TRANS Internet-Zeitschrift für Kulturwissenschaften 17. Nr. Juni 2010

Sektion 2.2. Identity, Authenticity, Locality, Urbanity and Speech Community: A New Sociolinguistic Perspective | Identität, Authentizität, lokale- und städtische Veränderungen und Sprachgemeinschaften: Eine neue soziolinguistische Perspektive
Sektionsleiter | Section Chairs: Meryem Şen (Kocaeli University, Turkey), İmran Karabağ

Dokumentation | Documentation | Documentation

Section report 2.2.

 Identity, Authenticity, Locality, Urbanity and Speech Community:
A New Sociolinguistic Perspective

Meryem Şen (Kocaeli University, Turkey) [BIO], İmran Karabağ (Kocaeli University, Turkey) [BIO]

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We live in an age of globalisation, which presupposes deep transformations in the life of world societies. This is indeed an inevitable economic and  linguistic challenge as these are in traditional sense the societies of a common culture with their unique standardized languages that are embodied in common economic, political, and educational institutions. The purpose of the section is, then, to discuss the effects of globalisation on (socio)linguistic phenomenon, and to stress the urgency of  a new (socio)linguistic perspective that attempts to understand linguistic transformations in urban and local contexts. The concepts of linguistic identity, authenticity, and speech community are of special concerns of the section to discuss. Besides, it is also important to understand the linguistic effect of globalisation on the perception of the other (othering) and on the sense of belonging or alienation.

The papers delivered to the section were grouped under 6 headings according to their varied focuses in relation to the effects of globalisation on linguistic phenomenon: (1) economic globalisation and language, (2) globalisation, migration and language, (3) globalisation language and identity, (4) globalisation, language, ideology, practice (use) and planning, (5) globalisation, language and culture, (6) globalisation and global language.


1. Economic globalisation and language

The first session started with the inagural speech questioning the effects of globalisation on linguistic phenomenon, which was then followed with the presentation of the paper by Meryem Şen The Effects of Globalisation on Accented Speech focusing on how economic globalisation affects non-standard varieties and promotes them to commodified positions through commercial advertisements. The main focus of the study was to discuss the legitimacy of the medial appropriation of accented speech in the Turkish monolingual context, and to look for whether audience’s attitudinal reaction towards the commodification of accented varieties confirms what the advertising media commit linguistically – to use linguistic resource / discrepancy for economic purpose or for linguistic celebrity. İmran Karabağ’s paper Die Wirtschaftssprache in der globaliserten Welt / The Language of Economy in the Globalised World claimed that the linguistic effect of globalisation exerted itself as the transference of economic terms from the global language, English, to other languages. It was also put forward that the global economic system benefited from the variation in linguistic resources in increasing economic profit, however it did not aim to reduce cultural and linguistic discrepancy.

It is a fact, on the other hand, that dialectal speech communities are under sustained economic, social and linguistic pressure due to the intense impact of globalisation on urbanization and concomitant rural depopulation. One specific case study presented by Mark de Vos The Impact of economic development on rural Afrikaans dialects in Kai ! Garib focused on linguistic change in the Kai !Garib District of the Northern Cape. The result of the study showed that despite high geographic mobility the regional variety was still widely used, which is not accorded with the expected linguistic outcomes of globalisation.

However, the globalised context of business requires the application of global discursive practices, which are also indicative of language commodification. The paper presented by Anup P. Mahajan Discourse Variation as a Symbolic Resource: Globalization, Indian Outsourcing Firms, and the Construction of Business Identity was an example for the discussion that the discourse of software/IT outsourcing firms in India commodifies a range of non-local lexical terms, and indexes a global business identity across industry facets of human capital, partnership, and language skills to market for globally-oriented talent from local communities and international investment opportunities. An other phenomenon was political correctness, in which the commodification of language was discussed by Irina Perianova New Communication Code – Political Correctness in the Changing World. She drew the attention to the fact that  political correctness is the product of globalisation - a new commodified language, and claimed that it was a type of behaviour codification due to the impact of globalisation.


2. Globalisation, migration and language

The second session of the section was conducted with the discussion of the relationship between a global social event, - migration, and language. The presentation of Nazlі Baykal Gentrification in İstanbul: Will İstanbul People be Gentrified? attempted to look for a relationship between the intratransformation in big cities and the urbanization of rural people migrating to gentrified centers. She arrived at the conclusion that the people of  Istanbul living in suburbs would be gentrified at the end of the inevitable result of the global transformation of the city, and that linguistic representation of this phenomenon was characterised  as both protesting and provocating.


3. Globalisation language and identity

The paper presented by Brian Bennett Scripting Identity in Post-Soviet Russia examined the role of the Slavonic script in formulations of identity and authenticity in post-Soviet Russia, which has been invaded by the influx of Western loanwords since 1990s. However, the use of the archaic Slavonic script, central to the Russian Orthodox Church, has become a consistent and constitutive element of the new publications as the symbols of identity and authenticity in the global context.

Güray König Language Learning and the Emergence of New Identities in a Globalized World discussed the motivative effect of globalisation on learning languages and on putting up contacts among people, stating that students who showed little interest in taking the formerly offered language courses have been highly motivated in taking the courses in those languages, which is an indicator of a change in the way university students perceive themselves in relation to the society and the world, whose system of values shift from traditional to global. 

Dawn Marley Reconciling local identities and global aspirations through language use in the Moroccan women’s press made a presentation on how local identities and global aspirations were reconcilied through language use in the Moroccan women’s press. The popularity of this sector of the press is indicative of the widespread desire for a ‘local’ and ‘authentic’ cultural product while the use of French suggests that the Moroccan women magazines appeal strongly to the desire for a more ‘global’ identity.

Sylvie A. Lamoureux’ (Il)legitimate linguistic and cultural identities in academic milieus: Ontario’s francophone minority paper was about how certain university discursive spaces in Ontario (de)legitimize certain aspects of Franco-ontarian linguistic and cultural identity in transition to university, and how authenticity of local and or regional minority francophone identity and cultural markers are questioned both by “insider” and “outsider” perspectives, which leads participants to question their own identity both as members of Canada’s Francophone community as well as the international “Francophonie”.

Hatice Çubukçu Beyond the boarders of the speech communities: Construction of identity as a ‘member’ of the ‘global’ academic discourse community discussed the relationship between the rhetorics produced by the members of global  academic society in academic conferences, and the concept of academic identity. While speakers make comments on  academic presentations, they ask questions, issue criticisms, challenge, or praise…etc.  in the course of  the complex multi- layer  interaction, and they, simultaneously, claim identities  as  members of the global academic discourse community, through a series of ‘social acts’ and  ‘stances’.


4. Globalisation, language, ideology and practice (use) and planning

Carmela Perta Historic language minorities in the age of globalization: ideology and practice, pointing to the seemingly strengthened positions of minority and regional languages in the globalized world, discussed in the context of Franco-Provençal the changing attitude towards the minority language in that its practices were tolerated when they were used in private and as expression of cultural heritage, but that were not when the minority language became legally recognised gaining status and prestige.


5. Globalisation, language and culture

Vinay Kumar Jain and Meena Jain Effect of Culture and Society on Sociology of Language in India made a presentation on the effects of culture and society on language in the context of India. They stated that India was the giant linguistic resource where cultures and languages interacted, and concluded that the global language, English, evolved into a variety termed as "Indian English" during the process of Indianization English.

Tatiana Lariana Russia in XXI century: changes in culture, communication, language discussed that the transformation of social and economic spheres of modern Russia, its orientation to the West affected language and communication as well as other spheres of life in Russia. She drew the attention to the fact that while Russian borrowed numerous words from English communication tended to become more individualistic leaving its collectivist characterization due to the impact of globalisation.


6. Globalisation and global language

The effect of English on Arabic in television talk shows, and to what extent it contributes to constructing modernity and to the spread of English-Arabic mixing in Arab societies was discussed by Zahra Awad Constructing Modernity through Language: Mixing English and Arabic in Television Programs in terms of its nature, the linguistic expressions involved, the kinds of programs in which it occurs and the attitudes  of viewers  towards it.

Irene Theodoropoulou The Globalization of Greek Language: the Case of Sociolinguistic Meta-Language focused on the meta-linguistic status of the Greek language in the global times, and stated that the Greek language had not been threatened by globalisation, rather it retained its key position as one of the most dynamic and reliable fonts for providing material for the purposes of a scientific meta-language, such as the sociolinguistic one.

Consequently, the INST conference provided the medium for exchange of experiences among academicians from different countries. It was an opportunity to meet each other at a cross-cultural cross roads to understand and discuss globalisation in the context of creativity and transformation of world societies. In doing so, we were able to attend fundamental questions in the sociolinguistic of globalisation and dealt with some of the linguistic challenges that we have had to face in this globalised world.

2.2. Identity, Authenticity, Locality, Urbanity and Speech Community: A New Sociolinguistic Perspective | Identität, Authentizität, lokale- und städtische Veränderungen und Sprachgemeinschaften: Eine neue soziolinguistische Perspektive

Sektionsgruppen | Section Groups | Groupes de sections

TRANS   Inhalt | Table of Contents | Contenu  17 Nr.

For quotation purposes:
Meryem Şen | İmran Karabağ: Sektionsbericht 2.2.:Identity, Authenticity, Locality, Urbanity and Speech Community: A New Sociolinguistic Perspective  - In: TRANS. Internet-Zeitschrift für Kulturwissenschaften. No. 17/2008. WWW:

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