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Understanding the role of the state in language vitality: Theoretical insights and empirical applications

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Thesis type
(Thesis) M.A.
Date created
Canada represents an important case for research and policymaking in the area of language protection and promotion and demonstrates the need for more interdisciplinary work between sociolinguistics and political science to advance theoretical models and public policies of language vitality. Sociolinguistic research does not fully consider issues related to politics and public policy, while political science has failed to fully consider the sociolinguistic needs of language groups. This thesis contributes to the emerging field of ‘normative language policy’ by answering the following three research questions: 1) Do liberal states have a moral duty to support language vitality? 2) What measures should the state take towards language vitality? 3) Do Canada’s language policies support language vitality? To answer these questions, a new Index is developed and tested with data gathered from interviews with Indigenous and Francophone stakeholders in B.C. The results suggest that these policies do not fully support language vitality.
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Copyright is held by the author.
This thesis may be printed or downloaded for non-commercial research and scholarly purposes.
Scholarly level
Supervisor or Senior Supervisor
Thesis advisor: Léger, Rémi
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