STATUS AND CORPUS PLANNING:
ADDRESSING LANGUAGE POLICY IMPLEMENTATION PROBLEMS
IN SOUTH AFRICA
Mtholeni N. Ngcobo
DEPARTMENT OF LINGUISTICS
UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH AFRICA
LANGUAGE PLANNING
• A social construct
• Production of a policy
• Policy aspect of planning;
Allocation (Gorman, 1973)
Language happening (Jernudd & Das Gupta,
1971)
Language Treatment (Neustupný, 1974)
Language Planning
• De facto language planning vs. de jure
language planning
• Practices vs. Policy
FOURFOLD MODEL
• Selection of the norm
• Codification
• Implementation
• Elaboration
• Antia (2000) two-by-two matrix
Norm + function = language
Society + language = planning
THEORETICAL MODELS
• Rational model (canonical or ideal planning)
• Alternative model
• Rational model:
National/official language choice – purely
government decision
• Alternative model
Accommodate several types/levels of government or
non-governmental decision-making and
implementation
THEORETICAL MODELS cont…
• Several planning mechanisms
• Less organized and less coordinated sources
of change
LANGUAGE MANAGEMENT
• A reaction against centralisation
• Focus on discourse
STATUS vs. CORPUS PLANNING
• Compartmentalization (Kloss, 1969)
• Status planning:
Discourse of language politics and society
Social aspects of language planning (Kaplan
and Baldauf, 1997)
Related to political issues
Focus on legislative decisions
STATUS vs. CORPUS cont…
• Corpus Planning
Focus on changes by deliberate planning to
the corpus or shape of a language
Orthography, grammar, lexica (Antia, 2000)
• Relationship (status & corpus)
Dichotomous and complementary
LP IN SA
• Socio-historical view:
Traditional structural planning of culture and
language
Symbolic power: the creation of the linguistic field;
hebitus (Bordieu, 1991)
The de jure emphasis (1822) – Anglicisation
Objection – Dutch speaking people
1910 – Union of SA
LP in SA cont…
English and Afrikaans legislation
Standardization of some indigenous languages
LP in Democratic SA
Correction intervention: 11 official languages
Compromise and accommodating (Bellamy,
1999)
LANGTAG and PANSALB
Promotion of the use of official languages
Development of minority language
Constitutional base & the Bill of Rights
POLICY DOCUMENTS
The National Policy Framework- 2003
The Implementation Plan - 2003
Language in Education Policy - 1996
Language Policy for Higher Education
The Western Cape Provincial Language Act of
1998
THE NATURE OF SALP
Emotional connotations that languages hold:
various voices and interests
Objectively designed: to maintain ethnic
diversity and compromise
Deliberate and political policy of
multilingualism
Symbolic
THE NATURE OF SALP cont…
Aims: promote, develop, respect
Language groupings: Nguni, Sotho, Venda,
Ndebele, English and Afrikaans
CHALLENGES AND
CONSTRAINTS
Implementation problem
English dominance
The balance of the needs and preferences
Escape clauses: practicability, usage etc.
Discourse: equality vs. equity, individual rights
vs. group rights
FROM STATUS TO CORPUS LP
Interlinguistically competitive market place
Policy approach vs. the cultivation approach
Policy: created the climate of transformation
or reconstruction and development (Webb
2000)
Development and corpus planning (a practical
implementation strategy)
FROM STATUS TO CORPUS LP
Beautify, amplify and dignify (Fishman 1996)
Terminology development, interpreting and
translation
The use of new and acceptable conventions
and the involvement of the designated
audience
The development of teaching material and
other applications
CONCLUSION
The SA Policy is good
Status planning should be complemented with
corpus planning
Idealistic vs. pragmatic types of language
planning
A need for localisation or glocalisation: a
response to global technology (Antia, 2000)
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