March 10, 2011

Language is not a thing

Canagarajah has a bone to pick with linguistics:

"To begin with, the field treats language as a thing in itself, an objective, identifiable product. The field also gives important to form, treating langauge as a tightly knit structure, neglecting other processes and practices that always accompany communication... Inadequate attention is paid to the way in which various language forms and varieties are embedded in diverse environments, perfectly adequate in their own way for the functions at hand."

--from "Ecology of Global English" (2007)

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