Sociolinguistic Studies, Estudios de Sociolingüística 3.2 2002

Social prestige and linguistic identity. On the ideological conditions behind the standardisation of Galician

Luzia Domínguez-Seco
Issued Date: 16 Mar 2007


This work deals with what is termed here as the criteria of idiomatic correction: there is a correct manner, a “good” way of speaking, as compiled in grammars or dictionaries, which is the shared model for all speakers. This criteria unifies the diverse varieties of language via a standard while, at the same time, distinguishing between what is “speaking properly” (educated, formal registers, pertaining to the higher classes) and “speaking badly” (dialectal and vulgar varieties pertaining to the lower classes). In contemporary Galiza, the dominant ideologies affecting the Galician language have incorporated this distinction. Although this fact implies a dignifying effect (our language is no longer “uneducated”), the fact is often overlooked that “educated” and “uneducated” speakers are not on an equal footing in terms of how “dignity” is shared out. This article looks at the communicative effect of the correction criteria as manifested in the linguistic practices of a young group of friends. Here, segments of interactions are analysed as examples of what this people do, and of what they say about language.

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DOI: 10.1558/sols.v3i2.207


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