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An Approach to the Notion of "Linguistic Minority" in the Light of the Identificatory Relation between a Group and Its Minority Language

Abstract : The notion of “linguistic minority” not only incorporates the concept of group but also serves to define that group. Yet the relation between language and group can be considered in various ways. The primary function of language being that of communication, this will necessarily play a key role in defining the contours of any group whose language is different from neighbouring languages. Regardless of whether a group is established in a territory, for as long as it practises and asserts its language, the identificatory relation between that language and that group, and its consequences, implies different degrees of awareness.
Any linguistic minority draws on structures of its own which are perceived as its own. To be able to categorise it, will mean emphasising the identificatory relation between language and group. In contrast concepts such as “minority language” rely primarily upon the territorialised legitimacy of a language or upon its demolinguistic data. This link with the group can reinforce linguistic consciousness with the help of its own structures, support that “minority language” does not necessarily imply.
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Submitted on : Friday, April 24, 2020 - 6:10:22 PM
Last modification on : Monday, April 27, 2020 - 11:56:17 AM

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Alain Viaut. An Approach to the Notion of "Linguistic Minority" in the Light of the Identificatory Relation between a Group and Its Minority Language. Multilingua, De Gruyter, 2019, What Does "minority Language Mean ? European Perspectives, 38 (2), pp.169--185. ⟨10.1515/multi-2018-0029⟩. ⟨hal-02553916⟩

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