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Pijin and shifting language ideologies in urban Solomon Islands

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  19 May 2014

Christine Jourdan
Affiliation:
Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Concordia University, 1455, de Maisonneuve Blvd W. Montreal, H3G 1M8, CanadaChristine.jourdan@concordia.ca and Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology
Johanne Angeli
Affiliation:
Concordia University, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Concordia University, 1455, de Maisonneuve Blvd W. Montreal, H3G 1M8, Canadajohanne.angeli@sfr.fr
Corresponding

Abstract

Through the analysis of the various language ideologies that have shaped the sociolinguistic history of Pijin, the lingua franca of Solomon Islands, this article attempts to shed light on the peculiar complexity of the postcolonial linguistic situations where more prestigious and less prestigious languages coexist in the same sociological niche. These ideologies are: reciprocal multilingualism, hierarchical multilingualism, linguistic pragmatism, and linguistic nationalism. Specifically, the article focuses on the development and coalescence of linguistic ideologies that lead Pijin speakers to shift perceptions of Pijin—in a context of urban identity construction that acts as a force of its own. In the case of Pijin, linguistic legitimacy seems to be lagging behind social legitimacy. We show that the development of new ideologies can lead to the re-evaluation of the meaning of symbolic domination of one language (in this case English) over another one (Pijin), without necessarily challenging this symbolic domination. (Language ideology, youth, urbanization, pidgins and creoles, Solomon Islands)*

Type
Articles
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2014 

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