chapter  54
19 Pages

Actors in Language Planning

The notion of “Actor” is a key issue in language planning and policy (henceforth LPP), and in recent years, an unavoidable focus in any literature discussing general issues in this domain. In Cooper’s (1989) well-known accounting scheme for LPP, “who” is the first among the eight components that need to be considered in initiating any LPP program. This is quite a different understanding from the classical role of the actor in LPP that originates from Haugen’s framework and is characterized by its two-dimensions-four-categories matrix model with its status versus corpus planning dichotomy. This model, which was originally developed in 1966 and revised in 1983, takes the technocratic view that language can be planned through state-mandated policies with a special focus on modifications of language form (e.g., codification such as graphization, grammatization and lexication) for corpus planning, and a focus on cultivation functions (e.g., terminological modernization, stylistic development) for status planning. The actors in LPP, within the purview of this framework, are largely confined to governmentally mandated organs or officially sanctioned institutional agencies, i.e., who the individuals are, is of little importance.