New: International Journal of Language Management

Harold F. Schiffman haroldfs at
Thu Apr 4 14:46:44 UTC 2002

Forwarding message from CIIL (Mysore, India):

	Mission Statement: International Journal of Language Management

The last five decades in the socio-political life of a large number of
developing countries have seen numerous language problems in different parts
of the world and different solutions offered to them. Some problems have
arisen from denial of basic language rights to minor and minority speech
communities while others sprang up from control over scarce resources in a
situation where different linguistic groups lived together. While some
communities have been linguistically tolerant to others, some have
demonstrated what may seem to be many puzzling prejudice towards others.
Studies have revealed interesting linguistic attitudes that a given sub-group
may have towards others within a speech community.

Linguistic fanaticism has also been on the rise, contributing to social strife
and political uncertainties. As a premier third world institution devoted to
promotion and protection of minor and minority languages, and to corpus
development of  major speech groups in India, Central Institute of Indian
Languages felt it necessary to address various emerging issues in the field by
creating a web-portal where scholars from different parts of the world could
exchange notes and views. It goes without saying that the views - both
critical and ameliorative - are ones expressed by authors, and the editorial
team or the Institute does not necessarily share them. According to recent
bio-mathematical predictions, out of  6,000 odd distinct human languages
spoken all over the world, only 10% will survive the first half of this new
century. Given the fact that the developing and under-developed countries
house close to 90% of this stupendous figure of human population, it portrays
a bleak picture for many of our languages. With these languages, their rich
cultural heritage - as much as they are preserved through their speech
behaviour - will also disappear. I need not elaborate further that there is a
serious problem here for our endangered languages as well as for their
speakers, and they need our urgent attention. The speech communities in South
Asian region had had a rich and long experience of living together. The
governments at the national as well as state levels here have also had
interesting experiences in managing our multilingualism. While tamed and
tamable problems have  had their resolutions, there are many wicked problems
that are still dodging any attempt to solve, however well-meaning they may be.
Coupled with that, there have been interesting interplay of different
formations. The politics of planning and execution of  policies have been as
interesting as the socio-political forces that any effort of this gigantic
size has to learn to deal with. It is, therefore, natural that many developing
nations are now trying to learn particularly from the Indian experience in
managing her pluricultural and multilingual scenario.

The team of editors feel that the time has now come to document many of these
problems in the area of language  management as well as consider situations
across the world which pose problems for social engineers. However, any
attempt to prepare an archaeology of living traditions of these large number
of languages in the developing and under- developed world has to remember the
enormity of this task and the interesting theoretical challenges they throw up
for the discipline of language planning. IJLM tries to address this growing
challenge. Beginning July 17, 2001, Central Institute of Indian Languages is
to launch a new initiative in the area of Language Management based on the
experiences gained by linguists, sociologists, political scientists,
anthropologists, educationists, administrators, legal experts and planners
across the world. It is proposed to launch an e-zine titled -International
Journal of Language Management (IJLM) which will be hosted by this premier
institution. As a new refereed journal with international editorial advisory
board, IJLM will be a major academic and social commitment of the institute as
the studies reported here are expected to contribute to nations in the making
in different parts of the world.

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