Orthography and ideology: issues in Sranan spelling.

Sebba, Mark (2000) Orthography and ideology: issues in Sranan spelling. Linguistics, 38 (5). pp. 925-948. ISSN 1613-396X

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This paper concerns the orthography of Sranan, an English-lexicon creole spoken by a majority of the population in Surinam (South America), which also has many speakers in the Netherlands. Sranan has a long written tradition and has had two official orthographies, but it is still often written informally using conventions largely derived from Dutch. Social and ideological issues always accompany the development of an orthography but are often viewed as lying outside the realm of linguistics. In this paper I survey the orthographic practices, past and present, used in writing Sranan, to argue that orthographies are shaped less by the phonological facts of the language concerned than by social and cultural factors in the context where the orthography is used. The most important of these are the nature of bilingualism among the literate part of the population while the orthography is developing; literacy practices within the community as a whole; and ideological beliefs concerning languages and their speakers, both inside and outside the speech community. I argue for the view that orthography is a social practice embedded in the social and cultural practices of the writers and speakers of the language.

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?? linguistics and languagelanguage and linguisticsp philology. linguistics ??
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05 Feb 2008 16:57
Last Modified:
15 Jul 2024 09:25