Language standardization in sociolinguistics and international business: Theory and practice across the table

Linn, A., Sanden, G.R., Piekkari, R. and Refsum Sanden Guro 2018. Language standardization in sociolinguistics and international business: Theory and practice across the table. in: Sherman, T. and Nekvapil, J. (ed.) English in Business and Commerce Berlin de Gruyter Mouton. pp. 19-45

Chapter titleLanguage standardization in sociolinguistics and international business: Theory and practice across the table
AuthorsLinn, A., Sanden, G.R., Piekkari, R. and Refsum Sanden Guro
EditorsSherman, T. and Nekvapil, J.
Abstract

This chapter addresses the issue of language standardization from two perspectives, bringing together a theoretical perspective offered by the discipline of sociolinguistics with a practical example from international business. We introduce the broad concept of standardization and embed the study of language standardization in the wider discussion of standards as a means of control across society. We analyse the language policy and practice of the Danish multinational, Grundfos, and use it as a “sociolinguistic laboratory” to “test” the theory of language standardization initially elaborated by Einar Haugen to explain the history of modern Norwegian. The table is then turned and a model from International Business by Piekkari, Welch and Welch is used to illuminate recent Norwegian language planning. It is found that the Grundfos case works well with the Haugen model, and the International Business model provides a valuable practical lesson for national language planners, both showing that a “comparative standardology” is a valuable undertaking. More voices “at the table” will allow both theory and practice to be further refined and for the role of standards across society to be better understood.

KeywordsLanguage standardization, language standards, corporate language, language policy and planning, Scandinavia
Book titleEnglish in Business and Commerce
Page range19-45
Year2018
Publisherde Gruyter Mouton
Publication dates
PublishedMay 2018
Place of publicationBerlin
ISBN9781501515538
9781501506833
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1515/9781501506833-002
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