ERIC Number: ED331291
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1989-Jan
Reference Count: N/A
Wanted! Linguistic Human Rights. ROLIG-papir, No. 44.
Skutnabb-Kangas, Tove; Phillipson, Robert
The language rights of speakers of non-dominant languages are examined. It is argued that language rights are one category of human rights, and the protection of all languages requires a universal declaration, which can serve both to promote dominant languages and to avert the death of others. Linguistic rights are discussed in terms of the six following myths: (1) linguistic human rights are a reality in Europe and westernized countries; (2) overt racism and discrimination have already disappeared, and multiple identities are the new norm; (3) many languages divide a nation; (4) multilingualism is causally connected with poverty; (5) monolingualism in an international language should be the norm; and (6) underdeveloped countries should do as westernized countries do. The first myth is discussed at greatest length, and the ways that minorities have been deprived of their linguistic rights is illustrated with the example of the Sami people of Norway and supporting examples from other minorities around the world. The other myths are examined more cursorily and the need for more theoretically-based work is stressed. Finally, a current court case in which a Sami has sued the state for deprivation of human rights is reported. A 183-item bibliography is included. (MSE)
Descriptors: Civil Liberties, Developing Nations, Foreign Countries, Global Approach, Minority Groups, Multilingualism, Poverty, Racial Bias, Racial Discrimination, Uncommonly Taught Languages
ROLIG, Roskilde University Center, hus 03.2.4, Postbox 260, DK 4000, Roskilde, Denmark.
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Roskilde Univ. Center (Denmark).
Identifiers: Lappish; Lapps; Norway