Edited by Claudio Menezes
[Journal of Language and Politics 5:2] 2006
► pp. 277–298
Systemic theory of language competition
After Robert Phillipson argued in Linguistic Imperialism (1992) that the present spread of English throughout post-colonial societies is a specific form of Western imperialism, a vigorous academic debate ensued. It revolved around several interrelated questions: How do different languages interact in the global arena?; Is such language competition a manifestation of imperialism or of globalisation?; What are the social implications of language growth and of language decline/death?; etc. The present article is a critique of the debate and an attempt to develop a positivist, systemic, macro-level theory of language competition, which would offer a general framework for dealing with the issues in question.
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