Call for papers: Regional/minority language policies in the new milennium

CALL FOR PAPERS

for

INDIAN JOURNAL OF APPLIED LINGUISTICSIJOAL
(Vol. 37, No. 2, Jul-Dec 2011)

Special issue on:

REGIONAL/ MINORITY LANGUAGE POLICIES   IN THE NEW MILLENNIUM

Language policy can be defined as a system of measures regulating the influence of the state on the language functioning on its territory. There is a need therefore to distinguish clearly between state language, official language, national language and regional or minority languages and define their specific social roles to remove the legal ambiguity. It is necessary to distinguish between language policy as decision-making from language planning as implementation. For, policymaking has never been as arduous a task as the implementation part of it.

Problems may be manifold so far as realization of lofty pluralistic goals of the minority language laws is concerned, especially those associated with language attitudes, language and education, development of separate written forms or orthography and development of literacy programs, declining linguistic groups, penetration of English and/ or other majority language into the local and international linguistic practice, and issues of community languages, etc. To this, we may add the growing tendency of homogenisation enforced by development in general and spread of information technology in particular. Besides, the ascendancy and perceived threat of the English language, globalisation, concurrent processes of political integration and disintegration, and the current blossoming of regional identities and concomitant renaissance of minority languages are factors driving the present linguistic developments worldwide. National, cultural, and ethnic identities get carried along the languages, and therefore, population movement affecting the language situation has to be studied in this perspective of changing perceptions of collective and individual identities over the years. A possible solution to this problem may lie in the forecast oriented studies of the language situation and in the implementation of an adequate language policy. The possibility to forecast the advent of the language conflicts and the intentions to prevent aggravations of the national and language conflicts can perhaps improve the acceptance of language laws. The official policy in most parts of the world is generally connoted with the development of bilingualism. But, some think that bilingualism is only an intermediate stage on the way to national monolingualism. With these utopian ideas, it is difficult to eradicate the problem of acceptance of language laws.

Mobility, no matter what way, is bound to have a disruptive influence on the traditional pattern of life. Demographic shifts, as a consequence of globalisation, are likely to have an indelible impact on language maintenance so far as the regional and minority languages are concerned. Creation of a new social class of migrants, resettlers, and Gasterbeiter has added new questions to the problem of survival and maintenance of languages. The role of their language in the new environment may suffer a functional loss, but a strong linguistic allegiance makes it rather difficult to ignore the impact of their respective cultural habits and language behaviour on the existing sociolinguistic and cultural set up. Mobility and migration, therefore, creates new conditions of multilingualism. On the contrary, the majority of world population, though it is fed increasingly into towns, exist in rural areas, where the comparative isolation is a factor favourable to local and regional languages.

The emerging language situation and related problems of language maintenance worldwide are increasingly guided by the socio-economic factors. The situation of regional/ minority languages is likely to deteriorate further as their demand in the job-market is already none to negligible. The socio-economic variable, in the new millennium, adds a new dimension to the problem of language maintenance so far as the case of minority languages is concerned. The minority/ regional languages must therefore be investigated in connection with the way of thinking of a person, and not as an abstract system. The subject and responsibility of scholars and policy makers is the investigation of the language as well as of the social and personal factors, resolution of the contradictions and determination of the ways of the development of the dialogue of cultures.

Indian Journal of Applied Linguistics (IJOAL), in its 35th year of publication, solicits submissions from scholars for its special thematic issue on “Regional/ Minority Language Policies in the New Millennium”. Original works on all minority and regional language related issues ranging from the problems of language planning, policies and implementation to the problems associated with other sociolinguistic variables, especially those emerging in the new millennium, are most welcome.

— The papers pertaining to the areas mentioned above should be submitted to the Guest Editor, on his e-mail <drakdas@gmail.com> with a copy of the same to the Editors on their e-mail as well.

— The last date of submission for the articles would be May 30, 2011.

— For your convenience, we made Guidelines for the preparation of Camera Ready Manuscripts and a Template file (click on the links to download).

Guest Editor
Dr. Alok K Das
Jazan University, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
(Formerly, Pro-Vice Chancellor, Singhania University & Dean,
Gurgaon College of Engineering)
E-mail: <drakdas@gmail.com>

Editors
Harpreet Kaur Bahri
Deepinder Singh Bahri
C/o BAHRI PUBLICATIONS
1749A/5, Govindpuri Extension
Kalkaji, New Delhi 110019
E-mail: <bahrius@vsnl.com>

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