Language Rights and Cultural Diversity
There are around 6,000 living languages in the world, but as of 2012, less than 4 percent of them can claim official status in one of more of the 196 existing states. This lack of official status, along with other cultural, political, and
legal factors, is contributing to a worldwide loss of linguistic diversity and cultural richness. The essays in this book explore the many facets of language rights and language protection from a variety of theoretical, legal, and academic perspectives. Important lessons are taken from the Basque case in Europe, and Native American and French-Canadian cases in North America. Woven throughout the book is the belief in the power of discourse and
research to protect and even enhance linguistic diversity through legal recognition and other means. Language protection, however, is only possible if we encourage the acceptance of cultural diversity and multilingualism as a positive outcome for the whole population of the state, not just for a minority with in it. We should abandon the idea of the monolingual mono-cultural nation-state, and encourage the population of each country to adopt the concept of a multi-cultural state.