LINGUIST List 14.1188

Sat Apr 26 2003

Qs: National Language Differentiation

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  1. Kathy Snow, National Language Differentiation

Message 1: National Language Differentiation

Date: Tue, 15 Apr 2003 09:23:41 -0700
From: Kathy Snow <>
Subject: National Language Differentiation

I have been researching the topic of national language differentiation
in connection with such phenomena as the development of Macedonian as
a legitimate (?) national language and the recent attempts to develop
a true international form of Spanish. Can anyone point me to any
literature that deals with such questions. I am particularly
interested in the European languages but would welcome examples from
other language families.
Historically, the need to distinguish "us" from "them" has obviously
been a factor in language differentiation. This can take the form of
the political need to distinguish foreigners (and therefore enemies)
or a snobbish exclusion of the people who are not "in the group" that
talks a certain way. In either case, prestige plays a large part,
whether national (or local) pride or fashionability.
Kathy Snow
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