A European Perspective
Edited By Gabrielle Hogan-Brun
This collection of especially commissioned articles, written in English by internationally renowned experts, explores these and related questions. It draws together research on the status and role of German and on attitudes towards its use in Austria, Switzerland, Belgium, Luxembourg, Italy (South Tyrol), France (Alsace), Denmark (Nordschleswig) and Hungary.
Preface German is widely spoken in many countries outside Germany. These disparate language communities are likely to undergo changes when confronted with the tide of European unification. This collection aims to take stock of the current situation by exploring national varieties of German outside Germany with a focus on status, function and prevailing attitudes. It will provide a composite picture of the nature of 'Germanness' and its ethno-linguistic aspects in the light of the great changes which are underway. The forces released by the ever greater degree of European integration and globalisation affect languages and cultures in two different ways - at one end of the spectrum we see features of a global culture dominated by English as the lingua franca; at the oppo- site end of the spectrum the expression of cultural identity and the insistence on cultural distinctiveness challenge this trend of global harmonisation in the area of culture and language. In the face of these two competing, but not necessarily mutually exclusive tendencies, the recognition and safeguarding of cultural and linguistic diversity have become crucial issues of social significance with psychological, cul- tural, political, legal and economic implications. Highlighting the different historical/political and cultural tradi- tions of German, recognised scholars provide chapters with detailed accounts on the linguistic settings in those countries (I) in which German has the status of a national language and (2) where it has official or regional official status. Consideration is also given to some German-speaking minorities in eastern Europe. For a more...
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