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Analysing voice in language policy: plurality and conflict in Slovene government documents

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>11/2016
<mark>Journal</mark>Language Policy
Issue number4
Volume15
Number of pages20
Pages (from-to)505-524
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date1/10/15
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Abstract

Contemporary analyses of language policy often tend to presume ideological uniformity, rather than focus on the contrasts between various positions, and the power struggles that those differences bring about. In this paper, I present an approach that implements the notion of voice in language policy analysis to denote the ideological positions and interests of different social actors, in this case as reflected in government documents. I propose a method of analysis based on the discourse-historical approach in critical discourse analysis and demonstrate how this exposes different social actors behind policy documents by focussing on the traces of their participation in policymaking. I analyse two different texts produced by the Slovene government and intended to specify its language policy strategy for the 2007–2011 and 2012–2016 periods. I show that there are two hegemonic voices of linguists behind both texts, one based on values of national unity, and a second based on human rights and broad inclusion. Alongside these, there are various voices from other domains of Slovene society and EU policy, all recontextualised through the prisms of the two dominant voices.