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Pluricentric Languages: New Perspectives in Theory and Description


Rudolf Muhr and Dawn Marley

This volume presents a selection of papers from the «3rd International Conference on Non-Dominant Varieties of Pluricentric Languages» that was held in 2014 at the University of Surrey, Guildford (UK). The papers in section one deal with the theoretical aspects of pluricentricity and methods of description of the variations in pluricentric languages. Section two contains a number of papers about «new» pluricentric languages and «new» non-dominant varieties that have not been described before. Section three showcases pluricentric languages that are used alongside indigenous languages and section four deals with the pluricentricity of special languages.
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← 6 | 7 →Preface


This volume comprises a selection of 17 papers that were presented at the “3rd International Conference on Non-Dominant Varieties of Pluricentric Languages” which was organized by the “Working Group on Non-Dominant Varieties of Pluricentric Languages” and was held at the University of Surrey, Guildford (UK) on the 3rd and 4th of July 2014. The main aim of the conference was to strengthen the theory and extend the description of pluricentric languages around the world. During the past conferences it became clearer that the standard theory of pluricentricity would not apply to complex multilingual language situations such as those found in former colonies where nativised varieties have developed alongside diglossic or multiglossic language use. It also became apparent that other theoretical problems had to be considered when pluricentric languages in the making are included, such as second level types of pluricentricity and formerly unrecognised pluricentric languages, whose status is unclear.

The first two conferences have also shown that the scope of what constitutes pluricentricity is far wider than what was originally envisaged. When Michael Clyne coined the term “pluricentric languages” in 1984, it made sense to restrict it to national standard languages of the “larger” pluricentric languages. However, it is now clear that many other languages should be included, such as Catalan in Europe and Bengali in Asia. A further objective of the conference was to work on a more viable definition of what pluricentricity actually means in the context of research on non-dominant language varieties.


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