Local actors in promoting multilingualism
Although language policy formally remains a nation state domain, in the process of glocalisation other actors gain in importance. Local authorities – closer to the daily life of the citizens than the central state authorities – are only beginning to realise their role in the field of language policy. Confronted with the multilingual realities of everyday urban life, language policies in cities cannot ignore the challenges of the heterophonia and heteroglossia of urban societies. This chapter focuses on a local institution that follows a policy of linguistic diversity. The analysis of the language regime negotiated between the institution (the main public library in Vienna) and the users draws on topological approaches developed within the ‘spatial turn’ in cultural studies and on recent explorations in linguistics concerned with the relation between space, place and linguistic practice.