[lg policy] Epilanguage?

Don Osborn dzo at bisharat.net
Sat Jan 14 07:25:57 EST 2017


Has anyone on this list used the term "epilanguage" in their work or
teaching? If so, with what meaning(s)?

 

I came across it some years ago, in a CFP that used a meaning of a second
language used for academic and scholarly purposes (thing of Latin in Europe
before use of vernaculars, or English today).  As such it might have a place
in the lexicon of language policy and planning.

 

Coming across "epilanguage" again recently, I noted another prominent usage,
relating to language learning.

 

I've since also seen it used to describe "the background knowledge of
science" and have learned it also has a particular use in linguistic
anthropology.

 

So it seems "epilanguage" (1) is still being neologized, (2) is related
somehow to metalanguage, and (3) has meanings clustering around (a) an
overarching sense  on the one hand, and (b) an undergirding sense on the
other.

 

As far as my understanding goes, it seems that one meaning (see 3, a) might
reflect an important aspect of language use in many bilingual/multilingual
societies, and thus be relevant in discussing aspects of language policy and
planning. 

 

The tentative entry for "epilanguage" on Wiktionary includes some examples
of use: https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/epilanguage

 

Don Osborn

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