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Reading: The new linguistic order

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Theoretical and critical

The new linguistic order

Author:

Joshua A. Fishman

Abstract

The globalisation phenomenon that we are currently seeing has lead to major linguistic changes on a worldwide scale. English has become the leading international language, in economic and political spheres, and is becoming the language of high society and of the young. At the same time, however, regional languages are also making considerable headway, thanks to new social interaction and economic backing from their governments. In turn, and as a result of these two trends, there is impetus for feelings of belonging to local communities which see their language as a sign of their own authenticity, one that has to be defended against the phenomena of globalisation and regionalisation. We are thus heading towards a multilingual society, in which each language has its own, distinct social functions, even though it is inevitable that there will be conflict between the languages that come into contact. In this scenario, the author predicts a loss of hegemony for English, in favour of regional languages, and the future extinction of the least spoken minority languages.
How to Cite: Fishman, J.A., (2001). The new linguistic order. Digithum. (3). DOI: http://doi.org/10.7238/d.v0i3.590
Published on 01 Jul. 2001.

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