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Notes for HU901, on Linguistic
University of Essex
Questions for class discussion on
Linguistic Human Rights (LHR)
are some of the basic rights to language use?
of these are often threatened?
you know of particular instances of such threats to LHR?
you know of any steps (that could be) taken to face them?
are some of the basic duties and responsibilities that speakers of
you suggest when these may be particularly called for?
is the exercise of legally-protected LHR insufficient to protect
threatened languages, or language-users?
are some of the most widespread and harmful myths held by (primarily
monolingual) speakers of dominant languages?
do these myths come into play in contexts where language rights are
threatened, denied or insufficiently protected?
speech communities have the right to voluntarily give up their mother
other factors come into play when language choice is offered between a
powerful and a minority or disrespected language?
respect to a particular powerful standard language, should speakers of minority
dialects have the same rights as speakers of other languages?
kinds of attitudinal, legal or cultural factors might come into play in
answering these questions?
immigrants (natively speaking a language which is not widely used in the
country they reside in) have the same rights as speakers of other
languages which are widely spoken in their new nation?
are some of the contexts in which immigrants experience language rights,
duties and restrictions differently to native members of a society?
you think multilingual societies treat such immigrants differently than
monolingual societies? Can you think of any cases which might argue for
or against your position?
right to access criminal court proceedings in a non-official language is
often granted to suspects or criminals, when no other LHRs
are provided for.
is probably due to the influence of Article 14(3) of International
Covenant on Civil and Political Rights – see e.g. this excerpt from the
Jamaica Constitution of 1962: http://www.unesco.org/most/lnjamai.htm,
from this collection of relevant clauses in national constitutions: http://www.unesco.org/most/ln2nat.htm)
you could add only one other LHR to the constitutional or legislative
protection of some nation, which would it be?
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Last updated 03 March 2008