The magic of ignorance - English a false prophet

Trond Trosterud trond.trosterud at
Fri Jan 21 15:40:42 UTC 2005

20.1.2005 kello 20:29, Francis M Hult kirjoitti:

> There may be a lot to learn from the Finnish case, which does
> seem to have many parallels with some other recent postcolonial cases,
> in
> terms of the process through which the status of a colonial language
> can be
> shifted and balanced.

Yes, there are many parallels, but unfortunately not on the linguistic
scene. By this I mean that, in the case of Portuguese, French and
English, the colonial languages, as a rule, have not been replaced
(there are partial exceptions, India, Nigeria, but the rule is that the
col lgs have a position that cannot be demographically defended), at
least not to the extent that Swedish has in Finland.

Russian in the former Soviet republics and Comecon countries, Italian
in Eritrea, Somalia and Libya, Dutch in Indonesia, German in Cameroon
and Tanganykia seem to be better parallels, for different reasons in
the different cases. And this was my main point, actually: to focus
upon what language policy former policies should choose.


Trond Trosterud                                        t +47 7764 4763
Institutt for språkvitskap, Det humanistiske fakultet  m +47 950 70140
N-9037 Universitetet i Tromsø, Noreg                   f +47 7764 4239
Trond.Trosterud (a)

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