[lg policy] Course blog:

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at GMAIL.COM
Wed Mar 30 14:40:48 UTC 2011

Duke Language Planning and Language Policy

Linguistics: Language Policy and Language Planning with Prof. Gareth Price
Thursday, March 24, 2011

Minority Language Rights

I think one of the biggest things that we have assumed in this class,
and that linguists seem to assume in general, is that everyone has an
inherent right to learn and use their language and that every language
and thus, language speaker, is equal. Therefore, we shouldn't
discriminate against someone just because they speak a different
language or especially because they speak a minority language.

But why is this true? I am not contesting that it is true or not- just
asking why we assume it to be so. In my view, the reason it's wrong to
discriminate against gender or race or sexual orientation is because
they aren't conscious choices that people make. They are born with
their gender or race or sexual orientation and cannot change it
because they are biological features. However, language is not the
same deal. People are not born with a certain language, though to some
extent it is determined by the family they are born into and where
they are born. Also, people have the ability to learn new languages
throughout their lives. You do not have to be a baby, learning in an
immersive environment, in order to pick up a new language. Therefore,
is it really discrimination if employers don't want to hire people who
don't speak the same language as the rest of their employees? Or if
they can't receive certain political benefits because they cannot
understand the language that political documents are written in? After
all, they do have the choice to learn that language if they want to.

[Comments not included]


N.b.: Listing on the lgpolicy-list is merely intended as a service to
its members
and implies neither approval, confirmation nor agreement by the owner
or sponsor of the list as to the veracity of a message's contents.
Members who disagree with a message are encouraged to post a rebuttal,
and to write directly to the original sender of any offensive message.
 A copy of this may be forwarded to this list as well.  (H. Schiffman,

For more information about the lgpolicy-list, go to

This message came to you by way of the lgpolicy-list mailing list
lgpolicy-list at groups.sas.upenn.edu
To manage your subscription unsubscribe, or arrange digest format: https://groups.sas.upenn.edu/mailman/listinfo/lgpolicy-list

More information about the Lgpolicy-list mailing list