Hybrid language practices on Turkey's national Kurdish television station: Iconic perspectives on form

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

The language policy of Turkey's state-run Kurdish television station (TRT Kurdî) allows for Kurdish-Turkish hybridity, which reflects common practice among Turkish Kurds (Schluter, Anne. 2014. Competing or compatible language identities in Istanbul's Kurmanji workplaces? In Kristina Kamp, Ayhan Kaya, Fuat Keyman & Özge Onursal-Beşgül (eds.), Contemporary Turkey at a Glance. Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Local and Trans-local Dynamics, 125-137. Wiesbaden, Germany: Springer.) and promotes ownership among minority language speakers (Hinnenkamp, Volker. 2003. Mixed language varieties of migrant adolescents and the discourse of hybridity. Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development 24(1-2). 12-41.). Nevertheless, the mixing of Turkish and apparent disregard for Kurdish language rules has led some of the target audience to reject the station (Öpengin, Ergin. 2012. Sociolinguistic situation of Kurdish in Turkey: Sociopolitical factors and language use patterns. International Journal of the Sociology of Language 217. 151-180.). Such attention to form, according to (Lemon, Alaina. 2002. Form and function in Soviet stage Romani: Modeling metapragmatics through performance institutions. Language in Society 31. 29-64.) is usually reserved for minority language activists and dominant language speakers whereas marginalized minority language speakers frequently focus on function. Through semi-structured interviews with twenty politically engaged Kurdish migrants of Istanbul, the current study investigated metalinguistic criticisms about the station to deconstruct perceptions of the suitability of a hybrid Kurdish broadcasting language in relation to findings from (Lemon, Alaina. 2002. Form and function in Soviet stage Romani: Modeling metapragmatics through performance institutions. Language in Society 31. 29-64.) and (Hinnenkamp, Volker. 2003. Mixed language varieties of migrant adolescents and the discourse of hybridity. Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development 24(1-2). 12-41.). In contrast to (Hinnenkamp, Volker. 2003. Mixed language varieties of migrant adolescents and the discourse of hybridity. Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development 24(1-2). 12-41.), participants viewed linguistic hybridity on TRT Kurdî as iconic (Irvine, Judith & Susan Gal. 2000. Language ideology and linguistic differentiation. In Paul V. Kroskrity (ed.), Regimes of language: ideologies, politics, and identities, 35-84. Santa Fe, NM: School of American Research Press.) of the Turkish state's agenda to assimilate its Kurdish population. Furthermore, the transfer of this agenda onto a sub-group within the same in-group, TRT Kurdî's producers, provided evidence of fractal recursivity (Irvine, Judith & Susan Gal. 2000. Language ideology and linguistic differentiation. In Paul V. Kroskrity (ed.), Regimes of language: ideologies, politics, and identities, 35-84. Santa Fe, NM: School of American Research Press.). Results call for a broadening of Lemon (2002) to allow for the inclusion of a larger portion of minority language-speaking populations whose language, similar to the Istanbul-resident Kurdish community profiled in the current study, has been deeply politicized.
Original languageEnglish
JournalApplied Linguistics Review
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 25 Sep 2019

Keywords

  • hybridity
  • iconization
  • Kurdish
  • media
  • metalinguistic comments

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Linguistics and Language
  • Language and Linguistics

Cite this