Miss Belgium, Coca-Cola and Flemish carwashes

Mapping discourses on ‘multilingualism’ by the Dutch- and French-medium written press in Belgium

Author(s)

  • Ilias Vierendeels NaLTT Research Institute, Université de Namur
  • Laurence Mettewie Université de Namur
  • Ulrike Vogl Universiteit Gent

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.51751/dujal10906

Keywords:

multilingualism, language orientations, language conflict, media discourse, Belgium, Flanders, Wallonia, Brussels

Abstract

This article explores recent (1995-2018) discourses on ‘multilingualism’ in the Dutch- and French-medium written press in Belgium: how is the notion of ‘multilingualism’ thematised and evaluated and how does this reflect underlying historical, political and socio-economic sensitivities linked to the long-standing Belgian conflict? Based on a corpus of 1710 news articles and using Ruíz’ (1984) language orientations as heuristics for quantitative and qualitative analyses, the study aims to provide objectification and reflexivity over an emotional, versatile and multi-layered language-ideological debate. Similar to (inter)national tendencies indicated in previous studies, our results generally reveal attention for and a positive bias towards (prestigious) multilingualism, mainly linked to discourses of economic utility and plurality. Differences between the Dutch- and French-medium corpus, as well as recurring argumentative patterns in both corpora, however, can be traced back to ideological sensitivities of the Belgian conflict and point to the imperative historicity of Belgian language debates.

Downloads

Download data is not yet available.

References

Baker, P. (2006). Using corpora in discourse analysis. Continuum.

Barakos, E., & Selleck, C. (2019). Elite multilingualism: Discourses, practices, and debates. Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, 40(5), 81-95. https://doi.org/10.1080/01434632.2018.1543691

Bell, A. (1991). The language of news media. Blackwell.

Blommaert, J. (Ed.). (1999). Language ideological debates. De Gruyter Mouton.

Blommaert, J. (2011). The long language-ideological debate in Belgium. Journal of Multicultural Discourses, 6(3), 241‑256. https://doi.org/10.1080/01434632.2018.1543691

Blommaert, J., & Van Avermaet, P. (2008). Taal, onderwijs en de samenleving: De kloof tussen beleid en realiteit [Language, education and society: The gap between policy and reality]. EPO.

Blommaert, J., & Verschueren, J. (1991). The pragmatics of minority politics in Belgium. Language in Society, 20(4), 503-531. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0047404500016705

Blommaert, J., Collins, J., & Slembrouck, S. (2005). Spaces of multilingualism. Language & Communication, 25(3), 197-216. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.langcom.2005.05.002

Bollen, K., & Baten, K. (2010). Bilingual education in Flanders: Policy and press debate (1999-2006). The Modern Language Journal, 94(3), 412‑433. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1540-4781.2010.01089.x

Braun, V., & Clarke, V. (2006). Using thematic analysis in psychology. Qualitative research in psychology, 3(2), 77-101. https://doi.org/10.1191/1478088706qp063oa

Calis, G. (2015). Framing van taal: De kijk van Vlaamse kranten op vreemde moedertalen in het Vlaamse onderwijs [Framing language: The perspective of flemish teachers on foreign mother tongues in Flemish education; Unpublished Master’s thesis]. KU Leuven.

Cenoz, J. (2013). Defining multilingualism. Annual Review of Applied Linguistics, 33, 3-18. https://doi.org/10.1017/S026719051300007X

Crevits, H. (2014). Beleidsnota Onderwijs (2014-2019) [Policy paper Education (2014-2019)]. Flemish Government. Accessed 22 June 2021: https://publicaties.vlaanderen.be/view-file/15682

Darquennes, J. (2015). The dimensions of language conflict: An exploration. In C. Peersman, G. Rutten, & R. Vosters (Eds.). Past, present and future of a language border. Germanic-Romance encounters in the Low Countries (pp. 19‑37). De Gruyter Mouton.

De Bens, E., & Raeymaeckers, K. (2010). De pers in België: Het verhaal van de Belgische dagbladpers gisteren, vandaag en morgen [The press in Belgium: The story of the Belgian daily press yesterday, today and tomorrow]. Lannoo.

De Caluwe, J. (2012). Dutch in Belgium: Facing multilingualism in a context of regional monolingualism and Standard Language Ideology. In M. Hüning, U. Vogl, & O. Moliner (Eds.). Standard languages and multilingualism in European history (Vol. 1, pp. 259‑282). John Benjamins.

De Caluwe, J., Delarue, S., Ghyselen, A-S., & Lybaert, C. (Eds.). (2013). Tussentaal: Over de talige ruimte tussen dialect en standaardtaal in Vlaanderen [In-between-language: On the linguistic space between dialect and standard language in Flanders]. Academia Press.

Degrave, P., & Hiligsmann, Ph. (2021). De behoefte aan vreemde talen van jonge universitair opgeleiden op de werkvloer in Franstalig België. [The need for foreign languages of young university graduates in the workplace in French-speaking Belgium]. Verslagen en Mededelingen van de Koninklijke Academie voor Nederlandse Taal en Letteren, 131(2), 97-126.

Delarue, S., & De Caluwe, J. (2015). Eliminating social inequality by reinforcing standard language ideology? Language policy for Dutch in Flemish schools. Current Issues in Language Planning, 16(1‑2), 8‑25. https://doi.org/10.1080/14664208.2014.947012

Deneckere, G., De Wever, B., & De Paepe, T. (2012). Een geschiedenis van België [A history of Belgium]. Academia Press.

Deprez, K. (1999). De taal van de Vlamingen [The language of the Flemish]. In K. Deprez, & L. Vos (Eds.). Nationalisme in België: Identiteiten in beweging 1780 – 2000 [Nationalism in Belgium: Identities in motion 1780 – 2000] (pp. 103-116). Houtekiet.

Duchêne, A., & Heller, M. (Eds.). (2009). Discourses of endangerment. Ideology and interest in the defence of languages. Continuum.

Fairclough, N. (1989). Language and power. Longman.

Francard, M. (1998). La légitimité linguistique passe-t-elle par la reconnaissance d’une variété « nationale »? Le cas de la communauté française de Wallonie-Bruxelles [Does linguistic legitimacy require the recognition of a "national" variety? The case of the French community of Wallonia-Brussels]. Revue québécoise de linguistique, 26(2), 13-23. https://doi.org/10.7202/603149ar

Gal, S. (1998). Multiplicity and contention among language ideologies: A commentary. In B.B. Schieffelin, K.A. Woolard, & P.V. Kroskrity (Eds.). Language ideologies: practice and theory (pp. 317-331). Oxford University Press.

Gemeenschapsonderwijs (2017). Inspelen op de meertalige realiteit in het GO. Visie, vragen en antwoorden [Responding to multilingual realities in GO. Vision, questions and answers; Vision paper]. Accessed 22 June 2021: https://pro.g-o.be/blog/Documents/GO!_Visietekst_Meertalige%20RealiteitDEF.pdf

Gonne, M. (forthcoming). Translation policy at the Walloon congress of 1905: Beliefs and failures.

Gopress. (2022). Gopress Academic [Data base]. https://academic.gopress.be

Hambye, P. (2009). Plurilinguisme et minorisation en Belgique: D’étranges rapports aux langues “étrangères”? [Plurilingualism and minorisation in Belgium: Odd relations to “foreign” languages?] Langage et société, 129(3), 29‑46. https://doi.org/10.3917/ls.129.0029

Hambye, P., & Richards, M. (2012). The paradoxical visions of multilingualism in education: The ideological dimension of discourses on multilingualism in Belgium and Canada. International Journal of Multilingualism, 9(2), 165‑188. https://doi.org/10.1080/14790718.2011.644558

Heller, M. (2003). Globalization, the new economy, and the commodification of language and identity. Journal of Sociolinguistics, 7(4), 473-492. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9841.2003.00238.x

Heller, M. (2009). Media, the state and linguistic authority. In S. Johnson, & T.M. Milani (Eds.). Language ideologies and media discourse: Texts, practices, politics (pp. 277‑282). Continuum.

Heller, M. (2010). The commodification of language. Annual Review of Anthropology, 39, 101-114. https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev.anthro.012809.104951

Heller, M., Bell, L. A., Daveluy, M., McLaughlin, M., & Hubert N. (Eds.). (2015). Sustaining the nation. The making and moving of language and nation. Oxford University Press.

Horner, K. (2011). Media representations of multilingual Luxembourg: Constructing language as a resource, problem, right and duty. Journal of Language and Politics, 10(4), 491-510. https://doi.org/10.1075/bct.49.02hor

Horner, K., & Weber, J-J. (2012). Media representations of multilingualism. In J-J. Weber, & K. Horner (Eds.). Introducing Multilingualism (pp. 166-179). Routledge.

Hüning, M. (2015). TextSTAT 3.0 [concordancing software]. Available at: http://neon.niederlandistik.fu-berlin.de/textstat/

Hult, F. M., & Hornberger, N. H. (2016). Revisiting orientations in language planning: Problem, right, and resource as an analytical heuristic. The Bilingual Review/La Revista Bilingüe, 33(3), 30‑49.

Jaffe, A. (2011). Sociolinguistic diversity in mainstream media: Authenticity, authority and processes of mediation and mediatization. Journal of Language and Politics, 30(4), 562-582. https://doi.org/10.1075/jlp.10.4.05jaf

Jaspers, J. (2009). De klank van de stad: Stedelijke meertaligheid en interculturele communicatie [The sound of the city: Urban multilingualism and intercultural communication]. Acco.

Jaspers, J. (2012). Het Algemeen Nederlands: Uw sociale zekerheid ? Taalgebruik en taalopvattingen in processen van in-en uitsluiting [Standard Dutch: Your social insurance? Language use and language beliefs in processes of inclusion and exclusion]. In K. Absilis, J. Jaspers, & S. Van Hoof (Eds.). De manke usurpator. Over verkavelingsvlaams [The limping usurper. On allotment Flemish] (pp. 371‑395). Academia Press.

Jaspers, J. (2015). Tussen meervoudige vuren: De implementatie van eentalig taalbeleid in een context van taaldiversiteit [Between multifaceted fires: The implementation of monolingual language policy in a context of linguistic diversity]. Pedagogische Studiën, 92(5), 344‑360.

Johnson, S. A., & Milani, T. M. (2010). Language ideologies and media discourse: Texts, practices, politics. Continuum.

Kelly-Holmes, H. & Milani, T. M. (2011). Thematising multilingualism in the media. Journal of Language and Politics, 10(4), 467–489. https://doi.org/10.1075/jlp.10.4.01kel

Kesteloot, C. (1993). Mouvement Wallon et identité nationale [Wallon Movement and national identity]. CRISP.

Kesteloot, C. (1997). Être ou vouloir être. Le cheminement difficile de l’identité walonne [To be or wanting to be. The difficult path of the Waloon identity]. Bijdragen tot de Eigentijdse Geschiedenis, 3, 181-201.

Krzyżanowski, M., & Wodak, R. (2010). Hegemonic multilingualism in/of the EU institutions: An inside- outside perspective on the European language policies and practices. In C. Hülmbauer, E. Vetter, & H. Böhringer (Eds.). Mehrsprachigkeit aus der Perspektive zweier EU-Projekte : DYLAN Meets LINEE [Multilingualism from the perspective of two EU projects: DYLAN Meets LINEE] (pp. 115‑135). Peter Lang.

Kubota, R. (2011). Questioning linguistic instrumentalism: English, neoliberalism and language tests in Japan. Linguistics and Education, 22(3), 248-260. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.linged.2011.02.002

Lecours, A. (2001). Political institutions, elites, and territorial identity formation in Belgium. National Identities, 3(1), 51‑68. https://doi.org/10.1080/14608940020028493

McWorther, J. H. (2014). The language Hoax. Why the world looks the same in any language. Oxford University Press.

Mautner, G. (2016). Checks and balances: How corpus linguistics can contribute to CDA. In R. Wodak, & M. Meyer (Eds.). Methods of critical discourse studies (3th ed., pp. 154‑179). SAGE.

Mettewie, L. & Van Mensel L. (2009). Multilingualism at all costs: Language use and language needs in business in Brussels. Sociolinguistica, 23(1), 131-149. https://doi.org/10.1515/9783484605879.131

Mettewie, L., & Van Mensel, L. (2020). Understanding foreign language education and bilingual education in Belgium: A (surreal) piece of cake. International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism.

Nelde, P. H. (1994). Languages in contact and conflict: The Belgian and the European Union. Current Issues in Language and Society, 1(2), 165‑182.

Pirotte, A. (1997). L’apport des courants régionalistes et dialectaux au mouvement wallon naissant: Une enquête dans les publications d’action wallonne de 1890 à 1914 [The contribution of regionalist and dialectal tendencies to the emerging Walloon movement: An investigation into Walloon action publications from 1890 to 1914]. Peeters.

Potvin, M., Morelli, A., & Mettewie, L. (2004). Du racisme dans les rapports entre groupes nationaux au Canada et en Belgique? [Racism in relations between national groups in Canada and Belgium] In G. Bourgeault, & M.-H. Chastenay (Eds.). Ethnic relations and education in divided societies. Comparing Belgium and Canada. Relations ethniques et éducation dans les sociétés divisées. Comparaison Belgique-Canada: Special Issue (pp. 25‑60). Canadian Ethnic Studies.

Prophète, E. (2020). The representation of foreign language education and multilingualism in the Flemish press. A mixed-methods content analysis [Unpublished Master’s thesis]. KU Leuven.

Rindler Schjerve, R. (2003). Kontakt- und Konfliktlinguistik im Wandel [Contact and conflict linguistics in transition]. In K. Bochmann, P.H. Nelde, & W. Wölck (Eds.), Methodology in conflict linguistics (Plurilingua XXIV) (pp. 47‑58). Asgard.

Ricento, T. (2005). Problems with the ‘language as resource’ discourse in the promotion of heritage languages in the USA. Journal of Sociolinguistics, 9(3), 348-368. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1360-6441.2005.00296.x

Robichaud, D., & De Schutter, H. (2012). Language is just a tool: On the instrumentalist approach to language. In B. Spolsky (Ed.). The Cambridge Handbook of Language Policy (pp. 124-146). Cambridge University Press.

Ruíz, R. (1984). Orientations in language planning. NABE Journal, 8(2), 15‑34. https://doi.org/10.1080/08855072.1984.10668464

Sayers, D., & Lea Láncos, P. (2017). (Re)defining linguistic diversity: What is being protected in European language policy? Sky Journal of Linguistics, 30, 35-73.

Simon, E., & Lybaert, C. (2021). Verstaanbaarheid als interactioneel en contextgebonden fenomeen. Een stand van zaken in het onderzoek naar het Nederlands als tweede taal [Comprehensibility as an interactional and contextual phenomenon. A state of the art in research on Dutch as a second language]. Nederlandse Taalkunde, 26(2), 147-170. https://doi.org/10.5117/NEDTAA2021.2.001.SIMO

Sinardet, D. (2007). Het samenleven van twee onderdrukte meerderheden: Vlamingen, Franstaligen en de media [The living together of two oppressed majorities: Flemish, French speakers and the media]. In G. Buelens, D. Van Reybrouck, & J. Goossens (Eds.). Waar België voor staat: Een toekomstvisie [What Belgium stands for: A vision for the future] (pp. 25‑38). Meulenhoff/Manteau.

Smet, P. (2011). Samen taalgrenzen verleggen (conceptnota) [Moving language borders together (concept paper)]. Flemish Government.

Tamburelli, M., & Tosco, M. (Eds.). (2021). Contested languages: The hidden multilingualism of Europe. John Benjamins.

Van Hoof, S., & Jaspers, J. (2012). Hyperstandaardisering [Hyperstandardisation]. Tijdschrift voor Nederlandse Taal- en Letterkunde, 181(1), 97‑125.

Vandenbroucke, F. (2007). Goed voor de sterken, sterk voor de zwakken. De lat hoog voor talen in iedere school [Good for the strong, strong for the weak. Raising the bar for languages in every school; Language policy paper]. Flemish Government.

Verbeken, P. (2014). Arm Wallonië: Een reis door het beloofde land [Poor Wallonia: A journey through the promised land]. De Bezige Bij.

Vetter, E. (2013). Where policy doesn’t meet life-world practice – the difficulty of creating the multilingual European. European Journal of Applied Linguistics, 1(1), 83‑102. https://doi.org/10.1515/eujal-2013-0005

Vierendeels, I. (2019). Een land van twee mentale minderheden. Een diachroon en vergelijkend corpusonderzoek naar het meertaligheidsdiscours in de Vlaamse en Waalse geschreven pers [A country of two mental minorities. A diachronic and comparative corpus study into discourses on multilingualism in the Flemish and Wallon written press; Unpublished Master’s thesis]. Ghent University.

Vogl, U. (2012). Multilingualism in a standard language culture. In M. Hüning, U. Vogl, & O. Moliner (Eds.), Standard Languages and Multilingualism in European History (Vol. 1, pp. 1‑42). John Benjamins.

Vogl, U., & Hüning, M. (2010). One nation, one language? The case of Belgium. Dutch Crossing, 34(3), 228‑247. https://doi.org/10.1179/030965610X12820418688570

Weyts, B. (2019). Beleidsnota Onderwijs (2019-2024) [Policy paper Education (2014-2019)]. Flemish Government. Accessed 22 June 2021: https://publicaties.vlaanderen.be/view-file/32245

Wils, L. (2005). Van Clovis tot Di Rupo: De lange weg van de naties in de Lage Landen [From Clovis to Di Rupo: The long way of nations in the Low Countries]. Garant.

Witte, E., Meynen, A., & Luyten, D. (2016). Politieke geschiedenis van België: Van 1830 tot heden [A Political History of Belgium: From 1830 until today]. Manteau.

Downloads

Published

2022-12-22

Issue

Section

Articles

How to Cite

Miss Belgium, Coca-Cola and Flemish carwashes : Mapping discourses on ‘multilingualism’ by the Dutch- and French-medium written press in Belgium. (2022). Dutch Journal of Applied Linguistics, 11. https://doi.org/10.51751/dujal10906