WP309 Language policy 4.0



Media in general, and, in particular new media that are the product of digital technology, have not been a key domain of study in language policy and language planning. However, such media have increasingly become central sites of everyday linguistic practice and, by extension, policy. The investigation of language policy in digital media contexts contributes an important dimension to a comprehensive understanding of language policy and language planning as it focuses on non-traditional actors and non-traditional domains, which are generally free from established regulatory frameworks and national borders. Following a review of developments and studies to date, the paper concludes by speculating about where we are going in terms of digital technology, namely Web 4.0 which will see increasing automation through Artificial Intelligence, augmented reality and big data, and its implications for language policy. By reviewing how we have got to this point, I would like to pose the following questions: Is language policy ready and able to cope with an era in which language management is increasingly automated? What have we learned from earlier eras of language policy? Are our tools, concepts and methods fit for purpose and, if not, how might they need to evolve? And, how can / why should language policy be relevant in this technologized present and future?