English, Language Dominance, and Ecolinguistic Diversity Maintenance

Robert Phillipson, Tove Skutnabb-Kangas

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook chapterResearchpeer-review

    Abstract

    The chapter analyses how English became dominant and the implications of the expansion of dominant languages for the linguistic and cultural ecology and biodiversity. English has expanded through the imperialist and linguicist policies of the UK, the USA and the World Bank. Key structural and ideological parameters are identified. In postcolonial contexts, language in education policies remain largely unchanged. Linguicism can lead to linguicide. The need for terminological clarity is stressed: for instance “lingua franca” should not imply that language is unconnected to power. A multidisciplinary approach to analysing the relationships between linguistic and other diversities is needed. There is hard data on ecolinguistic impoverishment: diversity of all kinds is seriously endangered. Examples are given of mother-tongue-based multilingual education in Africa and of Nordic policies to maintain the vitality of local languages. However, these are up against the market forces behind English and European Union policies that strengthen English.
    The chapter analyses how English became dominant and the implications of the expansion of dominant languages for the linguistic and cultural ecology and biodiversity. English has expanded through the imperialist and linguicist policies of the UK, the USA and the World Bank. Key structural and ideological parameters are identified. In postcolonial contexts, language in education policies remain largely unchanged. Linguicism can lead to linguicide. The need for terminological clarity is stressed: for instance “lingua franca” should not imply that language is unconnected to power. A multidisciplinary approach to analysing the relationships between linguistic and other diversities is needed. There is hard data on ecolinguistic impoverishment: diversity of all kinds is seriously endangered. Examples are given of mother-tongue-based multilingual education in Africa and of Nordic policies to maintain the vitality of local languages. However, these are up against the market forces behind English and European Union policies that strengthen English.
    LanguageEnglish
    Title of host publicationThe Oxford Handbook of World Englishes
    EditorsMarkku Filppula, Juhani Klemola, Devyani Sharma
    Place of PublicationOxford
    PublisherOxford University Press
    Date2017
    Pages312-332
    Chapter16
    ISBN (Print)9780199777716
    ISBN (Electronic)9780199985036
    DOIs
    StatePublished - 2017

    Bibliographical note

    Published online December 2013

    Keywords

    • Biodiversity
    • European Union
    • Language endangerment
    • Lingua franca
    • Linguicide
    • Linguicism
    • Linguistic diversity
    • Linguistic imperialism
    • Mother-tongue based multilingual education
    • World Bank

    Cite this

    Phillipson, R., & Skutnabb-Kangas, T. (2017). English, Language Dominance, and Ecolinguistic Diversity Maintenance. In M. Filppula, J. Klemola, & D. Sharma (Eds.), The Oxford Handbook of World Englishes (pp. 312-332). Oxford: Oxford University Press. DOI: 10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199777716.013.005
    Phillipson, Robert ; Skutnabb-Kangas, Tove. / English, Language Dominance, and Ecolinguistic Diversity Maintenance. The Oxford Handbook of World Englishes. editor / Markku Filppula ; Juhani Klemola ; Devyani Sharma. Oxford : Oxford University Press, 2017. pp. 312-332
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    keywords = "Biodiversity, European Union, Language endangerment, Lingua franca, Linguicide, Linguicism, Linguistic diversity, Linguistic imperialism, Mother-tongue based multilingual education, World Bank",
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    Phillipson, R & Skutnabb-Kangas, T 2017, English, Language Dominance, and Ecolinguistic Diversity Maintenance. in M Filppula, J Klemola & D Sharma (eds), The Oxford Handbook of World Englishes. Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp. 312-332. DOI: 10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199777716.013.005

    English, Language Dominance, and Ecolinguistic Diversity Maintenance. / Phillipson, Robert; Skutnabb-Kangas, Tove.

    The Oxford Handbook of World Englishes. ed. / Markku Filppula; Juhani Klemola; Devyani Sharma. Oxford : Oxford University Press, 2017. p. 312-332.

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook chapterResearchpeer-review

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    Phillipson R, Skutnabb-Kangas T. English, Language Dominance, and Ecolinguistic Diversity Maintenance. In Filppula M, Klemola J, Sharma D, editors, The Oxford Handbook of World Englishes. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 2017. p. 312-332. Available from, DOI: 10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199777716.013.005