Language ideologies, intervarietal conflict and their repercussions on language and society: the case of the Hispanic dialect complex

Godsuno Chela-Flores 1
  • 1 University of Zulia, Maracaibo, Venezuela
Godsuno Chela-Flores

Abstract

In this paper, a phase of language divinisation is posited as the deeply-rooted origin of the standard language/variety ideology, which devalues the nonstandard dialects thus causing a permanent sociolinguistic conflict. Present linguistic standardisation is seen as the form divinisation has taken in the course of the history of humankind and it is justified by the search of stability and functionality for organised speech communities, which is not objectionable as such for some aspects of social life. The sociolinguistic conflict emerges because the first stage of the process requires the selection of usually one variety (or more than one in some cases) out of the dialectal complex of any natural language, generally responding to class-related interests allied to power and prestige. It is evidently, an ideological issue. Our approach to this problem is based on data from the Spanish-speaking world, analysed mainly on a minimal unitary phonetological approach (MUPA) in search of different dialectal dimensions and parameters. MUPA is justified and possible because of the great cohesiveness of Spanish varieties. When attention is paid to this extensive linguistic dominion, one finds that the notion of the inevitability of the weakening of regional varieties has to be revised.

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Dialectologia et Geolinguistica publishes contributions on the variation of languages world-wide, systematic and inherent, diachronic and synchronic, regional and social, based on either oral or written data. It is open to all theoretical and methodological approaches. The journal is the official journal of the International Society for Dialectology and Geolinguistics (ISDG/SIDG).

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