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Title: A critical evaluation of linguistic minorities from a postmodern perspective : the case of Welsh
Author: Muirden, Mark
ISNI:       0000 0004 2707 5766
Awarding Body: University of Southampton
Current Institution: University of Southampton
Date of Award: 2011
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My aim in this thesis is to consider language policy and minority languages from the viewpoint of postmodernism – a theoretical framework that has much to offer beyond mere explanation and support for the concepts of diversity and pluralism. I argue there is a shortage of texts that interrogate language policy from a postmodern perspective – notwithstanding the contributions of a relatively small group of linguists including Pennycook (2000, 2006), Wright (2000, 2004), Cameron (1995) and Edwards (1985-2003). Thus, I combine some arguments from the domain of postmodernism articulated by theorists such as Foucault (1980), Lyotard (1997), and Connor (2004) with other arguments from the fields of language policy, language ideology and minority language rights formulated by theorists such as Phillipson (1993, 2003), Crystal (2000, 2003). In the first chapter I consider how language policy and planning has developed as a subject of academic inquiry since World War II. In the second chapter I focus on a primary objective for language policymakers, namely minority language maintenance. I conclude that characteristics and trends associated with postmodernism are neither wholly supportive nor wholly unsupportive of minority language maintenance. In the third chapter, I concentrate on the minority language Welsh, tentatively concluding that a truly bilingual Wales is not achievable. In this fourth chapter, I analyse findings from my ethnographic research into Welsh language usage in Newport. I tentatively conclude once more that the Welsh Assembly Government’s bilingual objective is unachievable. Finally, I argue that postmodernism is a useful theoretical perspective for academics in the field of language policy and planning.
Supervisor: Mar-Molinero, Clare Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: JN101 Great Britain ; PB Modern European Languages