Revistes Catalanes amb Accés Obert (RACO)

“National Language” and its Discontents: A French Debate in European Context

Barnard Turner


The author posits the concept of language communities, as opposed to that of national language, as a more adecuate categorization in explaning the development of European language policies. Using the case of French, he argues that globalization and the current migration waves render the distinction centre / periphery, in terms of dominat vs. regional or subordinate languages, meaningless, since what have been traditionally considered national languages are being exposed to constant instances of creolization. Such a phenomenon, far from empoverishing these languages' cultural idiosincracy, enriches them by enlarging their communicative effectiveness.

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