Towards Openly Multilingual Policies and Practices

Towards Openly Multilingual Policies and Practices

Assessing Minority Language Maintenance Across Europe

Dr. Johanna Laakso, Anneli Sarhimaa, Sia Spiliopoulou Åkermark, Reetta Toivanen


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This book investigates the maintenance of multilingualism and minority languages in 12 different minority communities across Europe, all of which are underrepresented in international minority language studies. The book presents a number of case studies covering a broad range of highly diverse minorities and languages with different historical and socio-political backgrounds. Despite current legislation and institutional and educational support, the authors surmise there is no guarantee for the maintenance of minority languages, suggesting changes in attitudes and language ideologies are the key to promoting true multilingualism. The book also introduces a new tool, the European Language Vitality Barometer, for assessing the maintenance of minority languages on the basis of survey data. The book is based on the European Language Diversity for All (ELDIA) research project which was funded by the European Commission (7th framework programme, 2010–2013).


Dr. Johanna Laakso:
Johanna Laakso is Professor of Finno-Ugric Studies at the University of Vienna, Austria. Her research interests include Finno-Ugric languages, historical linguistics, language contact and gender linguistics.

Anneli Sarhimaa is Professor of Northern European and Baltic languages at the Johannes-Gutenberg-Universität Mainz, Germany. She is Vice-President of ELEN (European Language Equality Network). Her research interests include sociolinguistics, contact linguistics and language policies.