'Status' drives extinction of languages

Don Osborn dzo at bisharat.net
Thu Feb 14 21:13:18 UTC 2008

A couple of quick responses 

Anthea Fraser Gupta wrote:
> ... Not all bilingualism is associated with split populations. ...

This was one of my thoughts. Isn't there a lot of evidence of bilingualism
where preference is also involved? Or even a kind of counter-status? What of
the value to individual speakers of being able to express themselves with
different languages? 

Although it may not be relevant, were both the writers monolingual? 

Dennis Baron wrote:
> ... perhaps we should just make English the official world language and be
done with it). ...

I actually have a draft question along these lines for posting on another
forum (not that I advocate it, but the idea is to promote discussion). 

The question I have in relation to this, is whether a global lingua franca
(English or another, but official and recognized as such by all or almost
all countries) would serve to drive everyone to monolingualism in that
global second language, or to the contrary serve as another factor to change
the dynamics of language shift.

Don Osborn

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