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Spain's Minoritized Languages in Brief Sociolinguistic Perspective
Romance Notes (2011)
  • Andrew Lynch, University of Miami

Since 1978, when Article 3 of the democractic Constitution officialized the ‘other languages of Spain in their respective Autonomous Communities’ and guaranteed them ‘special respect and protection’, Basque, Galician, and Catalan have undergone a significant process of institutional expansion. Laws of linguistic normalization passed in the respective Autonomous Communities during the early 1980s thrust each of these languages into public life, concomitantly disconfiguring their diglossic relationship to Castilian, a vestige of Franco’s staunch one language-one nation ideology. Today one could affirm that the theoretical premise of bilingualism and diglossia (Fishman) —whereby one language serves public, formal functions and another is restricted to private, informal domains—no longer characterizes the sociolinguistic landscape of Spain. Linguistic normalization has been a bit of a double-edged sword, however. Growing literacy rates in Basque, Galician, and Catalan appear not to correlate with increased social use of these languages. In this article, I briefly consider the challenges of sociolinguistic continuity in each case.

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Citation Information
Andrew Lynch. "Spain's Minoritized Languages in Brief Sociolinguistic Perspective" Romance Notes Vol. 51 Iss. 1 (2011)
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