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Language Myths and the History of English$
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Richard J. Watts

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780195327601

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195327601.001.0001

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Myths, ideologies of English and the funnel view of the history of English

Myths, ideologies of English and the funnel view of the history of English

Chapter:
(p.287) Chapter 12 Myths, ideologies of English and the funnel view of the history of English
Source:
Language Myths and the History of English
Author(s):

Richard J. Watts (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195327601.003.0012

The final chapter reviews the results from chapters 2 to 9 and raises the question of how the history of English is conventionally conceptualised and taught. Traditional histories of English represent the funnel view of the historical development of English, and they largely ignore the significance of non-standard varieties of the language. This is the result of a discursive move from myths to hegemonic discourse to a discourse archive of it is permissible to assert about English. The chapter reviews ways of looking at varieties of English and argues for the deconstruction of language ideologies, developed from language myths that see a language as a homogeneous system. It supports a view of language that focuses on heterogeneity, hybridity, variability, and creativity. The canonical discourse archive of what English “is” must be challenged by new work in which the underlying language myths are challenged and the discourses derived from them deconstructed.

Keywords:   the funnel view of English, non-standard varieties, discourse archive, homogeneity vs heterogeneity, hybridity

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