bride Wannabes, produced in response to the social
concern for the growing number of unmarried middle-aged women. In the programme, some
'experts' teach five single women to be attractive to men and 'help' them find a boyfriend. The
chosen excerpt is a discussion by the 'experts' about the participants' performance, which is
analysed using Martin & White's (2005) appraisal framework. The purpose is to examine how
different participants are appraised and what are represented as (un)desirable qualities of women.
The findings point to a mixture of liberal and patriarchal ideas. While some participants are
praised for their career or educational achievement, appraisals relating to their success/failure to
find a partner are highly sexist. The only successful participant in the show is positively evaluated
for her child-like traits (e.g. well-behaved) and incapability, which is attributed to what makes
men at ease. What are represented as undesirable include capability, non-feminine behaviours,
not being beautiful.
Martin, J. R. & White, P. R. R. (2005). The language of evaluation: Appraisal in English.
Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
Keywords: gender, appraisal, sexism
Articulating gender and sexuality in contemporary Asia
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Yvonne, Berger (Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich)
Becker, Susanne (Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich)
Eurocentrism in the language(s) of academia – Does knowledge in mandarin
remain voiceless in a global academic system?
Our presentation will discuss the question of hegemonic language(s) of publication in a globally
connected academic world. This question will be discussed on the basis of interviews which were
conducted with social scientists from China (PRC) for an ongoing Ph.D. project. We will argue
that a linguistic eurocentrism in social sciences produces a structural voicelessness of the
‚linguistic other' in academia. On the basis of our empirical data we will discuss the role of
eurocentric practices of publication in a system of global knowledge production. In the presented
empirical data the mandarin-speaking social scientists talk about their challenge how to voice
their academic findings on a global level. The interviewees link this question essentially to their
choice of language in their publications. In their view English is required as a hegemonic means of
communication to be recognised in a global academic system.
The discussion of these empirical findings raises more general questions of language
legitimization, their embeddedness in a neoliberal exploitation logic and the question if English is
the hegemonic language of academia. Therefore we want to link our empirical data to questions of
how this hegemony of language(s) in academia makes certain knowledge unheard and therefore
voiceless. And how this practices of publication reinforce hegemonic power relations in global
knowledge production.
Language commodification
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Zabrodskaja, Anastassia (Tallinn University, University of Tartu)
Russian-speakers in Estonia as existential Others: Constructing the
multilayered identity between Estonian (western) and Russian-national
Estonia's large Russian-speaking population has been formed mainly through immigration during
the Soviet period (1944–1991). The paper focuses on the discursive construction of collective
identities within the Russian-speaking community. In the post-Soviet context and globalisation
era forms of their collective identities have acquired a diffused character. The main assumption is
that there are several competing collective identities being constructed, all of them aiming to
provide a particular set of values, symbols, narratives and collective emotions that enable Russian
speakers to structure their everyday experiences and provide an explanation for their position in
between the Estonian (western) and Russian-national identities, which at present are constructed
as existential Others. It is observed how the recent events in eastern Ukraine and Crimea, have
affected the identity formation within the subgroups of the Russian-speaking community in
I will present the findings of the qualitative interviews carried out in 2014-2015 among five focus
groups of Russian-speakers living in Estonia. Focus groups were formed on the basis of the
vitality differences among the five subgroups obtained from the statistical analysis of the largescale quantitative data collected in 2008–2011 (Ehala and Zabrodskaja 2014). All informants were
from the regions with different concentration of sociolinguistic communities and with the
different socio-demographic backgrounds (also knowledge of the state language).
From the discourse analysis of the interview texts, the study aims to pinpoint the central
properties of alternative collective identities related to the de facto and de jure status of the
Russian language, contributing to the international debate on new, emerging regimes of language
and dominant language ideologies.
Ehala, M.; Zabrodskaja, A. (2014) Ethnolinguistic vitality and acculturation orientations of
Russian speakers in Estonia. L. Ryazanova-Clarke (Ed.). The Russian Language outside the
Nation, 166–188. Edinburgh: EUP.
Identity (1)
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Zayts, Olga (The University of Hong Kong)
Schnurr, Stephanie (Warwick University)
From 'career woman' to 'home maker', 'mother' and 'tai tai'. Constructing and
negotiating gendered identities by trailing spouses in Hong Kong
Globalization and the increasing migration of the professional workforce around the globe have
been the topic of much sociolinguistic research which has explored, among other topics, some of
the effects of these trends on people's professional and social identities (e.g. Schnurr & Zayts
2012). However, most of this research has predominantly focused on the effects of globalization
on professionals and has largely ignored those accompanying them in their move(s) around the
globe. Although these so-called trailing spouses have been the topic of some research in
organizational and management studies (which has repeatedly pointed out that the success of
oversees work assignments largely depends on the satisfaction of accompanying family members),
they remain under-researched from a sociolinguistic perspective.
This paper aims to address this gap by exploring some of the processes though which trailing
spouses, or more particular, women who have left their jobs and their social networks behind to
follow their husbands on their overseas work assignment, construct and negotiate their various
identities. Drawing on a corpus of more than 15 interviews with and five online blogs of trailing
spouses in Hong Kong, and using a constructivist approach we analyze some of the discursive
processes through which these women draw on and respond to various gendered stereotypes (for
example those of 'mother', 'homemaker' and 'tai tai') in their attempts to re-define and re-invent
'who they are' following their move to Asia. In their stories, these women carve out a space for
themselves in between the (sometimes competing) discourses of feeling isolated and useless
(often due to linguistic and cultural barriers) and enjoying a privileged expatriate lifestyle. They
manage to successfully maneuver through this tension by sometimes drawing on explicitly
gendered stereotypes while at other times vehemently resisting and making fun of them.
Articulating gender and sexuality in contemporary Asia
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Zentz, Lauren (University of Houston)
Moving languages: syncretism and shift in Central Java
This analysis of students' sociolinguistic identities will be situated within a 70 year Indonesian
history consisting until recently of a highly centralized power structure responsible for the
diffusion of education curricula, news, and entertainment media, all in the Indonesian language
and largely authored by members of Javanese culture.
I will relate this history of centralization to Central Javanese university students' written and oral
commentaries during the 2009-10 academic year about their linguistic and communicative
repertoires (Zentz, 2014). These students negotiate the markedness of their regional dialect of
Indonesian in comparison to "the national center" dialects exemplified in the speech of university
students from Java's more prestigious universities. As some of them negotiate this linguistic
insecurity toward the center, they also navigate their linguistic relationship to a local center (a
center within a national periphery) where a lack of fluency in high Javanese kromo earns them
shaming and stress from their community elders.
Despite Indonesia's decentralization, most media remain in Indonesian only, as does schooling,
except for 2 hours of local content curriculum per week which, as I have documented elsewhere
are widely known to reinforce students' identities as "non-speakers of Javanese" (Zentz, 2012).
The centralization of the Indonesian nation through 1998 and its legacies thereafter, I argue, have
so strongly and successfully dispersed the Indonesian language that now many local languages are
largely in shift and increasingly syncretic with the national language, while dialects of Indonesian
continue to expand, replete with local vocabulary, accent, and inflections.
Margins, hubs, and peripheries in a decentralizing Indonesia (Part 1)
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Zhang, Vera Hong (University of Macau)
Separate multilingualism meets flexible multilingualism in Macao posters
Many recent works have opened new frontiers in research on multilingual practice in discourse by,
firstly, extending the data from spontaneous conversation to written or printed genres, and,
secondly, shifting the focus from the more static notion of code-switching (where the "codes" are
clearly differentiated) to the more dynamic ones such as translanguaging (where the "code" of the
linguistic elements may not be clearly identified as one language—Li, 2011) or heteroglossia (the
simultaneous use of various forms or signs—Bailey, 2007) . Following these developments, this
paper analyzes a collection of posters advertising cultural events. Focusing on the relationship
between the visual elements and languages, and the relationship between the different languages,
it is found that the data fall into two categories. In the more dominant group (i.e. more instances
of posters), there is a wider diversity of creative visual designs (i.e. color, fonts, images, etc.)
which can be used to mark and delineate different codes. In another group of posters, there are
less of these visual designs, and yet the different languages are brought closer in the visual space,
with more creative language use such as heteroglossia and translanguaging. This distinction is
captured by the typology of "separate multilingualism" and "flexible multilingualism". Originally
intended to describe language policy and language practice in classroom, these concepts can
potentially be extended to characterize the more macro language ideologies in multilingual
communities and multilingual practice in various kinds of discourse.
Bailey, Benjamin. 2007. Heteroglossia and boundaries. In Monica Heller (ed.) Bilingualism: A
Social Approach. New York: Palgrave. 257-274.
Li, Wei. 2011. Moment analysis and translanguaging space: Discursive construction of
identities by multilingual Chinese youth in Britain. Journal of Pragmatics 43: 1222-1235.
Keywords: Macao (Macau), heteroglossia, translanguaging, separate vs flexible multilingualism,
Multilingualism (1)
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Zhang, Jing (The University of Hong Kong)
The ideological (re)production of ethnic minority identities in China during
the neoliberation of education
Discussions of ethnicity in China have been highlighting the ideological construction of ethnic
minority groups (EM hereafter) as exotic and lagging behind Han, the ethnic majority group, in
cultural and economic development, in which EM have often been presented as homogeneous and
static units, which is highly questionable facing the state of superdiversity in current social life.
Through ethnographic fieldwork coupled with sociolinguistic analysis, this paper examines how
EM identities are negotiated in the institutional space of school during a time when education in
China is caught up in the trend of neoliberalization.
Located in a city in southwest China, the school in focus was originally established as a boarding
school for EM students from rural areas, and now it enrolls students from both minority and
majority groups while keeps labeling itself as an "ethnic minority school". One the one hand, this
paper argues that the "ethnic label" has been used as symbolic capitals by the school to brush up
its reputation, distinct itself from counterparts in the city and attract donations, rather than
merely to indicate pragmatic arrangements. On the other hand, a closer look at the school's
everyday practices unveils a paradox that what aimed as an education for equality actually
reproduces the ideology of "EM having marginalized status", as some of the educational resources
and opportunities could not easily be afforded by EM students, most of whom come from a less
privileged socioeconomic background compared with Han students. This paper calls for more
attention on the relationship between institutional construction of ethnicity and what actually
transpires in the nuances of everyday practices.
Keywords: Ethnic minority, education, ideology, superdiversity, neoliberalization
Bilingual classroom
The Sociolinguistics of Globalization
The University of Hong Kong
Zhang, Qing (University of Arizona)
Wong, Andrew (California State University, East Bay)
Destandardization of Putonghua: Contesting Valorizations and Language
Destandardization has been experienced by many communities participating in globalization.
While previous research has focused on production data to demonstrate the use of alternative
linguistic varieties that weaken the position of the standard language, this paper examines
metadiscursive data to reveal shifting social evaluation of the standard language and its
contestants. We argue that destandardization depends on the rise and circulation of alternative
ways of valorizing the standard language vis-à-vis its contender(s) and that language ideology is
the underlying force that gives rise to changing valorizations.
The study focuses on the destandardization of Putonghua (Standard Mandarin) in mainland China
and Hong Kong. On the mainland, the standard of Northern (and Beijing) Mandarin-based
Putonghua is weakened by the rise of an alternative supra-regional Mandarin called Cosmopolitan
Mandarin. In Hong Kong, its legitimacy is challenged by Cantonese. Based on a large corpus of
metadiscursive data from popular and literary media spanning from the 1990s to the present, the
analysis reveals the rise of alternative valorizations from across geographical and social space as
well as regularity in patterns of valorization. The social evaluations found contest the central
position of Putonghua on all the fundamental cultural values associated with the standard
language, namely, normativity, superiority, authenticity, and modernity. Through fractal
recursivity, contrasts between Northern Mandarin, the linguistic standard of Putonghua, and its
contenders are projected onto other spatio-temporal scales such that the Northern standard is
construed as inauthentic, provincial, backwards, and unsophisticated. This study reveals
destandardization as a complex process buttressed by ideological contestations over not merely
linguistic but ultimately broader social and geopolitical issues. It further illuminates how the
debate over Beijing (and Northern China) as the center of "authentic" Chinese culture is played
out in the destandardization of Putonghua.
Keywords: destandardization, language ideology, standard language, Chinese, Putonghua
Language and nationalism