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postgraduate thesis: Language, culture and reification : linguistic negotiations in international institutions

TitleLanguage, culture and reification : linguistic negotiations in international institutions
Authors
Advisors
Advisor(s):Hutton, CM
Issue Date2013
PublisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)
Citation
Christe, N.. (2013). Language, culture and reification : linguistic negotiations in international institutions. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b5153680
AbstractThis research investigates the unstable relationship between language and culture and offers an alternative, non-essentialist model for their interaction. The thesis demonstrates that languages and cultures are ideological constructs and explores how these emerge and are maintained through social rituals, institutional measures, and individual consensus. The focus of enquiry is English as a global language. Taking into consideration current linguistic debates surrounding English as an international language, this research demonstrates that feelings of cultural loss, appropriation and endangerment reproduce a particular language ideology, which could be called cultural/nationalist. It will also be shown how different levels of reification come into play in the discussion of language as an ideological product. The discussions among linguistic theorists will be contrasted with the perspective of individuals immersed in what is conventionally labelled as a multilingual context. The fieldwork in international institutions provides a basis for exploring the subjectivity of the understanding of linguistic and cultural categories and reflexive insights into how meanings are constructed through experience, interaction and negotiation. The focus in the fieldwork discussions is again on English, its roles, functions, values and prestige as perceived by the informants. Unlike linguistic theories which take languages as systems of meaning encapsulation, it will be argued that meaning is inherently indeterminate and constantly re-created. Individuals respond to their communicational choices in ways that are not reducible to abstract and pre-given linguistic and cultural categories, although these categories still provide individuals with models to classify their personal experiences. Finally, it will be shown that in the field of anthropology, a number of researchers have provided insightful models for rethinking linguistic categories in a non-essentialist way, drawing on notions of experience, performance, storytelling and indexicality. Meta-analytical interpretative tools will be deployed to address the issue of linguistic and cultural reification set out in the body of the thesis.
DegreeDoctor of Philosophy
SubjectLanguage and culture
Dept/ProgramEnglish
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/196004

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.advisorHutton, CM-
dc.contributor.authorChriste, Noël-
dc.date.accessioned2014-03-21T03:50:04Z-
dc.date.available2014-03-21T03:50:04Z-
dc.date.issued2013-
dc.identifier.citationChriste, N.. (2013). Language, culture and reification : linguistic negotiations in international institutions. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b5153680-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/196004-
dc.description.abstractThis research investigates the unstable relationship between language and culture and offers an alternative, non-essentialist model for their interaction. The thesis demonstrates that languages and cultures are ideological constructs and explores how these emerge and are maintained through social rituals, institutional measures, and individual consensus. The focus of enquiry is English as a global language. Taking into consideration current linguistic debates surrounding English as an international language, this research demonstrates that feelings of cultural loss, appropriation and endangerment reproduce a particular language ideology, which could be called cultural/nationalist. It will also be shown how different levels of reification come into play in the discussion of language as an ideological product. The discussions among linguistic theorists will be contrasted with the perspective of individuals immersed in what is conventionally labelled as a multilingual context. The fieldwork in international institutions provides a basis for exploring the subjectivity of the understanding of linguistic and cultural categories and reflexive insights into how meanings are constructed through experience, interaction and negotiation. The focus in the fieldwork discussions is again on English, its roles, functions, values and prestige as perceived by the informants. Unlike linguistic theories which take languages as systems of meaning encapsulation, it will be argued that meaning is inherently indeterminate and constantly re-created. Individuals respond to their communicational choices in ways that are not reducible to abstract and pre-given linguistic and cultural categories, although these categories still provide individuals with models to classify their personal experiences. Finally, it will be shown that in the field of anthropology, a number of researchers have provided insightful models for rethinking linguistic categories in a non-essentialist way, drawing on notions of experience, performance, storytelling and indexicality. Meta-analytical interpretative tools will be deployed to address the issue of linguistic and cultural reification set out in the body of the thesis.-
dc.languageeng-
dc.publisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)-
dc.relation.ispartofHKU Theses Online (HKUTO)-
dc.rightsCreative Commons: Attribution 3.0 Hong Kong License-
dc.rightsThe author retains all proprietary rights, (such as patent rights) and the right to use in future works.-
dc.subject.lcshLanguage and culture-
dc.titleLanguage, culture and reification : linguistic negotiations in international institutions-
dc.typePG_Thesis-
dc.identifier.hkulb5153680-
dc.description.thesisnameDoctor of Philosophy-
dc.description.thesislevelDoctoral-
dc.description.thesisdisciplineEnglish-
dc.description.naturepublished_or_final_version-
dc.identifier.doi10.5353/th_b5153680-

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