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International Journal of the Sociology of Language

Founded by Fishman, Joshua A.

Ed. by Garcia Otheguy, Ofelia / Duchêne, Alexandre / Coulmas, Florian

6 Issues per year

CiteScore 2016: 0.53

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2016: 0.505
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2016: 0.716

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Volume 2013, Issue 223


The social practice of Breton: an epistemological challenge

Adam Le Nevez
Published Online: 2013-09-14 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ijsl-2013-0046


Many strategies and initiatives aimed at the promotion of the practice of Breton focus on the language as the key unit of inquiry. In this way language activism frequently involves introducing initiatives aimed at doing something to, or for, Breton. This article makes the argument that, although language-centred initiatives have many strengths, they often struggle to deal productively and effectively with the issue of language heterogeneity and diversity. In particular, when these initiatives focus on the development and promotion of a prestigious standard, they often have difficulty mobilizing an important group of Breton speakers: Bretons who use and identify more closely with local, vernacular varieties of the language. As an alternative to this paradigm, this article suggests reframing the focus of language initiatives by making the Breton language community, rather than the Breton language, the key unit of inquiry. In doing so it develops a view of Breton as a situated social practice, used by a group of people in related but diverse ways, rather than as a fixed and normative code.

Keywords: Breton; community of practice; social practice; language community; diversity

About the article

Published Online: 2013-09-14

Published in Print: 2013-09-14

Citation Information: International Journal of the Sociology of Language, Volume 2013, Issue 223, Pages 87–102, ISSN (Online) 1613-3668, ISSN (Print) 0165-2516, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ijsl-2013-0046.

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©[2013] by Walter de Gruyter Berlin Boston.Get Permission

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