Download PDF by John Edwards: Minority Languages and Group Identity: Cases and Categories

By John Edwards

The important main issue during this publication is the connection among language and crew id, a dating that's thrown into maximum reduction in ‘minority’ settings. for the reason that a lot of the present curiosity in minority languages revolves round problems with id politics, language rights and the plight of ‘endangered’ languages, one objective of the publication is to summarise and examine those and different pivotal topics. additionally, because the distinctiveness of each language-contact scenario doesn't relaxation upon designated parts or good points – yet, relatively, upon the actual weightings and mixtures of positive aspects that recur throughout settings – the second one goal here's to supply a normal descriptive framework during which a variety of touch settings should be extra simply understood. The publication therefore starts off with a dialogue of such issues as language decline, upkeep and revival, the dynamics of minority languages, and the ecology of language. It then bargains a typological framework that attracts and expands upon prior categorising efforts. ultimately, the ebook offers 4 case reports which are either intrinsically fascinating and – extra importantly – supply particular illustrations of the generalities mentioned past.

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The crucial main issue during this e-book is the connection among language and workforce id, a dating that's thrown into maximum reduction in ‘minority’ settings. when you consider that a lot of the present curiosity in minority languages revolves round problems with id politics, language rights and the plight of ‘endangered’ languages, one objective of the e-book is to summarise and examine those and different pivotal subject matters.

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8 Fishman implicitly and explicitly endorses a view of applied linguistics as both scholarship and advocacy, a stance that has been shown to involve some dangers (see Edwards 1994b, 1994c). In a plea that has become well-known, Krauss (1992:€9) called for a more involved commitment on the part of linguists, noting with alarm the large number of the world’s languages now seriously at risk. Scholars should go well beyond the usual academic role of description and documentation, he argues, to ‘promote language development in the necessary domains...

In fact, this linguistic allotment is quite common in minority-group populations. Although such an arrangement can last for a considerable period of time – in which case, linguists speak of a diglossic relationship between the different varieties (see below) – it often does not. A lot has to do with dynamics of group contact. A situation in which groups regularly come into contact with one another, and where this contact does not occur on markedly unequal terms, is one in which two or more languages may well be maintained.

Here, as elsewhere, we can see something of the difficulties involved when liberal-democratic regimes come up against groups whose cultures and values are either not democratic themselves or who claim social positions that the ‘mainstream’ finds less than attractive. And, again as elsewhere, we see how the tensions here are often being played out in situations where the old and comfortable distinction between that indigenous ‘mainstream’ and the immigrant ‘others’ is blurring: the immigrant of yesterday is the citizen of today.

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