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To what extent is linguistic continuity a prerequisite for ethno-cultural survival? Focusing on the Gaelic community in Scotland and the Sorbs of Lusatia, this study illuminates core assumptions and rationales in relation to minority language revitalisation ideologies in Scotland and Germany and shows how they have been affected by assimilation processes arising from modernisation and globalisation. A thorough review of relevant theoretical debates is followed by a presentation of historical contexts and a detailed analysis of contemporary discourses about bilingualism, cultural difference and ethno-cultural belonging within the Gaelic and Sorbian communities. Drawing on more than 100 interviews, a questionnaire survey and a wide range of comments by Gaelic and Sorbian speakers in the media, the author identifies current ideological faultlines in Gaelic and Sorbian activist circles and argues that minority language planners must critically engage with competing theoretical paradigms if revitalisation efforts are to be successful.

Minority languages and cultural diversity in Europe - Konstanze Glaser

9781853599323
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Title
Minority languages and cultural diversity in Europe - Gaelic and Sorbian perspectives
Author
Konstanze Glaser
format
Hardback
Publisher
Multilingual Matters
Language
English
UK Publication Date
20070806

To what extent is linguistic continuity a prerequisite for ethno-cultural survival? Focusing on the Gaelic community in Scotland and the Sorbs of Lusatia, this study illuminates core assumptions and rationales in relation to minority language revitalisation ideologies in Scotland and Germany and shows how they have been affected by assimilation processes arising from modernisation and globalisation. A thorough review of relevant theoretical debates is followed by a presentation of historical contexts and a detailed analysis of contemporary discourses about bilingualism, cultural difference and ethno-cultural belonging within the Gaelic and Sorbian communities. Drawing on more than 100 interviews, a questionnaire survey and a wide range of comments by Gaelic and Sorbian speakers in the media, the author identifies current ideological faultlines in Gaelic and Sorbian activist circles and argues that minority language planners must critically engage with competing theoretical paradigms if revitalisation efforts are to be successful.

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Konstanze Glaser is an Associate Lecturer for the Open University and also works as a freelance translator and researcher. Her academic interests range from contact linguistics, intercultural communication and the (re)production of ethnolinguistic identities to multiculturalism, identity politics and new social movements more generally.

The English-speaking world has needed a book along these lines for a long time and this is a very ambitious one. The Sorbs and the Gaels allow us to reflect on minority issues from an Eastern and a Western angle. What are the differences? I hope this text will help readers of all backgrounds understand the desire of minorities to maintain their cultures and identities, and how important a contribution marginalised groups can make to Europe's vision of unity in diversity.



Dr Madlena Norberg, WITAJ-Sprachzentrum, Cottbus, Germany

This book combines an impressive theoretical understanding of minority languages and associated language rights, alongside a fascinating examination of two particular European minority language communities. It is exactly the type of critically informed macro/micro analysis needed to take the field forward - I highly recommend it.



Professor Stephen May, University of Waikato, New Zealand

Gaelic and Sorbian have much in common. Konstanze Glaser provides a penetrating analysis of their social situation, and the attitudes and ideologial frameworks that have influenced them to the present day. The book also engages with alternative ways to think about and use Gaelic and Sorbian in today's globalising world. It describes new ways of relating to minoritised languages, and of building new realities for them.



Ken MacKinnon, Honorary Professor in Language Strategy and Celtic, University of Aberdeen, Scotland

Type
BOOK
Keyword Index
Linguistic minorities - Europe.|Nationalism - Europe.|Psycholinguistics - Europe.|Language and culture - Europe.|Scottish Gaelic language - History.|Sorbian languages - History.
Country of Publication
England
Number of Pages
397

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