Slovene language policy in time and space:the trajectory of a language strategy from inception to implementation

Savski, Kristof (2015) Slovene language policy in time and space:the trajectory of a language strategy from inception to implementation. PhD thesis, UNSPECIFIED.

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The Resolution for a National Language Policy Programme 2014-2018 was adopted by the Slovene parliament in the summer of 2013, and was intended to set a common agenda in the area of state language policy. In this thesis, I investigate its trajectory from inception to (attempted) implementation. My study analyses policymaking practices during a time of political, social and economic instability in Slovenia, and investigates how the roles of various actors involved with the policy changed along with the political landscape. It focusses particularly on the traditional role of linguists as authorities on language in Slovenia. To analyse these processes, I develop a comprehensive theoretical framework for language policy analysis, drawing on social field theory, social action theory, state theory, interpretive policy analysis, critical discourse studies, and critical sociolinguistics. The framework analyses policy as a set of practices which occur across different social spaces, such as fields and nexuses of practice. It also takes into account the changeability of such spaces, particularly how transformations in the broader socio-political context open and close opportunities for agency. The thesis includes four case studies, each exploring a different aspect of the policy process, consisting of the media discourse about language policy in Slovenia, the drafting of the policy text, a parliamentary committee meeting about it, and its implementation. The studies draw on a broad data-set comprised of media texts, documentary data, correspondence, interview data and observation data. For my analysis, I combine the discourse historical approach in critical discourse analysis with mediated discourse analysis to develop a methodology which enables analysis of discourse from the perspective of text as well as social action. My analysis of the public discourse surrounding language policy in Slovenia finds an ongoing ideological debate between two groups of linguists. I find that members of both groups were successful in inserting their own ideology in the policy text, but that opportunities to do so occurred at different times. I find that linguists voicing the established language ideology were particularly successful in using their symbolic capital to exert influence on policymaking across different sites.

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Thesis (PhD)
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17 Mar 2016 09:42
Last Modified:
12 Sep 2023 00:14