Hybridity as the hallmark of transcultural interaction: Implications for

Higher Education across Borders: Transcultural
interaction and Linguistic Diversity
April 1-4, 2012
Comwell Conference Hotel,
Roskilde, Denmark
Hybridity as the hallmark of
transcultural interaction:
implications for language policy
Kanavillil Rajagopalan
State University at Campinas (UNICAMP), Brazil
Nation, Nationality, nation-state etc. as essentially European constructs
(cf. Sue Wright, Chris Hutton, Joseph Errington)
Linguistics, sociology, and anthropology have all played important
roles in nationalist and colonialist agendas, which involved major
work on the naturalization, uniformization, and objectification of
social groups (and hence their ‘cultures,’ their boundaries, and their
-- Monica Heller
Scholars have widely recognized essentialist discourse as a
potentially pernicious means of conceptualizing categories of ‘race’
and ethnicity. What has not been so rigorously explored is the way
in which socially differentiated languages may themselves be
essentialized to similar ends.
-- Janet McIntosh
Einar Haugen (1904 -1994)
Status planning -- Corpus planning
Acquisition planning
“One nation, one people, one language”
The role of growing multilingualism
Newness: ‘mélange, hotch-potch, a bit of this and a bit of
that’ – Salman Rushdie
Hybrid languages:
Spanglish, Franglais, Portunhol, Hinglish
Resistance to hybrid languages
Hybridity of languages/miscegenation of
“Es gibt keine Mischprache” -- Max Müller
19th century Zeitgeist
Errington, Joseph (2008). Linguistics in a Colonial World: A Story of
Language, Meaning and Power., MA, USA. : Blackwell Publishing.
Heller, Monica (2008). ‘Language and the nation-state: Challenges to
sociolinguistic theory and practice.’ Journal of Sociolinguistics 12(4): 504–
Hutton, Christopher. (1999). Linguistics and the Third Reich. Mother-tongue
Fascism, Race and the Science of Language. London and New York:
McIntosh, Janet (2005). ‘Language essentialism and social hierarchies
among Giriama and Swahili’. Journal of Pragmatics 37: 1919–1944
Rajagopalan, Kanavillil. (2012). ‘Colonial hangover and the new ‘hybrid’
Englishes.’ In Agnihotri, R. K. and Singh, R. (eds.). Indian English: Towards
a New Paradigm. New Delhi: Orient Blackswan Ltd. 206 – 214.
Rushdie, Salman (1990). In Good Faith. London: Penguin.
Wright, Sue. (2004). Language Policy and Language Planning. From
Nationalism to Globalisation. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.