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ERIC Number: EJ917690
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 12
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 52
ISSN: ISSN-1542-7587
Language and the Ingenuity Gap in Science
Tonkin, Humphrey
Critical Inquiry in Language Studies, v8 n1 p105-116 2011
Over the centuries, first Latin and then French, German, and Russian have receded in perceived importance as languages of science. Other powerful languages with extensive internal scientific discourse, such as Japanese and Chinese, have always been largely excluded. The dominance of English has elevated the reputation of English-language universities and advantaged native speakers of English by creating a self-reinforcing loop of language flow. Abstracting services insist on English-language abstracts; citation indexes often include only English-language citations; thus English appears to dominate scientific discourse, and English-speaking universities invariably head the lists of leading scientific institutions. The inexact assumption appears to be that, with enough pressure, others will be forced to learn English in order to compete. Thus scientific advancement circumscribed by the English language is erroneously equated with scientific advancement in general. If this discriminatory situation is to change, the advantaged must acknowledge their advantage and explore ways of redressing the imbalance. (Contains 14 footnotes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A