Due to globalisation, and different forms of migration and mobility there is a proliferation of linguistic diversity and multilingual communication. At the same time the recognition of the use of one’s first language receives more and more support in international political, legal and institutional frameworks. The promotion of linguistic diversity is the official language policy of the European Union. Because of such policy, it is to be expected that languages will be, and will remain, in contact at all levels of governance. This situation will not be restricted to indigenous, regional and minority languages only, but will affect ‘new’ immigrant or heritage languages as well. As we know from the work of political scientists, like Pierre Bourdieu, and contact linguists, like Peter Nelde, there are manifold connections between language and power, inter-group conflict will always have a language element to it. Hence, it is to be expected that large-scale linguistic diversity and multilingual communication will be the subject of power conflicts and hegemonic strives. Due to the fact that most languages are connected to a kin-state, this will immediately have repercussions for international relations and can cause conflicts in this domain. In this chapter, I will analyse some case studies to demonstrate conflicts within complex societies and in international relations caused by linguistic diversity and multilingual communication. A detailed analysis in a transnational theoretical framework allows me to put forward a coherent set of research agendas in order to guide research work further and elaborate on resolution strategies.
Since the fall of the Berlin wall in 1989 the former Communist countries of Central and Eastern Europe have been pushing for a quick 'return to Europe'. The project of 'expanding European unity' is in full progress, however, so far none of the former Soviet bloc countries have been able to join the European Union. Technical problems, related to financial management and administrative matters, still have to be overcome, but more fundamental issues are also at stake: what are the borders of Central and Eastern Europe? And will the eastward expansion of the European Union be conducted on the basis of western images and stereotypes of `the East'? This volume examines the state of affairs after ten years of attempts to further enlarge the Union. Written by authors from 'the East' as well as 'the West' some of the articles focus on the general issue of how to distinguish between Western, Central and Eastern Europe, while others discuss the specific situation of the countries that are closest to joining the European Union: Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary.
Due to the massive increase in migration and mobility there is a proliferation of interest in linguistic diversity – particularly multilingual and non-verbal multicultural communication. At the same time the use of one’s first language receives more and more support in international political, legal, and institutional frameworks. The promotion of linguistic diversity is the official policy of the European Union. Because of such policy, it is to be expected that languages are and will remain in contact at all sorts of levels of governance. This situation will not be restricted to indigenous regional and minority languages only, but will affect ‘new’ immigrant languages as well. As we know from the work of political scientists and contact linguists, there is a strict relation between language and power. Intergroup conflict will always have a language element to it. Hence, it is hypothesized here that large-scale linguistic diversity and multilingual communication will be the subject of power conflicts and hegemonic striving and that this will have repercussions for international relations as well. But communication is not exclusively a case of linguistic acts; the largest part of communication is in fact non-verbal, comprising more than 80 percent of all types of communication. Transnational non-verbal communication carries the same potential for conflict as transnational verbal communication in a multilingual context. This chapter focuses on the case of the Hungarian minority in Romania to demonstrate the conflict potential of verbal and non-verbal multicultural communications within linguistically and culturally complex societies. A detailed analysis in a transnational theoretical framework allows me to put forward a coherent set of research agendas in order to guide further research work and elaborate on resolution strategies.
The chapter discusses multilingualism in the European context and transnational communication strategies in order to accommodate the challenges of multilingualism. In the introduction, concepts defining multilingualism, transnationalism and communication strategies will be discussed and clarified. The appearance of different communication strategies, including lingua francas, like English as a lingua franca, Regional Languages of Communication (ReLan), Lingua Receptiva (LaRa) and Code Switching (CS) will be discussed in the framework of three multilingual states in the European context, i.e. the historical Hapsburg Empire, Switzerland and the European Union. We will compare multilingualism and the transnational communication strategies in these cases and draw some conclusions on historical developments of multilingualism and transnational communication strategies in Europe as well.
Multilingualism is a crucial if often unrecognized marker of new European identities.
In this collection of essays, we observe how a plurilinguist and pluricultural political entity practices and theorizes multilingualism. We ask which types of multilingualism are defined, encouraged or discouraged at the level of official policies, but also at the level of communities. We look at speakers of hegemonic or minority languages, at travellers and long-term migrants or their children, and analyse how their conversations are represented in official documents, visual art, cinema, literature and popular culture.
The volume is divided into two parts that focus respectively on “Multilingual Europe” and “Multilingual Europeans.” The first series of chapters explore the extent to which multilingualism is treated as both a challenge and an asset by the European Union, examine which factors contribute to the proliferation of languages: globalisation, the enlargement of the European Union and EU language policies. The second part of the volume concentrates on the ways in which cultural productions represent the linguistic practices of Europeans in a way that emphasizes the impossibility to separate language from culture, nationality, but also class, ethnicity or gender. The chapters suggest that each form of plurilingualism needs to be carefully analysed rather than celebrated or condemned.
This article analyses two options the Hungarian ethno-linguistic community in the Transylvanian region of Romania has in order to preserve its ethno-linguistic identity. Firstly, there is the option of unrestricted language use in the public domain. At present the Romanian legal framework assigns members of the Hungarian speaking community in Transylvania individual linguistic and cultural rights only. The Romanian language policy is further restricted by a threshold rule. The ratio of minority must number 20 per cent of the total inhabitants of a certain administrative-territorial unit in order to have their language recognised officially. The second possibility is that historical territories where Transylvanian Hungarians statistically form a dominant majority (i.e. Szeklerland) are granted territorial autonomy. The territoriality principle would secure linguistic minority rights. We will conclude that the prospects for Hungarian as a regional language in Romania are more realistic than the recognition of Szeklerland’s territorial autonomy.