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Language Policy

, Volume 14, Issue 4, pp 377–395 | Cite as

(En)Countering language ideologies: language policing in the ideospace of Facebook

  • Prem Phyak
Original Paper

Abstract

This paper takes language policing as an ideospace, a space where multiple language ideologies are constructed and contested. Drawing on critical language policy and linguistic anthropology, it unravels how participants in a Nepalese Facebook group construct and reproduce language ideologies that both challenge and impose homogeneity and uniformity. The study shows that Facebook language policing does not always embrace superdiverse conditions such as linguistic heterogeneity and fluidity, but reproduces language ideologies that consistently impose homogeneity. The analysis further shows that monolingual ideologies are reproduced through the iconization of Nepali as the national language and English as the language of technology and the global linguistic marketplace. Such iconization further erases the discourses that support the revitalization and use of minority languages in Facebook and other spaces. The study implies that the ideological contestation in Facebook language policing reflects public debate about politics, ethnicity, and nationalism in the offline context of Nepal.

Keywords

Language ideology Facebook Language policy Superdiversity Policing Ideospace 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Second Language StudiesUniversity of Hawai’i at ManoaHonoluluUSA
  2. 2.Department of English Education, Central Department of EducationTribhuvan UniversityKathmanduNepal

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