Scientific article

Linguistic human rights as a source of policy guidelines: A critical assessment

ContributorsGrin, François
Published inJournal of Sociolinguistics, vol. 9, no. 3, p. 448-460
Publication date2005

The ‘linguistic human rights' (LHR) perspective, though relevant to the protection and promotion of minority languages (or, more generally, of linguistic diversity), displays one major weakness, namely, its almost exclusive reliance on moral considerations. Although LHR advocates often back up their claims with other (including economic) arguments, the latter often fail to pass ‘hard' validation tests. Hence, the actual import of LHR arguments is constrained by the extent towhich the underpinning moral considerations are shared by public opinion and politicians. Even if there is broad consensus around values,arguments in favour of minority language rights can be defeated by three types of objections that have to do with feasibility, costs, and burden sharing. In order to overcome these objections, it is necessary to draw on the tools of policy evaluation, which provides strong arguments in favour of linguistic diversity.

  • Language policy
  • Language planning
  • Policy evaluation
  • Language rights
  • Efficiency
  • Cost-effectiveness
  • Fairness
Citation (ISO format)
GRIN, François. Linguistic human rights as a source of policy guidelines: A critical assessment. In: Journal of Sociolinguistics, 2005, vol. 9, n° 3, p. 448–460.
Main files (1)
Article (Published version)
  • PID : unige:36432

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