Language rights: Moving the debate forward

By Stephen May - 2005

This article provides an overview of the current issues and challenges facing the nascent paradigm of minority language rights (MLR). It focuses on the theoretical points of dispute and tension with respect to MLR, as well as the challenges attendant upon their implementation in complex, multi-ethnic and multilingual contexts. The article acknowledges, but also responds to, key critiques of MLR to date. These include debates about linguistic modernisation, linguistic identities and essentialism, language and social mobility, and macro and micro language practices. In light of these debates, the article speculates about possible ways forward for the MLR paradigm.

Journal of Sociolinguistics 9/3, (2005) 319-347. PDF.


By Stephen May| 2005
Categories:  Language and Culture


Communication rights enable all people everywhere to express themselves individually and collectively by all means of communication. They are vital to full participation in society and are, therefore, universal human rights belonging to every man, woman, and child.


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