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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures : Celtic

Postgraduate Course: Minority Languages in Europe: Policy and Language Planning (CELT11030)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Literatures, Languages and Cultures CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course will examine the historical processes, ideological discourses and policy initiatives relating to the ¿minoritisation¿ and revitalisation of minority languages in Europe. Particular attention will be given to the role of language in nation-building processes and the dynamics of linguistic assimilation (and resistance thereto), especially from the later eighteenth century onwards. Consideration of more recent trends and initiatives will focus on the changing perceptions of and attitudes to minorities (including linguistic minorities) and minority rights, addressing in particular the policies of the European Union concerning cultural (including linguistic) diversity and the Council's of Europe¿s European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages and Framework Convention on National Minorities. In relation to the mechanisms of minority language promotion, emphasis will be placed on the role of education, media and development structures (including legislative frameworks). In the final section of the course, case studies will consider the position of four minority languages in four distinct state frameworks and ideological regimes (liberal democratic, right-authoritarian and state socialist): Gaelic in Scotland/United Kingdom, Breton in France, Basque in Spain (and France) and Sorbian in Germany.

The historic and ongoing role of minority languages is often passed over in mainstream accounts and analyses of ¿national¿ development and ¿national¿ policy in Europe. This course aims to show how minority languages have alternately struggled or managed to survive in different kinds of governmental systems and ideological regimes in Europe, and thereby to shed light on the mechanisms and underpinnings of those systems and regimes as a whole.
Course description Not entered
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. This course aims to give students a solid grounding in and understanding of the historical processes, ideological discourses and policy initiatives relating to the "minoritisation" and revitalisation of minority languages in Europe in recent centuries, with principal emphasis on contemporary initiatives and challenges. By the end of the course, students should have an awareness of prevailing arguments and ideologies surrounding linguistic assimilation and the resistance thereto, and a detailed understanding of the policy problems that arise in relation to key fields such as minority language media and education. Students will also acquire a good understanding of the role of various different kinds of policy provision and structures (e.g. national language legislation and language boards) and of policy actors at the national and supra-national levels in relation to minority languages.
Reading List
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserProf Wilson McLeod
Tel: (0131 6)50 3623
Course secretaryMr Alan Binnie
Tel: (0131 6)51 1822
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