Language maintenance: a liberal-egalitarian approach

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Abstract

This paper will seek to determine what types of legislative or policy measures should be considered as morally acceptable ones for the state to implement as part of a language maintenance effort. It will approach the issue from a liberal-egalitarian perspective. As a first step, a series of normative constraints that liberal-egalitarians would require the state to observe will be established. Detailed consideration will then be given to the particular types of language maintenance measures that these constraints would rule in and out. This will be achieved by examining three different examples of language maintenance in action. While discussing these examples, it will be demonstrated that although the constraints would rule out certain language maintenance methods, in particular the general endorsement of official monolingualism, they would allow for a wide range of promotional steps that, if implemented carefully, could have a substantial impact on the degree to which a particular language can be maintained.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)672-689
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development
Volume34
Issue number7
Early online date28 May 2013
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2013

Keywords

  • liberal-egalitarianism
  • language maintenance
  • monolingualism
  • multilingualism

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