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La lutte pour la diversité linguistique, un combat d'arrière-garde ? Le cas des langues celtiques.

Ronan Barré 1, * 
* Corresponding author
1 CRBC Brest - Centre de recherche bretonne et celtique
UBO - Université de Brest, IBSHS - Institut Brestois des Sciences de l'Homme et de la Société
Abstract : The speeding-up of the “language-death” phenomenon is, according to several scientists, disrupting the linguistic face of the world: hence the necessity to promote language diversity and to protect endangered languages such as the Celtic languages in the British Isles. This reasoning, which is shared by many in the scientific community and is taken up by organisations defending minority languages in Europe, lies, however, on a number of theoretical foundations which appear rather shaky. First, an inventory of all the world's languages, as created by such institutes as SIL International, poses a difficult problem, namely the identification of what a language is. Secondly, linguists have developed a set of arguments, called here “ecolinguistics”, which establishes a dubious parallel between languages and living species and forgets the eminently social dimension of language. Finally, the use by militants and international organisations such as UNESCO and the Council of Europe of a rhetoric about the need to preserve the world's linguistic heritage fails to take into account the speakers, who are after all the main drivers of language change.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, June 8, 2010 - 10:22:31 AM
Last modification on : Sunday, March 27, 2022 - 3:17:20 AM


  • HAL Id : hal-00490257, version 1



Ronan Barré. La lutte pour la diversité linguistique, un combat d'arrière-garde ? Le cas des langues celtiques.. Synergies Royaume Uni et Irlande, 2009, 2, pp.169-179. ⟨hal-00490257⟩



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