Fifteen Eighty Four


Tag Archives: sociolinguistics

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  • 13 Mar 2024
    Katherine S. Flowers

    Changing My Mind about Language Policy

    When I first started studying language policy, I thought I knew where it came from, how it worked, and why it mattered. In my view at the time, language policy was about national politicians trying to manage the language use of perceived outsiders. Then, ten years ago, I started researching what would become the book […]

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  • 7 Feb 2023
    Colin H. Williams

    The New Speaker Phenomenon

    Today many European minority language communities are undergoing profound changes, in part as a result of globalisation, increased mobility and accelerating socio-economic fragmentation within heartland areas. Whereas in the past the family and community network ensured inter-generational language transmission, now it is mainly the statutory education system which provides the skills necessary to communicate effectively […]

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  • 19 Mar 2022
    Rodney H. Jones

    Introducing Language and Society: A Q&A with Rodney H. Jones

    Professor Rodney H. Jones, the co-author of Introducing Language and Society, talks to us about inspiration, challenges for students, and the ‘next big thing’ in sociolinguistics. What inspired you and Christiana Themistocleous to write a textbook on introductory sociolinguistics? Both of us have been involved in teaching sociolinguistics to first and second year undergraduates here […]

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  • 11 Aug 2020
    Karen Stollznow

    Ableist Language and the Euphemism Treadmill

    The Euphemism Treadmill is common in the areas of language related to race and ethnicity, disease, and disability. What is this phenomenon? A euphemism is a word substituted for one that is considered unpleasant or embarrassing, which can be motivated by a desire to not offend. However, sometimes these good intentions can backfire. The so-called […]

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  • 3 Jun 2020
    Karen Stollznow

    Disease and Discrimination

    The emergence and spread of COVID-19 has led to increased discrimination against Asian people, and specifically led to anti-Chinese prejudice. The virus is believed to have originated in a wet market in Wuhan, China, in 2019. This has inspired some people to brand it “the Wuhan virus”, “the Chinese virus”, or even the “Kung flu.” […]

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  • 27 May 2020
    Michael Toolan

    Media, language and corona

    Plagues, pestilence, inundations and devastations, usually visited upon a complacent people, are as old as our oldest myths (perhaps we should have paid them more attention). But in Covid-19 and the global misery and havoc it is causing there is also something new and terrifying, never encountered in quite this way before. And as with […]

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  • 26 May 2020
    A lake with a copse of tress and a house beside it, in golden light.
    Sally McConnell-Ginet

    Pandemic words matter … but how?

    “We’re all in this together,” proclaim many Americans in this time of the global covid-19 pandemic. One meme displays the word VIRUS with the letters VIR marked out, highlighting US. The solidarity slogan is printed below, followed by “We are coronavirus.” But who are ‘we’, ‘us’? Whose experiences get erased to ensure that ‘all’ are […]

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  • 22 May 2020
    Michael Gavin, Stanley Dubinsky

    Language differences as shibboleths in a pandemic

    In times of crisis, when people experience fear, they often express hostility toward others. They discriminate against people who look like “enemies”. The well-known and shameful internment of Japanese-Americans in World War 2 is such a case. The discrimination against German-Americans in World War 1 was similar. Unlike Japanese-Americans, German-Americans didn’t look much different from […]

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