Universiteit Leiden

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Book

Bilingualism and Minority Languages in Europe: Current Trends and Developments

This collection considers such issues as the cognitive, linguistic and emotional benefits of speaking two languages, the perceptions, attitudes and issues relating to identity in minority language areas, and the number of grammatical aspects amongst those who speak these minority languages.

Author
Fraser Lauchlan, Maria del Carmen Parafita Couto
Date
01 February 2017
Links
Available via Cambridge Scholars Publishing

The premise of the book is based on the fact that these minority languages have, in the past, been in danger of becoming obsolete, mainly because of negative attitudes regarding the benefits of speaking languages that are considered irrelevant internationally. However, in recent times, the benefits of speaking two languages, including where one is a minority language, have been recognised in ways that were not previously understood. Perhaps because of this, alongside the introduction of legislation in some areas in Europe that has been designed to support the preservation of some of these languages, there has been a re-emergence of many minority languages throughout the continent. Questions remain whether this has led to the languages becoming more widely spoken and whether there are specific benefits that can be gained from speaking them. Exploring these questions has led to an increasing amount of research being undertaken on various aspects of bilingualism in minority language areas in Europe. The book contributes to this debate and underlines the relevance and significance of bilingualism in the specific context where European minority languages are still spoken.