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Minority and Regional Languages in Europe

Dr. Małgorzata Szajbel-Keck

Donnerstag, 9.15 - 10.45 Uhr
Veranstaltungsbeginn: 13.10.2016
Ort: Postgebäude Stephansaal
BA-Seminar: Kulturwissenschaften-/ Sprachwissenschaft/Linguistik Vertiefung
6/8/9 ECTS

Only recently, when national movements started to decrease in favor in a more open minded approach to Europe, state and local governments started to recognize that “one state – one nation – one language” approach is a myth that cannot be maintained. No sooner than in the late 20th century European states began to officially recognize smaller language communities due to the grassroots movements and support from the EU structures promoting cultural diversity and equality, where local languages play essential role. Still, the status of many regional and minority languages remains uncertain, which leads to curious situations. For instance Spanish Basque is allowed in French courts (with translation) because of its official status in Spain, but not French Basque due to the statement in the French constitution that French is the only state language.
The course will start with an introduction to typological concepts such as language, dialect, variety as well as national, regional and minority language. This will be followed by an overview of the linguistic landscape of Europe. Further we will discuss different approaches to language policies in the European states and their effect on languages spoken within them. We will concentrate on selected cases of language empowerment or discrimination. Finally, we will take a look at the official policies of the European Union towards locally spoken languages, such as the European Charter of Regional and Minority Languages, and will discuss how much, if any, impact it has on the local language policies.

Literatur: For starters, browse the homepage of the Council of Europe regarding the European Charter for Regional and Minority Languages ( Full literature list will be announced at the beginning of the semester.

Teilnahmevoraussetzungen: You need to be able to handle reading, discussion and writing in English.

Hinweise zur Veranstaltung: The number of participants is restricted. Pre-register in e-mail titled “WS2016/17 Minority and Regional Languages” to by 01.10. Include your name, major and languages you know.

Leistungsnachweis: Active participation, oral presentation and term paper or written exam.

Sprache: English