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International Conference on Non-dominating Varieties of Pluricentric Languages
Graz, 11-13 July 2011

Topics of the conference

  • The  sociolinguistic/demographic situation of non-dominant varieties in general
  • The overall  relationship between the non-dominant and the dominant variety  (acceptance/non-acceptance of the pluricentricity of the language etc.)
  • The  attitudes (status, loyalty etc.) of speakers of non-dominant varieties  towards their own variety and towards the dominant variety
  • the  treatment of the norms of the non-dominant variety in education: is it  taught explicitly
  • The  situation of codification and corpus planning – codifying institutions,  dictionaries, regulations governing codification, joint institutions that  regulate the codification (e.g. orthography) across different varieties
  • The  situation of status planning (is there any?)
  • The  treatment of pronunciation features and lexical items of the non-dominant  variety in dictionaries and in orthography (adapted/not adapted)
  • The  influence of the dominant variety/ies on the non-dominant variety  (lexicon, pronunciation, grammar, phraseology, pragmatics etc.) and vice  versa
  • Prominent  linguistic and pragmatic features of one particular non-dominant variety  on all levels

Non-dominant varieties - Definition

The  term was coined by Michael Clyne (1992:459) in the epilogue to the anthology "Pluricentric Languages. Differing Norms in Different Nations" using the terms "dominant" and "other" varieties. In the meantime the term "other" has been changed to "non-dominant".

How can "non-dominant" varieties of pluricentric languages be defined?

It will be one of the aims of the conference to arrive at a theoretically and empirically well founded definition:

A preliminary definition might be the following: Non-dominant is any variety that

  • is not the variety of the country of origin of a language (Great Britain, France, The Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Russia etc.)
  • is not the variety of one of the countries with the most speakers and the the most economic, cultural and military power (e.g. not the US, Britain, Germany, France etc.)
  • itself is not a primary norm-setting centre but often strongly orientated on exogenous norms of the dominant variety and often without or little codification of the endogenous norms

Possible Non-dominant Varieties of pluricentric languages world wide are:

  1. Arabic in: Algeria, Bahrain, Comoros Islands, Chad, Djibouti, Eritrea, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Western Sahara, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, Yemen North, Yemen South
  2. Albanian in: Kosovo, Macedonia
  3. Armenian: Western Armenian
  4. Chinese in: Singapore, Taiwan
  5. Dutch in: Aruba, Belgium, Bonaire, Curacao, Sabah, Sint Eustatius, Sint Maarten, Suriname
  6. English in: Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belize, Botswana, Dominica, Fidchi, Gambia, Ghana, Grenada, Guyana, Ireland, Jamaika, Kenya, Kiribati, Lesotho, Liberia, Malawi, Malaysia, Malta, Marshall Islands, Namibia, Nauru, Nigeria, Pakistan, Palau, Rwanda, Zambia, Samoa, Sierra Leone, Zimbabwe, Singapore, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent, Sudan, Swaziland, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tuvalu, Uganda
  7. French in: Belgium, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Canada, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Côte d'Ivoire, Dominica, Dshibuti, Equatorial Guinea, French Guiana, Gabun, Guadeloupe Cameroon, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, Luxemburg, Madagascar, Mali, Marocco, Mauretania, Mauritius, Niger, Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, Senegal, Seychelles, St. Lucia, Switzerland, Togo, Tunesia, Vanatu,
  8. German in: Austria, Switzerland, Belgium, Luxemburg, Liechtenstein
  9. Greek in: Cyprus
  10. Hungarian in: Serbia, Slovakia, Romania
  11. Italian in: Switzerland
  12. Kurdish in: Armenia, Iran
  13. Romanian in: Moldova
  14. Russian in: Azerbaijan, Estonia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgysztan, Latvia; Lithuania, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan; Ukraine
  15. Persian in: Afghanistan, Tajikistan
  16. Portuguese: Angola, Cap Verde, Guinea Bissau, Mozambique, São Tomé and Príncipe
  17. Spanish in: Bolivia, Chile, Columbia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Puerto Rico, Uruguay, Venezuela

 

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