The advantages sociolinguistic theory have over the instrumental theory of language
planning.
The sociolinguistics theory ...
Firstly, it claims that all languages have a symbolic systems of equal native-values. In other
words all languages are equ...
when it used in language planning. On the other hand, the sociolinguistic theory should be
uphold and taken into great acc...
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The advantages sociolinguistic theory have over the instrumental theory of language planning

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this paper gives the merits that the sociolinguistic theory of language planning have over the theory of instrumentalism.

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The advantages sociolinguistic theory have over the instrumental theory of language planning

  1. 1. The advantages sociolinguistic theory have over the instrumental theory of language planning. The sociolinguistics theory is more useful in language planning than the theory of instrumentalism which I strongly support. The sociolinguistic theory has a clear and extensive theory which views language planning from a scientific perspective unlike the theory of instrumentalism which is primarily based on the assumptions, speculations and unprofessional opinions of people off the linguistic field. The theory of instrumentalism holds that language is viewed as a tool which can be evaluated, regulated and changed and can be improved to be a prestigious one. In view of this, one language can be said to be better than the other. It also claims that in selecting the best language out, the languages need to be evaluated. Tauli, who is a renowned advocate of this theory identified the following criteria in language evaluation; Economy is the ability of one language to use less sentences in expressing an idea than the other language. Elasticity is the ability of one language to be more productive and creative than the other languages. Clarity means expressing an idea in a language in the simplest form than the other languages. It should be well noted that the theory of instrumentalism has attracted many criticisms especially from experts who view linguistics as part of science. The sociolinguistic theory on the other hand has a scientific backing and is underlined by two broad principles:
  2. 2. Firstly, it claims that all languages have a symbolic systems of equal native-values. In other words all languages are equal and have the same native- speaker importance to its speakers. This claim is approved and supported by extensive research and it is a generally accepted assumption. Secondly, in language planning, both the structural and the social aspect should be considered but not the structural aspect alone. Languages are used in the communities between individuals and as such, those social aspects should be taken into account during language planning. Different people tend to have different social values, therefore the social aspect of language should be viewed. Also, we can link the identity of people to their language. The socilinguistic theory is more advantageous than the theory of instrumentalism because of the following reasons. Firstly, the theory of instrumentalism only takes the structural aspect of a language into consideration but not the social nature of a language. The socilinguitic theory on the other hand considers both the structural and social aspect of a language. Moreover, the theoretical foundation underlying the instrumentalism theory is a flaw, this is because it is primarily based on speculations but not scientific study as it is in the case of the sociolinguistic theory, because modern linguistics is scientific in nature. Futhermore, the claim that one language is better or superior to the other is totally an invalid concept because there cannot be any optimal language in the society. The sociolinguistic theory on the other hand view language as it is and as it is used. In summary, the theory of instrumentalism should be overlooked not only because of its poor theoretical foundation but also the conflicts, cold-wars and tribal discriminations that will arise
  3. 3. when it used in language planning. On the other hand, the sociolinguistic theory should be uphold and taken into great account in language planning because there wasn’t, there isn’t and there won’t be an optimal language.

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