Basque in Instagram : a scalar approach to vernacularisation and normativity
This article analyses vernacularisation as a sociolinguistic change that brings with it an ideological fracturing of previous standard/vernacular indexical relations. It considers this ideological shift in the polycentric environment of social networks as mediated spaces where the values and functions of languages and varieties are re-evaluated and brought together. We argue that Instagram is a fertile space to study the hierarchies among Basque varieties which could reveal a sociolinguistic change among the Basque youth. In our stylistic and ethnographic research, we draw the data from the corpus of the Gaztesare project that contains the production in Instagram of 30 Basque university students. The discussion highlights the difficulty to give a simple answer to the question of what ‘best’ language is, and it underlines the importance of a multi-scalar perspective to explore the complex and multidimensional ideological schemes of the Basque youth and to detect new values and hierarchies among Basque varieties.