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Conference Papers Year : 2019

Nation-State Ideology and Language Struggles in Turkey

Idéologie État-Nation et Troubles Linguistiques en Turquie

Y. Mertcan Altinsoy


Many authors discussed the link between language ideology and political and/or economic power. Silverstein (1979) defines language ideology as "[…] any sets of beliefs about language articulated by the users as a rationalization or justification of perceived language structure and use". Irvine (2012) adds that this sociolinguistic relationship is part of the cultural system which lays on moral and political interests. Regarding the contribution of Bourdieu, we can say that the application of a language ideology creates a discourse that expands by its own reproduction. The shareholders of the same reproduced ideology attribute themselves the legitimacy of taking advantage of this linguistic capital, and they make sure of its maintenance. As a result, speakers appear as the actors who implement the link between language and power. Monolinguist approach to language is shared by many countries founded on nationalist ideas. This ideology stands for the homogenization of ethnolinguistic groups by eliminating language variation in a nation-state. The choice of the official language, the standardization processes, or the subjects such as first language learning, the publications in different languages or access to media in another language are challenging issues for these nation-state countries that rejecting the reality of plurilinguism. Thus, the nationalism appears as a cause of sociolinguistic and economic conflict. In this communication, I shall discuss these points with examples from my ongoing PhD research on the linguistic contact between Kurdish and Turkish in Istanbul, Turkey.


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hal-02373294 , version 1 (05-12-2019)


  • HAL Id : hal-02373294 , version 1


Y. Mertcan Altinsoy. Nation-State Ideology and Language Struggles in Turkey. 11th AILA-Europe Junior Researchers' Meeting in Applied Linguistics, Sep 2019, Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. ⟨hal-02373294⟩
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