Beyond the mother tongue

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    In their position paper “Superdiversity and language,” Blommaert & Rampton (2011) assert that “named languages have now been denaturalised.” In it they sum up the emergent consensus in sociolinguistics—and, indeed, the obvious fact—that the contemporary global linguistic landscape is characterised by multilingual superdiversity. Exploring this linguistic superdiversity, multilingual practices—or “metrolingualism” in Otsuji & Pennycook’s (2011) striking term—has become an immensely productive research agenda. Ideologically, however, monolingualism remains predominant. The resulting tensions continue to undermine the educational success of minorities (e.g. Clyne 2005; Menken 2008) and their access to socioeconomic opportunities more broadly (e.g. Piller 2011; Lippi-Green 2012). In that sense the research frontier in sociolinguistics is not in linguistic diversity per se but at the fault zones where multilingual practices meet monolingual ideologies.
    Original languageEnglish
    Specialist publicationLanguage on the move
    PublisherLanguage on the move
    Publication statusPublished - 30 Aug 2013

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    • 200401 applied linguistics and educational linguistics
    • 200405 language in culture and society (sociolinguistics)


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