The significance of activist language policies in public debate – a concern for language planning agencies?


  • Mats Landqvist Södertörn University



language policy and planning, metapragmatics, discrimination


This article discusses the relationship between official language planning and policies concerning language usage that are increasingly emerging in anti-discriminatory contexts. It is suggested that the social function of lexical meaning needs to be given more attention, i.e. the meaning that arises from a person’s choice of words, especially in public discourse and debate. For this reason, it is further suggested that public debates be analysed with metapragmatic concepts providing useful links between lexical indexes to (ideological) loyalties and social identity or attribution of social identity. The notion of a diverse meaning allocation is contextualised in the principles governing official language planning agencies in Sweden. It is concluded that the prevalence of, for example, plain language principles in official language planning may be balanced with a more complex policy, taking a larger span of potential lexical significance into consideration.

Author Biography

Mats Landqvist, Södertörn University

Mats Landqvist is a professor of Swedish. His research interests are language policy and language and knowledge.


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How to Cite

Landqvist, M. (2021). The significance of activist language policies in public debate – a concern for language planning agencies?. Journal of Language and Discrimination, 5(1), 28–47.