Edited By Flocel Sabaté
Will Major Languages Ruin Minor Languages? English and Chinese vs. Catalan and Occitan: Joan Julià-Muné
Universitat de Lleida
A major issue within the field of sociolinguistics is the growing influence of major languages in the present global period. We can approach the subject by dealing with the unprecedented expansion of Modern Standard Chinese (Mandarin) as a result of China’s growth in the past few decades and its increasing influence around the globe. The subsequent Chinese globalization may challenge even the supremacy of the English language worldwide someday. Therefore, both Chinese and English may exert such a pressure on speaking minorities all over the world that their very existence could be endangered. This might be the case of Catalan and Occitan speakers in Catalonia and southern France in the future. These last two languages are undoubtedly strongly influenced by Spanish in Spain, and by French in France, for the time being. The present work suggests that major languages, such as English and Mandarin, could be learned as dominant second languages (L2), side by side with Spanish and French in their respective speaking areas, threatening the standardization processes – and even the survival – of both Catalan and the Occitan variety known as Aranese in Spain, as well as that of the lingering, but still resistant, Catalan and Occitanspeaking communities in France. ← 331 | 332 →
Englishes2, rather than English, stand out in the world as the main “languages” in use independently of its consideration as L1, L2… In the meantime, the growing Chinese population (1 % annualy) and economy (10 %)...
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