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Title: Linguistic sustainability for a multilingual humanity
Author: Bastardas i Boada, Albert, 1951-
Keywords: Sociolingüística
Política lingüística
Language policy
Issue Date: Jun-2007
Abstract: Transdisciplinary analogies and metaphors are potential useful tools for thinking and creativity. The exploration of other conceptual philosophies and fields can be rewarding and can contribute to produce new useful ideas to be applied on different problems and parts of reality. One of the fundamental characteristics of the sustainability argument is its emphasis on the safeguarding of the natural environment, from an ecological perspective.This philosophy posits a way of overcoming the environmental crisis and safeguarding biodiversity. It postulates an environmental morality because the basis of the problem lies, more than in legal dispositions, in the scales of value shared by society and shaped by juridical codification. If we now try to transfer and to apply this way of thinking to the linguodiversityreality, what do we see? Are there useful analogies and metaphors to be made? An ‘ecological’ and ‘egalitarian’ perspective on linguistic diversity would have aim to stop and reverse expansionist and dominating ideologies. To put an end to the value hierarchy implied by the belief in linguistic superiority/inferiority is equally urgent and just. Passing into another historical phase of humankind where the predominant vision would be one of recognising the equal dignity of all languages and linguistic groups is, clearly, an aim that cannot be put off. Just as sustainable development does not negate the development and the desire for material improvement of human societies but at one and the same time wants to maintain ecosystemic balance with nature, so linguistic sustainability accepts polyglottisation and intercommunication among groups and persons yet still calls for the continuity and full development of human linguistic groups. Just as in the general sustainability framework we think and act in ways intended not to destroy our very biospheric context and intended to save the natural resources we depend on, in linguistic sustainability we want to develop ourselves and intercommunicate with each other without destroying the linguistic and cultural resources that identify us. From a sustainability ethics, the diversity of the ways different groups of the species communicate is clearly a value to protect, and not as an ‘anthropological’ curio but because of the intrinsic and inalienable dignity of human persons and societies.
Note: Versió postprint del document publicat
It is part of: Glossa. An Ambilingual Interdisciplinary Journal, vol. II, n. 1 & 2 (June 2007), pp. 180-202.
Appears in Collections:Llibres / Capítols de llibre (Filologia Catalana i Lingüística General)

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