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Vanishing Languages in Context

Ideological, Attitudinal and Social Identity Perspectives


Edited By Martin Pütz and Neele Mundt

This volume grew out of the 36 th International LAUD Symposium, which was held in March 2014 at the University of Koblenz-Landau in Landau, Germany. There is general consensus among language experts that slightly more than half of today’s 7,000 languages are under severe threat of extinction even within fifty to one hundred years. The 13 papers contained in this volume explore the dramatic loss of linguistic diversity, why this matters, and what can be done and achieved to document and support endangered languages especially in the context of an ever increasing globalized world. The issue of vanishing languages is discussed from a variety of methodologies and perspectives: sociolinguistics, language ecology, language contact, language policy/planning, attitudes and linguistic inequalities.
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Dörte Borchers - Linguistic rights and mother tongue education in post-civil war Nepal


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Dörte Borchers

Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster

Linguistic rights and mother tongue education in post-civil war Nepal

Abstract Most of the more than 70 languages spoken in Nepal played no role in the public life of Nepal before the citizens of that country established a multi-party democracy in 1990. The Constitution of 1990, however, acknowledges Nepal’s multilingualism and mentions the state’s obligation to support the country’s languages and cultures as well as the right of Nepal’s people to be educated in their mother tongue (HMG 1990: Articles 1, 2, 18). The Interim Constitution of 2007, drafted after the civil war (1995–2006), contains further provisions regarding the use of the country’s languages for official purposes (Interim Constitution of Nepal (2063) 2007).

A result of political agitation of the Maoist party during the civil war was an increase in self-esteem among members of Nepal’s minority groups. More people became interested in their heritage and began promoting publications in and about the various languages of Nepal and to introduce mother tongue education in schools. In 2007, the Nepalese Ministry of Education and Sports, with the support of the Finnish government, initiated a project to implement multilingual education in all primary schools by the year 2015. Despite these efforts, the situation of the majority of Nepal’s languages has not changed significantly and the majority of languages are as threatened as they were before.

While by the year 2014...

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