Bilingualism in Society and School (Copenhagen Studies in by J. Normann Jorgensen

Bilingualism in Society and School (Copenhagen Studies in by J. Normann Jorgensen

By J. Normann Jorgensen

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The concept systems of linguistics as well as those of sociology may not suffice to explain the reasons for the differences in question. One way of discovering these could be to study the language-planning traditions of different speech communities in order to define the underlying common characteristics of communities with common attitudes and behaviour with regard to implementation and elaboration. Against this background I want to suggest three dichotomies for structuring speech communities according to attitudes and measures in the fields of implementation and elaboration: majority language-minority language; outside standard language-indigenous standard language; officially directed implementation and elaboration-non-officially directed implementation and elaboration.

The majority group has the advantage of having a dominant strategy. The minority, however, does not have a dominant strategy (not to learn LM), because if LM is the language of regional administration, it prefers to learn it (therefore, O4>O3). This preference is especially strong among the minority élites, who are influential in making language strategy decisions, and know that by knowing LM they can become their group's leaders by assuming middlemen's role between the state and their group. ) Even if the majority group, while still trying to promote their own language, realise that this can be done better by encouraging the minority élites to learn it rather than by enforcing it through its use as the administrative code of the region, and change their preferences to O4>O2>O3>O1, this will not change the fact that the use of their language for regional adminsitration is their dominant strategy, and O4 is still the equilibrium point of the game.

His paper is a detailed historical account of language politics and language policies in the Faroe Islands. Gerbault describes how a similar process is taking place now in the Central African Republic. Sango, today an undisputed lingua franca and national language, is on the rise - at least numerically, but perhaps also in status at the cost of French, but mainly at the cost of a number of other African languages. French is the language of the administration - and the schools. The status of Sango, however, has reached a point where its introduction as a medium of instruction is under consideration.

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