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Welsh lexical planning and the use of lexis in institutional settings

Robert, Elen 2013. Welsh lexical planning and the use of lexis in institutional settings. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.
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This thesis considers what I call lexical planning initiatives for Welsh – formal attempts to codify and standardise Welsh words. Welsh has been subjected to lexical planning – and purification – attempts for a number of centuries, with lexicographers seeking to coin and standardise Welsh-equivalent words for concepts that have initially emerged through contact with English (and other prestigious languages). Lexical planners have redoubled their efforts in the last fifty years, but especially since 1993, largely as a result of the language revitalisation movement. Lexical planning efforts can be envisaged as attempts to influence the acquisition and use of any lexical resources, but they often focus on specific subject matters, especially from modern or emergent domains or disciplines. Such initiatives are often referred to as terminology planning/standardisation. My research considers the implementation of these planning initiatives, focusing on spoken language data at two research sites: the broadcast media and an office-based workplace. Taking a two-pronged approach to analysis, I ask whether, how and why Welsh speakers use planned lexis. First, I consider the extent to which the lexical content is in keeping with the stipulations of lexical planners in their codification texts. This approach is chiefly quantitative, drawing broadly on corpus linguistics and variationist sociolinguistics. Secondly, taking a more context- and practice-focused, as well as critical approach, I undertake an interaction analysis of the in situ use of lexical resources. From this perspective, we gain a picture of the underlying, sometimes conflicting, ideologies and discourse priorities that motivate lexical choice. This approach considers lexical planning initiatives not as implemented top-down, but embedded in their social milieu. Finally, I consider the implications of my research for the broader revitalisation effort, asking to what extent lexical planning initiatives, as they are currently imagined and conducted, complement other language planning endeavours, and whether and how they might be reconsidered.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Status: Unpublished
Schools: English, Communication and Philosophy
Subjects: P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
Funders: Welsh Language Board
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Last Modified: 19 Oct 2019 03:53

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