WP120 Voices of linguistic outrage: Standard language constructs and the discourse on new urban dialects



This paper investigates the discursive processes at work in public debates on a type of new urban dialect that has been under intense, often heated public discussion in recent years: variants of majority languages that emerged in multiethnic and multilingual neighbourhoods in urban Europe. Against the background of findings from a range of European countries, I present a case study from Germany based on a corpus of emails and online readers? com-ments posted in the context of a media storm on such a new dialect. I analyse key topoi in the debate, the thematic strands linked to them, and some underlying ideologies supporting them, and argue that a particular construction of Standard German as a ?Hochsprache? ?High language? establishes a powerful case of standard language ideology that reinforces a social and ethnic ?us?/?them?-dichotomy to provide a potent conceptual frame for the devaluation of such urban dialects and their speakers.