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This introductory chapter reviews how researchers across a range of disciplines have critically reassessed their conceptions of language and of the relationship between language and identity, especially in multilingual or superdiverse contexts. Key elements of the ‘multilingual turn’ are elaborated, including the focus on the construction and negotiation of identity and the view of languages as part of a multimodal repertoire, thereby broadening and problematizing the definition of multilingualism. In a second section, the terminology used to describe multilingual speakers and practices is analysed, and its relation to the values and identities ascribed to them is assessed. The chapter then presents the three major themes around which the volume is structured: situated multilingualism and identity, multilingual identity practices and multilingual identity and investment. The final section explores the extent to which interdisciplinarity is represented both within the chapters and across the volume, and how far ‘integration’ and ‘common ground’, considered key aims for successful interdisciplinary work, have been possible.
The analysis and understanding of multilingualism, and its relationship to identity in the face of globalization, migration and the increasing dominance of English as a lingua franca, makes it a complex and challenging problem that requires insights from a range of disciplines. With reference to a variety of languages and contexts, this book offers fascinating insights into multilingual identity from a team of world-renowned scholars, working from a range of different theoretical and methodological perspectives. Three overarching themes are explored – situatedness, identity practices, and investment – and detailed case studies from different linguistic and cultural contexts are included throughout. The chapter authors' consideration of 'multilingualism-as-resource' challenges the conception of 'multilingualism-as-problem', which has dogged so much political thinking in late modernity. The studies offer a critical lens on the types of linguistic repertoire that are celebrated and valued, and introduce the policy implications of their findings for education and wider social issues.
In this chapter, I outline the development of some of the most widely used models of standardization and consider the extent to which they are able to account for the complexities of the standardization process and its different manifestations in diverse linguistic, historical and sociocultural contexts. I begin by discussing some of the ‘classic’ texts by Haugen, Garvin, Kloss, Ferguson and Stewart. I trace the establishment of certain key notions, as well as the publication of important texts in the 1980s and 1990s, including those by Milroy and Milroy, Le Page, Joseph and Cooper. I then outline some of the emerging and important themes in the work on standardization since 2000 which have proved challenging for the classic models of standardization. These include the standardization of minority and non-European languages and the consideration of standardization ‘from below’. Other developments concern an increasing focus on the agents of standardization and research on destandarization and restandardization, both of which need to be accommodated in standardization models. I conclude by revisiting Haugen’s model of standardization, which continues to be used in many studies and descriptions of standardization, despite its well-known limitations. I evaluate how far it is still valid and propose some possible modifications.