Designing and Managing Language Planning Oriented Terminology Development

By Emmanuel Aito.

Published by The Design Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Although issues of terminology development are essentially linguistic at the initial stages, there is little doubt that they fundamentally constitute a design project that requires both informed and astute management tools. Such reshaping of the lexicon is bound to provoke a myriad of sentiments and convictions around language planning and politics, power dynamics and ideology (Gonzalez and Melis 2000; Van Dijk 1997; Kaplan and Baldauf Jr. 1997; Ricento and Burnaby 1998; Ricento 2000; Coulombe 1994, Calvet 1987, 1998; Maurais 1987, etc.). Furthermore, the concomitant language planning and language policies and practices, such as the need for language to cater to special purposes, are fraught with numerous glottopolitical tensions that require circumspection, diplomacy and a deep professional familiarity with the relevant antecedent practices (Downes 1998, Rey 1980, Antia 2000, Temmerman 2000, Gaudin 1993, Guespin 1985). Speakers with vested interests in preserving their own languages or varieties, often manifest reactions that are visceral, personal, but also identifying and affirming. Quite often, therefore, language planning and standardization portend conflict, given that they invoke notions of power, ideology and rights, albeit varyingly in different polities and at different times in their evolution, according to needs and experiences which diverge in substance and import. To exemplify the aforementioned perspective, this paper highlights the sustained, flexible, successful and well orchestrated strategies of the OQLF (l’Office québécois de la langue française, roughly the equivalent of the French Academy in France, the pre-eminent learned body on the French language), as none can gainsay the indisputable gains of language management policies anchored by consultation, government and legislative muscle.

Keywords: Language Planning, Terminology Development, Linguistic Legislation

Design Principles and Practices: An International Journal, Volume 3, Issue 2, pp.181-192. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.191MB).

Dr. Emmanuel Aito

Chair, Department of French Studies, University of Regina, Regina, SK, Canada

Dr. Aito is Associate Professor and Head of French Studies at the University of Regina, Canada. He teaches and conducts research in French linguistics, terminology, socioterminology and glottopolitics. He is currently working on developing a politolect in Esan in response to the democratization processes in Nigeria.


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