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ERIC Number: ED187099
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1973
Reference Count: 0
Three Concepts for Geolinguistics. Publication B-42.
Mackey, William F.
The first concept proposed by this paper for explaining the global dynamics of linguistic phenomena is "language power," the total investment in time, money, and energy that is made for the purpose of learning or preserving a particular language. Indicators that become factors in the formula for determining language power include demographics, dispersion, mobility, economics, ideology, and culture. The second concept is "language attraction." The attractiveness of a given target language is mathematically a function of its status, territorial considerations, and interlingual similarities and differences. Finally, "language pressure" may be thought of as a variety of language attraction that occurs when language territories coincide and language groups interpenetrate. The measurement of such pressure by comparing the linguistic force of the two co-existing languages provides a means for quantifying processes of cultural change. The validation of the three concepts is discussed, with examples from various European countries. Tabular data regarding linguistic forces are appended. (JB)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Laval Univ., Quebec (Quebec). International Center for Research on Bilingualism.
Identifiers: Geolinguistics; Language Contact; Prestige Languages