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    Using corpus linguistics to investigate agency and benign neglect in organisational language policy and planning: the United Nations as a case study

    McEntee-Atalianis, Lisa and Vessey, Rachelle (2021) Using corpus linguistics to investigate agency and benign neglect in organisational language policy and planning: the United Nations as a case study. Journal of Multilingual & Multicultural Development , ISSN 0143-4632. (In Press)

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    Abstract

    This article responds to recent calls to investigate the role of agents and the connections between layers of agency in the development and implementation of language policy and planning (LPP). Using a corpus linguistic and discursive approach to language policy, we identify interventions made in plenary sessions by Secretary-Generals (SGs) and Member States (MSs) at the United Nations when discussing language issues over a period of 46 years (1970-2016). The article identifies which SGs and MSs prioritise language issues and the change agents and/or (un)successful brokers in matters of policy and planning. Analysis reveals that language issues were discussed infrequently over the period studied, suggesting benign neglect in matters of multilingualism in general: the silent majority were agentive in largely maintaining the status quo. However, in exploring power in discourse and power over discourse we were able to determine which interventions resulted in minor changes to policy over time and who were the powerful agents in this respect. The study points to the importance of using corpus-assisted methods in explorations of diachronic (/historical) and synchronic studies of agency in LPP. It is proposed that future research should explore networks of agents (interconnections within and between layers), using CL to investigate longitudinal trajectories of decision-making and policy change over time. Moreover, CL can usefully complement other approaches, e.g. interviews and ethnographic approaches, to further explore the dialectic relationship between agency and structure.

    Metadata

    Item Type: Article
    Additional Information: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis, available online at the link above.
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): agency, corpus linguistics, organizational language policy, silence, United Nations
    School: School of Arts > Languages, Cultures & Applied Linguistics (from 2021)
    Depositing User: Administrator
    Date Deposited: 16 Feb 2021 17:17
    Last Modified: 06 Aug 2021 13:32
    URI: https://eprints.bbk.ac.uk/id/eprint/43048

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