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.
The Multilingual Marketplace: German as a Hungarian Language 243
Patrick Stevenson The Multilingual Marketplace: German as a Hungarian Language The democratisation of Hungary following the collapse of the eastern bloc in 1989-90 brought issues of language and ethnicity firmly back onto the public agenda. Even during the Cold War, Hungary had maintained close links with its western neighbours and it was relatively well placed to take advantage of new opportunities presented by the change in political climate. The key to its successful transition will be its attainment of membership of the European Union. In addition to restructuring Hungary's economy to bring it into line with the western norms of the social market, governments since 1990 have worked at the development of a programme of rights for national and ethnic minorities that is intended to demonstrate a commitment to democratic pluralism. At the same time, language has emerged as a major factor in the increasingly dynamic and mobile societies of central and eastern Europe, with the British, German and Austrian governments investing heavily in the promotion of English and German respectively. This chapter explores the consequences of these developments for the German language in Hungary and argues that German will thrive by occupying a niche in a new constellation of societal multilingualism, rather than by asserting an essential bond between language and ethnic identity. 1 Introduction Central Europe is a quintessentially multiethnic and multilingual space, but during the Cold War the vibrancy that derived from this collision of cultural traditions was stifled by the homogenising effects 244 Patrick Stevenson of...
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