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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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Luxury or Necessity? The representation of non-dominant varieties in dictionaries: the cases of Dutch and Swedish



This paper deals with the representation of non-dominant varieties of pluricentric languages in dictionaries. The concept ‘national variety’ is explained and the issue of representing non-dominant varieties in codification tools is elaborated upon. The necessity of inserting relevant information on national variation in dictionaries is discussed in relation to the functionalities of a given dictionary and the intended target group. Specific attention is drawn to the asymmetrical treatment of lexical variation in lexicography, whereby the non-dominant variety is usually marked as deviant. The paper focuses on two bi-centric languages, viz. Dutch and Swedish and good lexicographical practices from both the Dutch and the Swedish lexicographical traditions are discussed in a contrastive perspective. Empirical evidence is used to sketch a model for the analysis of lexical variation patterns, which can be useful for the elaboration of annotated lexical databases and be applied in other pluricentric language areas.

1.   National variety and the concept of pluricentric languages

Pluricentric languages comprise several national varieties, which have the status of an official language in their respective countries. As a rule pluricentric languages are characterized by the existence of a dominant variety (D) and one or several non-dominant varieties (NDV). Between the DV and the NDV(s) there is an asymmetrical relation (Clyne 1992; Muhr 2013; Lindström et al. 2015). The speakers of the DV claim the self-evident ownership of the language, while the speakers of the NDV(s) are engaged in a permanent legitimating...

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