LING 115 - Language in a Multicultural World
Section: 001
Term: FA 2008
Subject: Linguistics (LING)
Department: LSA Linguistics
Requirements & Distribution:
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:

  • Which is more common around the world, monolingualism or bilingualism? Who in the world is most likely to be multilingual? Who is least likely?
  • Do children who learn two languages from birth turn out to be developmentally and linguistically disadvantaged?
  • Does civil war tend to break out when a nation is linguistically divided? Why do some language contacts lead to bloody conflicts (in which language is ostensibly the major bone of contention) while other languages in contact have enjoyed a peaceful coexistence for hundreds or even thousands of years?
  • Would establishing English as the official language of the United States help to preserve English?
  • Why do the most pessimistic estimates predict the death of 90% of the world's 6,000 languages by the end of this century? (The most optimistic estimates predict that only about 50% of the world's languages will vanish by 2100. Both estimates are grim, from the viewpoint of language-lovers.)

This course will address these and other questions about global multilingualism, which is a (or the) major issue in language policies, language planning, and language contact in general. The focus will be a comparative study of language politics in countries all over the world, including such topics as language rights, language use in national educational systems, and other social implications of multilingualism.

LING 115 - Language in a Multicultural World
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
MW 8:30AM - 10:00AM
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