Language management as a discipline for
or inadequacies as I shall call them henceforth in accordance with the terms defined in
the language management theory, can be as various as people make them. Ways in which
people note potential inadequacies and implement adjustments also vary. However, there are
some patterns: noting by speaker ('self') is often an interruption of an ongoing utterance
accompanied by a murmur ['uh']; and implementation of adjustment of an expression noted by
self is often preceded by a repetition of the syllable or word immediately preceding the
"product-item" when it is repaired (as ethnomethodologists term the noted speech
segment and its adjustment, respectively).
difficulties in discourse, during "on-line" communication; their equivalents
"off-line" are language problems. What people cannot handle as they speak become
problems for discussion and resolution, they become meta-difficulties, their solutions
then to be accessed and implemented as adjustments in discourse.
The very notion of
a discipline of study built on language as communication implies meta-communication, and
language planning is but one of its kinds. The entire set of kinds of "off-line"
behaviors towards language that solves problems of communication is language management.
This allows also language management in discourse, out of which -- or at least in relation
to which -- meta-kinds of language management arise.
A claim that there
is a language problem must answer the following questions:
The answers will
reveal whether the claim addresses a communication problem or some other kind of problem,
whether the claim is an imposition or has indeed a motivation in discourse, and what the
relation of the claimant is to the problem.
kinds of language management are there?
What kinds of
language management are there? Many classifications are possible.
a) A parametric
approach to kinds of language management
could account for how people manage language more or less rigorously. Language teaching or
term management may be ad hoc or quite systematically informed by particular theories.
accounts for how people manage language with more or less scope. Term management typically
concerns a specialized, narrow field of work; dictionary writing anticipates all problems
with the lexicon of a language or two.
could account for how people manage language in different sectors of a speech community,
and with different organization: in-house a corporation, as language teachers and language
learning researchers in the educational sector, as a public non-profit advisory agency, as
drafts(wo)men and translators in the legal sector, as copy-editors in newspaper
b) A holistic
empirical approach turns up language planning and its agencies in the new states.
It turns up the
tradition of academies in the older countries including South America which once were
similarly motivated -- and the idea of a language academy in the old world has inspired
many a language planning agency in the new states.
It finds a
European tradition of cultivation of language (Sprachkultur, kul'tura jazyka,
språkvård). Although this kind of language management works within a national language
and in support of it, contemporary society requires of these agencies to address also the
relation of use of the national language to the use of minorities' varieties and to
domestic use of English. The cultivation communities have accumulated experiential and
theoretical knowledge largely because of their relatively long history of recorded
continuous use of languages. The literature reveals a striking lack of overlap of
reference and personnel between it and the college of language planners. (1).