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W(h)ither Language Diversity? The Perspective of Linguanomics

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Dr Oliver Mayeux.

Abstract

Most of our planet’s languages are threatened to some degree. Under globalization, the pressure of dominant languages on less powerful ones is relentless, resulting in depletion of our inherited linguascape. Yet around the world, there is considerable resilience among speakers of marginalised languages in the face of the challenges they face.

In this talk I adopt an economics perspective to examine prevailing forces affecting the health of many languages around the world. Using examples from history, I will propose a revaluation of languages that recognises both their cultural and economic capital in discussing possible means of sustaining language diversity.

Speaker biography

Gabrielle Hogan-Brun is Senior Research Fellow at the University of Bristol. A Salzburg Global Fellow, she has worked with various European organizations on aspects of language policy in multilingual settings and serves on several international language and editorial boards. She is founding book series editor of Palgrave Studies in Minority Languages and Communities. Her most recent publications are Linguanomics. What is the Market Potential of Multilingualism? (Bloomsbury Academic, 2017), and The Palgrave Handbook of Minority Languages and Communities,  (ed. with B. O’Rourke, Palgrave Macmillan, December 2018). 

This talk is part of the Cambridge Endangered Languages and Cultures Group series.

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