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Survival and Development of Language Communities Prospects and Challenges Edited by: F. Xavier Vila

Paperback - 232 pages
09 Nov 2012
Multilingual Matters
210 x 148 (A5)


This volume explores the main challenges facing seven well-established medium-sized language communities - Czech, Danish, Slovene, Hebrew, Estonian, Latvian and Catalan - with regard to their survival and development at the beginning of the 21st century. The book provides an in-depth analysis of each case, and reaches conclusions that are relevant to other cases and to language policy theory in general.


Just as growing interest in scale challenges the theoretical dichotomy of micro-macro, the conceptualization of medium-sized languages allows a fresh approach to varieties that are more robust than 'endangered' minority languages but too small to seem secure, much less 'dominant'. This volume brings welcome views of linguistic sustainability within a globalized market economy and multilingual societies.
Kathryn A. Woolard, University of California, San Diego, USA

An innovative book that stretches the borders of sociolinguistic investigation into unchartered areas by focussing on language communities that fall between majority and minority configurations, between large and small languages. The contents are instructive, challenging and shed fascinating new light on significant in-between categories of speakers that tend to get neglected in general overviews.
Hugo Baetens Beardsmore, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium

This well-edited volume provides very useful comparative descriptions of the situation concerning several medium-sized languages from almost all major areas of the European continent, plus Hebrew. The similarities and differences between the languages documented in this book profoundly stimulate our thinking about language ecology and sociolinguistic typology.
Ernst Håkon Jahr, University of Agder, Norway

This volume merits praise for its innovative study of a new area of research, namely, those languages intermediate between majority and minority tongues. This well-edited and informative volume on medium size languages fills an important gap on this group of languages.
Frank Nuessel, University of Louisville, in Language Problems and Language Planning 38:1 (2014)

Author Biography:

F. Xavier Vila is an associate professor at the Universitat de Barcelona. He was the first director of the CRUSCAT Research Network on sociolinguistics of the Institut d'Estudis Catalans, the Catalan National Academy of Sciences, and is the current Director of the University Centre for Sociolinguistics and Communication at the Universitat de Barcelona (CUSC-UB). He is also the director of the Master's programme in Language Consultancy, Multilingual Language Management and Editorial Services at the UB's Catalan Philology Department. He has published a wide range of books and specialist articles in the areas of sociolinguistics, demolinguistics and language policy of Catalan and other medium-sized and minority languages.

Readership Level:

Postgraduate, Research / Professional, Undergraduate

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