Introduction: Establishing Linguistic Human Rights

Tove Skutnabb-Kangas, Robert Phillipson

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The Introduction begins with a short overview of the five parts of the Handbook, and brief historical contextualisation. It explains why much of the Introduction is devoted to a clarification of the importance of concepts in the study of Linguistic Human Rights (LHRs), and cites a definition of them in 1987. Reasons for clarifying concepts are explained: various specialisations use terms differently. There is a detailed exploration of the concepts Mother tongues, first languages, home languages , also in relation to accessing rights for the Deaf. This is followed by Indigenous, Tribal, Minority and Minoritised people: ITMs and their languages (ITM languages ). The central concepts linguicism and linguistic genocide are defined and exemplified, in law, in education, and for the identity of the individual and the collective. The concept Linguistic Human Rights is also explored. This is a lengthy chapter that cites a large number of references. Its function is to spell out the foundations of LHRs that in later chapters are presented in different scholarly approaches (Part I), in international and national law (Part II), in case studies of the violations of LHRs (Part III), contexts where LHRs are fully or partially implemented (Part IV), and cross-cutting issues (Part V). Some references to other chapters are made, but it is mainly in the Afterword that the threads of general importance in all chapters are drawn together.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Handbook of Linguistic Human Rights
EditorsTove Skutnabb-Kangas, Robert Phillipson
Number of pages21
Place of PublicationHoboken, NJ
Publication dateNov 2022
ISBN (Print)9781119753841
ISBN (Electronic)9781119753902, 9781119753926
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2022
SeriesBlackwell Handbooks in Linguistics

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