5th  Plurilingualism European Conference

23-24 may 2019 – Bucharest

Call for papers

Plurilingualism in sustainable development:

The hidden dimension

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Abstract

UNESCO reminds us that linguistic diversity and plurilingualism are essential for sustainable development, but the focus is on endangered languages and places the safeguarding of linguistic diversity on an equal footing with biodiversity. The issue of endangered languages is indeed essential, and some studies suggest that the disappearance of languages presents significant risks for biodiversity conservation. What we want to show is that languages come into play in all the economic, social and cultural processes that underpin development. Culture, education and health are major factors of development of which the accumulation of capital is more a consequence than a cause and, wherever one places oneself in the world, one can say that the role of language is omnipresent. Whether it is poverty, personal development, social advancement, social cohesion, the circulation of knowledge and ideas, territorial development, identity, economic performance, migration, the digital revolution, war and peace, there are language issues to varying degrees. Languages are therefore the hidden dimension of sustainable development that we must bring to light. Obviously, language policies, when they exist, are not neutral. We must therefore try to answer the question: how can language policies contribute to sustainable development?

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