Dire straits ahead for the Latvian language

  • 2012-04-18
  • By Henri Jaak
Is it enough for a language to be made official by referendum in order to enjoy a perfectly secure future? What are the linguistic policies necessary for the Baltics in the 21st century? This is a modest reflection from a French linguist.Let us begin with the difference between an ethnic definition and a functional definition of national languages in Europe today. The ethnic definition is simple: national identities must assert their rights against imperial states; they must assert the status of their language by law and the job is done. The functional definition, however, requires...
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