Ideologies in Iceland

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The author shows that while Iceland’s protectionist language ideologies are deeply rooted as to the forms of Icelandic, Icelanders are more pragmatic when it comes to questions of language choice. It is therefore not contradictory that English is increasingly used in Icelandic academia, even if this is a purist speech community. The chapter draws on data on purist language attitudes and practices concerning the native linguistic code, and on practices that reveal that increased use of English in Iceland, notably in tertiary education and research, is popularly accepted as natural. Therefore, recent official language policies (in 2009) and legislation (in 2011), aiming to restrict the use of English at Icelandic universities, are not likely to be effective in the long run.


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