By Barbora Moormann-Kimáková
In this ebook, Barbora Moormann-Kimáková analyses the potential of discovering an optimum language regime in multinational and multiethnic nations – both via defining the contents of an optimum language regime, or with the aid of a criterion permitting to judge even if a language regime is perfect or now not. the method of the choice or switch of a language regime frequently turns into a question of a language-related clash. those conflicts are often followed through different political or social conflicts, as for instance in Ukraine or former Yugoslavia, which render options – and their review – tricky. the writer claims that language regimes could be evaluated according to the rise or loss of their legitimacy within the eyes of the appropriate actors. this is often verified in 4 language regime reviews at the ecu Union, Soviet Union, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and South Africa.
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Additional info for Language-related Conflicts in Multinational and Multiethnic Settings: Success and Failure of Language Regimes
5–7. 96 From this point of view, the elimination of a particular language in principle equals the disappearance of a particular philosophy. Therefore, a loss of languages is to be principally avoided. The argument can be regarded as a stand-alone function of language – the function of access to (historical) knowledge. But it can also be regarded as the most extreme version of the symbolic function – one in which language does not only “symbolise” unity or antiquity or any other of the traits of a particular group, but where language stands for the entire symbolic universe in which the life and communication of a person makes sense and which therefore cannot be abandoned.
Currently, there are four languages, Bosnian, Croatian, Montenegrin and Serbian, based on identical dialectological foundations – and their independence is still controversial. In both cases, communication has never been a problem, but there were tensions deriving from the lack of a non-ambiguous “ownership” of languages by national groups. Those concerned either felt that a common language would be necessary to justify the existence of a political nation (the Czechoslovak case) or that the existence of a common language hindered independent national existence (in the Yugoslav case).
This led to an intensification of interest for the popular languages and their further development for purposes of education, as well as for the “nation” speaking this language. The conflict between the recognised and non-recognised languages and nations in the Monarchy was sharpened after the so-called “AustroHungarian Compromise” which partially restored the sovereignty of the Hungarian kingdom and thus equalised the “Austrian” and “Hungarian” part of the monarchy in 1867 which also led to a change of the name of the state to “Austria-Hungary”.