Language and Power: Background to the Debate on Linguistic Rights

Sue Wright

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Abstract

This article reviews the four contributions included in this issue of the International Journal on Multicultural Societies and discusses the political and social context within which the recognition of linguistic rights for regional or minority language groups has to be addressed. The authors of the other contributions come from a legal background or are actors in the recognition of rights issue. Their articles are either state of the art, giving the latest facts and opinions on the topic, or discuss the legal dimension of the problem, either in the past or the present. This article attempts to link the four papers by drawing out the socio-political themes forming and informing the issue. It focuses, particularly, on the interplay between power and language and the implications of this for linguistic diversity.

Suggested bibliographic reference for this article:

Wright, Sue. Language and Power: Background to the Debate on Linguistic Rights. IJMS: International Journal on Multicultural Societies. 2001, vol. 3, no.1, pp. 44-54. UNESCO. ISSN 1817-4574. www.unesco.org/shs/ijms/vol3/issue1/art5

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