- Empowering Hungarian Ethno-Linguistic Minorities in Central- and Eastern Europe
- Belvedere Meridionale
- Volume | Issue number
- 28 | 2
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Humanities (FGw)
- Amsterdam School for Regional, Transnational and European Studies (ARTES)
The paper adopts the position that language is an intrinsic and largely non-negotiable part of individual culture and identity. The recognition of one’s own language receives more and more support in international political and institutional frameworks. The promotion of linguistic diversity has become the official policy of the European Union. Due to such policies it is to be expected that languages will be and will remain in contact in the context of all sorts of levels of governance. In order to manage linguistic diversity in multilingual and multicultural areas the introduction of a global regime of language policies is unavoidable. These policies will need to satisfy transnational requirements and conditions, like universal human rights and Europeanization norms and standards set by the EU, OSCE, Council of Europe, and so on. However, because there are manifold connections between language and power, as we know from the work of the well-known political scientists, like Pierre Bourdieu, and sociolinguists, like Peter Nelde. The latter claims that an intergroup conflict has always a language element to it.1 Hence, it is to be expectded that language policies will be subject to power conflicts and hegemonic strives. In order to support my claim I will analyse the language policies of states with Hungarian language minorities in Central Europe, particularly Romania, Slovakia, Serbia (Vojvodina), and Ukraine (Trans-Carpathia). These policies can be studied in terms of concrete variables, like individual/collective rights, territorial or personal arrangements, thresholds, the Language Charter, multilingual education, the linguistic landscape, and so on. The range in which these variables are implemented is determined by local politics. Hence, this is subject to the politics of language policy. The ordering of these variables and vectors result into a typology of language
policy representing a categorization of liberal language rights for minorites.
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