I’m interested in whether the use of the term ‘language’ is entirely arbitrary and whether there are any parallels between the spread of human and programming languages, and of course, which communities will benefit or be disadvantaged by this. Are all communities (particularly in the Southern Hemisphere) being included in discussions on spread? Is there any impact?
I want to study if from an Applied Linguistic perspective, and a Web Architecture perspective. Linguistics has focussed on a very hegemonic role of dominant languages, spread through military and economic dominance, with often negative impacts on local culture (Crystal, 1996). In this view of Linguistic Imperialism, the interests of many minority cultures are not represented. Campaigns to maintain the purity of language have been seen as a reaction against perceived threats to the power of dominant groups. Are there any parallels with web languages? Are any groups impacted positively or negatively by this? Others have seen the fragmentation of dominant web languages as inevitable, with an impact on inter-communicability. (Kachru,1998). If so, what might be the impact?
From a web architecture perspective, have attempts to maintain the open sharing nature of the web been successful? Do the languages of the web function as languages, with a politics and a social role, or do they simply facilitate the resolution of problems?