LINGUISTIC SUSTAINABILITY FOR A MULTILINGUAL HUMANITY

Albert Bastardas-Boada

Abstract


Some believe that it is necessary for members of minority linguistic groups to abandon their heritage languages in favor of national or global codes of communication in order to advance economically and socially, while others favour the preservation of linguistic diversity and the maintenance of distinct collective identities. This paper applies the concept of ‘sustainability’ – originally derived from the viewpoint that economic development should be carried out with respect for and integration with the dynamics of the natural environment – to the notion of ‘linguistic sustainability’, arguing that expansion of dominant languages without regard for the maintenance of linguistic diversity can have repercussions that are potentially as devastating, from a social and cultural perspective, as the damage caused by economic expansion without regard for the environment. The author argues for the need for policymakers, institutions, and members of both majority and minority language groups to take responsibility for the preservation of sociolinguistic diversity, offering a set of priorities for ensuring linguistic sustainability.

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7220/2335-2027.5.5


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Keywords


multilingualism; linguodiversity; ecolinguistics; language shift; language maintenance; language abandonment; language sustainability

Full Text: PDF

Barcode: 9772335201001
Print copy: ISSN 2335-2019
Online copy: ISSN 2335-2027