Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 19 April 2021

Abstract and Keywords

The focus of this article is the ecology of languages. The first use of the ecology metaphor in linguistics is found in a paper by Voegelin and Schutz on language varieties, where a distinction between intralanguage and interlanguage ecology is drawn. The metaphor was introduced in Haugen's paper, titled “The Ecology of Language”, in which he defines it as “the study of interactions between any given language and its environment”. Characteristic of much earlier work on language ecology is the dominance of the “struggle for existence” metaphor. The theme of a metaphorical struggle for existence has attracted the attention of creolists, as pidgin and creole languages are the result of imposing their patterns of communication onto colonized language communities. The linguistics ecology has become highly disturbed in the last 200 years, mainly as a result of European expansion with the consequent restriction and destruction of the habitats of the majority of the world's linguistic ecologies.

Keywords: ecology, ecology metaphor, intralangugae, interlangugae, language ecology, linguistics ecology

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.