Commodification of the Chinese language: Investigating language ideology in the Irish media

Yuying Liu, Xuesong (Andy) Gao

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Despite the growing importance of Chinese in many contexts, the ideological orientations towards the Chinese language and its speakers embedded in the wider socio-political context remain under-researched. This study intends to bridge this gap by interpreting media representations of ‘Chinese’ in Irish print media. A combination of corpus linguistics and Critical Discourse Analysis was employed in the study. Informed by Ruíz’s (1984) metaphorical representations of language, 85 valid news articles retrieved from the major Irish newspapers (2010-2018) were analysed. The results of analysis suggest that Irish media discourse focuses on highlighting the instrumental value of the Chinese language, promoting standard Chinese and marginalizing the Irish Chinese diaspora community. It can be argued that a community-oriented approach to promoting the learning and teaching of Chinese may help create a positive synergy between heritage language maintenance and recognition of the Chinese language as a valuable resource. This study will have implications for the wider discussion of language ideology and language planning with regard to modern language learning and heritage language maintenance.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)512-531
Number of pages20
JournalCurrent Issues in Language Planning
Issue number5
Early online date18 Mar 2020
Publication statusPublished - 19 Oct 2020


  • CDA
  • Language ideology
  • commodification
  • heritage language maintenance
  • media discourse analysis
  • the Chinese language

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Education
  • Linguistics and Language


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