Unplanned Language Planning

William G. Eggington

in The Oxford Handbook of Applied Linguistics

Second edition

Published in print September 2010 | ISBN: 9780195384253
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

Unplanned Language Planning


The focus of this article happens to be unplanned language planning. The concept of “unplanned language planning” might appear to be an oxymoron but, as this article indicates, unplanned language planning plays an important role in any language planning process. Because the term includes the semantic notion of an “unplanned” planned activity, precise definitions of something that is unplanned are difficult to construct. Obviously, when language planners attempt to develop and implement a formal language plan, unplanned language planning activities in the society need to be thoroughly considered. In this way, language planners hope to avoid being enmeshed in the repercussions that follow when resistance to a plan develops from segments in society. The proposed language planning solutions to such virtual problems are equally problematic and have the potential to usher in a host of unintended consequences. Objectives of this article do not allow for a full rebuttal of the official English position.

Keywords: planning; language planning; official English; unplanned language; proposed language; language planning process

Article.  4555 words. 

Subjects: Linguistics ; Sociolinguistics

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