Proceedings of the LCTG3 Conference
Edited By Amei Koll-Stobbe and Sebastian Knospe
Dennis R. Preston (Oklahoma State University): DAMNED IF YOU DO, AND DAMNED IF YOU DON’T: the perception of languages and language varieties in a globalizing world
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DAMNED IF YOU DO, AND DAMNED IF YOU DON’T. The perception of languages and language varieties in a globalizing world
Dennis R. Preston
Globalization means that there is an increasing number of opportunities for language contact and to develop folk linguistic research in this domain. Most of the areas covered in this paper are not really new – contrasts between the native and second (and foreign) language speaker; concerns about language mixing; ideas about the mental repercussions of bi- and multilingualism (especially perhaps the influence on younger children), notions of language difficulty and/or simplicity, and gut feelings about elegant, logical, ugly, pretty, and masculine and feminine languages and language varieties. This paper reviews some of these traditional categories as they seem to develop and change (or fail to change) in the modern context of language globalization. The paper will focus especially on the cognitive deployment of such folk belief and the sorts of interpretive strategies that can be used to lay bare its meaning.