Micro language planning

Baldauf Jr., Richard B. (2005). Micro language planning. In Paul Bruthiaux, Dwight Atkinson, William Eggington, William Grabe and Vaidehi Ramanathan (Ed.), Directions in Applied Linguistics: Essays in honor of Robert B. Kaplan (pp. 227-239) Clevedon, U.K.: Multilingual Matters.

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Name Description MIMEType Size Downloads
Author Baldauf Jr., Richard B.
Title of chapter Micro language planning
Title of book Directions in Applied Linguistics: Essays in honor of Robert B. Kaplan
Place of Publication Clevedon, U.K.
Publisher Multilingual Matters
Publication Year 2005
Sub-type Research book chapter (original research)
Series Multilingual Matters
ISBN 9781853598494
Editor Paul Bruthiaux
Dwight Atkinson
William Eggington
William Grabe
Vaidehi Ramanathan
Volume number 133
Chapter number 14
Start page 227
End page 239
Total pages 13
Total chapters 17
Collection year 2005
Language eng
Subjects 751002 Languages and literacy
200401 Applied Linguistics and Educational Linguistics
200405 Language in Culture and Society (Sociolinguistics)
Formatted Abstract/Summary
In an overview of the field of language policy and planning, Kaplan and Baldauf (1997: 52) suggest that language planning occurs at several levels, the macro, the meso, and the micro. Although they provideseveral examples of micro level planning, such as a company requiring business translation in North America (Kaplan & Baldauf, 1997: 254ff), this application of the principles of language policy and planning to micro situations is not a significant focus of the volume, nor is it developed in any detail. As Kaplan and Baldauf indicate in their introductory chapter, when applied linguists think of language planning. they normally think in terms of large-scale, usually national, planning, often undertaken by governments and meant to influence ways of speaking or writing within a society. Davies (1999: 123). in a review of the volume, argues that Kaplan and Baldauf have been less convincing about the centrality of applied linguistics to language policy and planning. and he suggests that they try to 'claim too much: language planning is best restricted to governmental activity, difficult as that may be to encompass.'

Governmental activity is, of course, precisely where early language planning studies and practice have their roots, in macro sociolinguistics and related disciplines (see, for example, the Ford Foundation East African Studies: Fox, 1975; Fishman, 1974; Rubin & Jernudd, 1971), and it continues to be the site of most language policy and planning studies and critiques. Furthermore, government officials are often the prime actors in language planning activities (Baldauf & Kaplan, 2(03). But the question still remains: is language policy and planning activity, almost by definition, restricted to large-scale (macro) governmental activity, or can the frameworks that have been developed be applied differentially but in an equally valid manner to micro situations? And if such applications are possible, is the resultant work still language policy and planning, or does it then fall into some other subfield of applied linguistics or of some other branch of linguistics, such as sociolinguistics?

There has been some discussion of, but little specific scholarly work on, the idea that language planning can (and does) occur at the micro level (i.e. language planning for businesses, educational bodies and other organizations), and the extent to which many of the same issues that can be found in the policy and planning frameworks and literature are relevant to the micro level. It is perhaps particularly appropriate to explore this question in a volume dedicated to the scholarship of Robert Kaplan, because he and some of his students have provided some of the most well-formed examples of what might be seen as the beginnings of a microlanguage planning genre.

To put this question in context, it is necessary to examine briefly what is meant by language planning and how the macro models and frameworks that have been developed might relate to micro studies, and then to review the available literature on micro studies to understand more clearly what has already been done or what might be done.
Q-Index Code B1
Additional Notes Publication date: 06 Oct 2005. Published in Part 5 "Language Policy and Planning".

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Created: Tue, 14 Aug 2007, 12:23:50 EST