The Implications of Language Demography and Language Politics in the Republic of Macedonia
Ferit RUSTEMI & Gëzim XHAFERRI
This paper discusses the role of demographics, i.e. language demography in the decision making and taking processes as it relates to the modeling of language politics in the Republic of Macedonia. At first glance it might appear that some multicultural and multilingual EU member states, and certain EU candidate countries, would be in favor of a model embodying the European ideal of a multicultural and multilingual society. In reality, however, the political elites of member states are inclined towards the old ethnocentric language politics model, a trend motivated by nationalist ideologies. Language demography is used by the élite as a means of maintaining the socio-political status of minority languages, particularly in multiethnic countries that are undergoing both social and political transition. This type of language politics model utilized by political élites usually creates dissatisfaction and cleavage between the majority and smaller ethno-linguistic groups. It is important to note that censuses carried out in multiethnic transitional countries applying ethnocentric language politics models do not record data concerning language issues in the country.
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