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date: 10 July 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter discusses diglossia as one of the charismatic concepts that sociolinguistics has produced. It describes diglossia’s provenance, its major conceptualizations by Ferguson and Fishman, and its quintessential contribution to the study of language and society, before tackling some of the problems that it engenders. Attention is drawn to the preoccupation in diglossia studies with structural outcomes and universal causality patterns, the mechanistic social logic these studies rely on, and their agnosticism of the ideology behind their object of investigation. Diglossia has boosted the exploration of the intra- and bilingual divisions of labor that people produce with relative stability. This chapter argues, however, that an adequate explanation of such phenomena needs to go beyond a taxonomic approach and requires attending to the micro-interactional enregisterment and larger-scale metadiscursive regimentation of different ways of speaking.

Keywords: diglossia, bilingualism, Ferguson, Fishman, ideology, enregisterment, metadiscursive regimentation

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