Between Scylla and Charybdis: on Language Situation and Language Policy in Contemporary Iceland

  • Ari Páll Kristinsson
Keywords: language management, language policies, language ideologies, Icelandic, prestige planning


    Iceland’s literary tradition, conservative linguistic heritage and ideologies of linguistic purism have been a major strand in Icelandic national identity. The preservation of linguistic and literary continuity is a principal objective of overtly expressed Icelandic culture policies. At the same time, the advent of globalisation has entailed increased everyday presence of an international language, along Icelandic, in important spheres of modern life. There are concerns that this has impact on reading habits, linguistic input, and language environment in general. Against this background, the present paper offers a description of prevailing Icelandic language ideologies, modern linguistic practices, language policies, and the possibilities and limitations of present-day language management efforts.