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Pluricentric Languages and Non-Dominant Varieties Worldwide

Part I: Pluricentric Languages across Continents. Features and Usage


Edited By Rudolf Muhr

This is the first of two thematically arranged volumes with papers that were presented at the "World Conference of Pluricentric Languages and their non-dominant Varieties" (WCPCL). It comprises papers about 20 PCLs and 14 NDVs around the world. The second volume encompasses a further 17 papers about the pluricentricity of Portuguese and Spanish. The conference was held at the University of Graz (Austria) on July 8th-11th 2015. The papers fall into five categories: (1) Theoretical aspects of pluricentricity and the description of variation; (2) Different types of pluricentricity in differing environments; (3) African pluricentric languages and non-dominant varieties; (4) The pluricentricity of Arabic and Asian languages; (5) The pluricentricity of European languages inside Europe (Austrian German, Bosnian/Serbian/Croatian, Hungarian, Belgium Dutch, French, Greek, Swedish, Russian).

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Language loyalty to Austrian German: Conclusions of a research project at Austrian schools



The FWF-funded project “Austrian Standard German as a language of instruction and education”1. has examined the role of Austrian Standard German in everyday school teaching routines and teacher training, by means of a survey, group discussions with teachers and students, interviews with teachers and the analysis of curricula and course books. This article focuses on the following questions: When correcting student essays, do teachers apply and aspire to linguistic norms commonly referred to as “High German” or “Deutschländisches Deutsch” rather than Austrian Standard German, as stated in literature (Ammon 1995, Heinrich 2010, Legenstein 2008)? Which attitude do Austrian teachers and students have towards their own variety? Are “Austrian German” and the “pluricentric concept” dealt with in Austrian curricula, books and teaching materials?

1.   The project – a brief description

In many linguistic publications, references have been made to a linguistic inferiority complex among Austrian speakers of the German language towards German-speakers from Germany (e.g. Muhr 1989, 2005). In addition, subject literature also provides evidence of an ambivalent attitude among Austrians towards their own variety and a less marked language loyalty2. in comparison to speakers of ← 267 | 268 → the German variety. In some publications, the feelings of inferiority have been linked to a lack of knowledge about or at least vague concepts of the pluricentric variation within the German language. Linguists also presume that pluricentric variation is only rarely an issue in school teaching and teacher training. Therefore, the research project...

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