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Other titles in the Language, Power, and Social Process series:
Language, Power and Social Process [Lpsp] #17: Linguistic Authority, Language Ideology, and Metaphor: The Czech Orthography Warsby Neil Bermel
Synopses & Reviews
How does a country find itself ?at war over spelling? This book focuses on the linguistic history of a nation at the crossroads of Europe. Bermel explores the way various factors including linguistic theory, cultural authority, political ideology in the communist and post-communist era, and a long tradition of language intervention contributed in the late twentieth century to the formation of two diametrically opposing mindsets about Czech spelling and orthographic reform in general. The shifting power bases and strategies of the various players in the early 1990s receive a full treatment, as does the conscious and unconscious manipulation of metaphors about language and language planning in these struggles. Key features: There are other monographs on spelling reform, but this is the first book to focus on this specific topic. Draws on author's extensive research.Suited for coursesin language planning and reform, cultural studies, and history, especially that of transitional and post-communist states. Now available as an affordable paperback.
How does a country find itself 'at war' over spelling? This book focuses on a crucial juncture in the post-communist history of the Czech Republic, when an orthographic commission with a moderate reformist agenda found itself the focus of enormous public controversy. Delving back into history, Bermel explores the Czech nation's long tradition of intervention and its association with the purity of the language, and how in the twentieth century an ascendant linguistic school - Prague Functionalism - developed into a progressive but centralizing ideology whose power base was inextricably linked to the communist regime. Bermel looks closely at the reforms of the 1990s and the heated public reaction to them. On the part of language regulators, he examines the ideology that underlay the reforms and the tactics employed on all sides to gain linguistic authority, while in dissecting the public reaction, he looks both at conscious arguments marshaled in favor of and against reform and at the use, conscious and subconscious, of metaphors about language. Of interest to faculty and students working in the area of language, cultural studies, and history, especially that of transitional and post-communist states, this volume is also relevant for those with a more general interest in language planning and language reform.
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