Urban Diversities and Language Policies in Medium-Sized Linguistic Communities

Edited by: Emili Boix-Fuster

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Multilingual Matters
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This book examines medium-sized linguistic communities in urban contexts against the backdrop of the language policies which have been implemented in these respective areas. The authors provide new data and reflections on these linguistic communities which have languages somewhere in between the majority and minority, and re-evaluate the opposition between 'majority' and 'minority'. The book focuses on seven European cities, providing detailed information on their current situation and on the corresponding evolution of their linguistic repertoire. The book aims to improve our understanding of how and why languages live and decay, and of how intercultural cities, where communities show interest in each other's culture and language, can be better developed and encouraged.

The sustainability of medium-sized language communities is a new and original subject of sociolinguistic research carried out at the University of Barcelona. The well-known linguist and editor Emili Boix-Fuster presents a highly interesting book that shows how political and economic factors favour or disfavour the maintenance of medium-sized language communities in seven European cities.

A welcome wealth of information on 'medium sized' European languages and their bases in notably diverse, multilingual cities. Not small and endangered, not big and hegemonic, urban not bucolic, these languages – and their speakers and policymakers – share challenges and possibilities for long-term sustainability thoughtfully explored here.

Emili Boix-Fuster is Professor in Sociolinguistics at the University of Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain. He is General Editor of the academic journal Treballs de Sociolingüística Catalana (Papers in Catalan Sociolinguistics), and his research interests include intergenerational linguistic transmission, urban multilingualism and sociolects.


Emili Boix-Fuster: Introduction
1. Guus Extra: Mapping Urban Multilingualism in Europe: In Search of Untapped Resources in Primary Schools
2. Philippe Hambye: Competitive and Cooperative Orientations in Language Policies: A Critical Look at the Situation of Dutch in Brussels
3. Iago González Pascual and Fernando Ramallo: Linguistic Diversity in Vigo
4. Pirkko Nuolijärvi: Helsinki as a Multilingual City
5. Josep Soler-Carbonell: Tallinn, a Multilingual City in the Era of Globalisation: The Challenges Facing Estonian as a Medium-Sized Language
6. Miquel Nicolás Amorós and Francesc Jesús Hernández Dobon: Multilingual Valencia: Linguistic Destruction and Reconstruction of an Urban Space
7. Emili Boix-Fuster: Multilingualism in Barcelona: Towards an Asymmetrical Multilingualism
8. Marie Maegaard and J. Normann Jørgensen: Language in Copenhagen: Changing Social Structures, Changing Ideologies, Changing Linguistic Practices
Emili Boix-Fuster: Conclusions

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