ELCS6064 - Minority Languages, Policy and Power in Europe
Value: 0.5 course units
Tutor: Dr John Mitchinson
Assessment: 3 hour desk examination.
This module examines structures of power between languages in various situations involving minority languages across Europe. A range of concepts and approaches will be introduced and discussed, including diglossia, as introduced by Charles A. Ferguson and expanded upon by Joshua Fishman; the linguistic landscape; Robert Phillipson’s ideas on linguistic imperialism and the damaging spread of English at the expense of other languages and Tove Skutnabb-Kangas’ argument that refusing to teach indigenous populations (such as the Sámi in Scandinavia) in their own language can be seen as a crime against humanity. Examples will be taken from across Europe, including Scandinavia, Switzerland and the European Union, but students will also be encouraged to provide and investigate their own case studies relating to their specific area of interest.
Preparatory Reading and Set Texts:
- Fishman, Joshua, ’Bilingualism with or without Diglossia’, Journal of Social Issues, 32/2, 1967, pp. 29-38.
- Gorter, Durk, Linguistic Landscape: A New Approach to Multilingualism (Bristol: Multilingual Matters, 2006)
- Phillipson, Robert, Linguistic Imperialism (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1992)
- Skutnabb-Kangas, Tove and Dunbar, Robert, Journal of Indigenous People’s Rights 1, 2010. Download here