What the heck is an "official" language?

rbhatt at uiuc.edu rbhatt at uiuc.edu
Mon Jun 25 08:02:05 UTC 2007

There is a nice piece on this matter, on Official English for the US, written by my colleague, Dennis Baron, that should be of interest to this list.  The URL is:


Or you can access it from:


All best,

---- Original message ----
>Date: Mon, 25 Jun 2007 06:49:56 +0100
>From: "Anthea Fraser Gupta" <A.F.Gupta at leeds.ac.uk>  
>Subject: RE : What the heck is an "official" language?  
>To: <lgpolicy-list at ccat.sas.upenn.edu>, <lgpolicy-list at ccat.sas.upenn.edu>
>Absolutely. We had  some discussion about this a couple of months ago. In actuality, the US, like the UK already has an official language. But even if English were to be made de jure the official language, I fail to understand why this designation would entail the proscription of other languages or a ban on any funding of other languages. 
>*     *     *     *     * 
>Anthea Fraser Gupta (Dr) 
>School of English, University of Leeds, LS2 9JT <www.leeds.ac.uk/english/staff/afg> 
>NB: Reply to a.f.gupta at leeds.ac.uk 
>*     *     *     *     * 
Associate Professor, Linguistics and SLATE
Department of Linguistics
University of Illinois
4088 FLB, 707 S. Mathews
Urbana, IL 61801

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