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How we feel and think about language: Language ideologies and the 'total linguistic fact'

Research output: Other contribution

Ben Rampton, Sam Holmes

Original languageEnglish
TypeWorking Paper
Media of output
Number of pages7
Place of PublicationKCL
Published19 Sep 2019

Publication series

NameWorking Papers in Urban Language & Literacies
PublisherLDC, KCL

King's Authors


To analyse people’s thoughts, beliefs and feelings language and languages, sociolinguists have developed the concept of ‘language ideology’. The goal is to understand
• how our thoughts, feelings and belief about language are tied into our social lives, our biographies, our histories and our day-to-day communication.
In fact, say sociolinguists, if you overlook these language ideologies, you can’t really understand language and language use – they are an essential part of the ‘total linguistic fact’. At the same time,
• there are a lot of different ideologies of language, varying in how elaborate and influential they are and the types and aspects of language they focus on;
• particular language ideologies grow and decline over time;
• they often privilege some people rather than others, generating inequalities, arguments and conflict (large and small), although
• there is still some scope of creatively reworking well-established ideologies in practical activity.

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