Language Wars and Linguistic Politics

Paperback | May 1, 1998

byLouis-Jean CalvetTranslated byMichel Petheram

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Non-linguistic conflicts - economic, religious, territorial - are often projected on to language differences, and may be played out in the language policies of governments and other holders of power. Jean-Louis Calvet deals broadly, in a non-technical and introductory style, with thisinteraction of language issues and political process. He examines the fundamental problems arising from language contact, multilingualism, and the conflicts caused by inequalities symbolized in various patterns of language use. The author draws extensively on his own research and uses numerous case studies to illustrate the power-political dimensions of language policies from many parts of the world, such as Africa, China, South America, the former Soviet Union, and Europe. He cites the former Soviet Union as a primeexample of an attempt to impose, for ideological reasons, a supra-national vehicular language, in order to supersede the languages of regional nationalism. Professor Calvet offers no simple solutions to the `war of languages' but urges all those involved in language intervention - from the professional `language planners' to school teachers - to combine the need to promote majority languages with respect for the diversity of local languages andlanguage varieties.

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Non-linguistic conflicts - economic, religious, territorial - are often projected on to language differences, and may be played out in the language policies of governments and other holders of power. Jean-Louis Calvet deals broadly, in a non-technical and introductory style, with thisinteraction of language issues and political process...

Louis-Jean Calvet is at Sorbonne, Paris.

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Format:PaperbackPublished:May 1, 1998Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198700210

ISBN - 13:9780198700210

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Table of Contents

IntroductionPart I: The Origins of Conflict1. The Question of Origins2. Religions and Language3. A Multilingual World4. Ideologists of SuperiorityPart II: The Battlefield5. Lingua Francas and Vernaculars6. The Family as a Battlefield7. Markets and Languages8. Lingua Francas9. The Death of LanguagesPart III: Among the Administrators10. Language Policy and Planning: First Approach11. Case Studies: The Management of Multilingualism12. Case Studies: Language Planning and Nationalism13. Case Study: The Language Struggle of the Jivaro of Ecuador14. The War of Writing15. The War of Words16. Trench Warfare: The Case of French17. The Pacifist Illusion and EsperantoConclusion

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"Nontechnical and interesting, ÝLanguage Wars and Linguistic Politics¨ is addressed to nonspecialists and is recommended for all academic and public collections."--Choice