Faculté des lettres et sciences humaines

Les langues minoritaires ou le sauvetage impossible. Le cadre politique de la revitalisation

Burban, Chrystelle

In: Bulletin VALS-ASLA (Association suisse de linguistique appliquée), 2006, vol. 83, no. 1, p. 71-81

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    A great number of languages is about to disappear, but if language shift conditions are well known by the sociolinguists, the reversing language shift ones are not so clear. The valencian, Lluís Aracil, and Joshua Fishman have tried to outline a theory in which language maintenance passes through political independance. Effectively, many examples show that, first, many countries have saved their language thanks to independance and, secondly, that even a more or less large autonomy of dominated communities is unable to definetly secure threatenened languages. But now, the achievement of political independance is almost impossible and unsuitable, and neither is a total guarantee for language maintenance. That means that complete reversing language shift in mainly impossible, that probably many threatened languages will disappear, and that sociolinguists still have to investigate the best conditions to save at least partially the languages that can still be so.