Full text: Sprachenpolitik in Grenzregionen

Albert Barrera i Vidal 
Sympathetic but critical observations regarding language policy in Catalonia 
Catalonia offers many insights into the mechanisms of language policy in border regions since 
the Paiisos catalans are not confined to Spain but include adjacent countries as well. The history 
of the Catalonian language dates back to the 13th century. From the end of the 16th century 
Catalonian cultural life underwent a process of degradation that continued up to the Renaissance 
(Renaixença) in the 19th century. This Renaissance tried to bolster the linguistic and cultural 
identity of the Catalonians especially during the two periods of autonomous administration 
(Mancomunitat 1914-1925 and Generalitat 1932-1939). After 1939 the language policy of the 
Franco dictatorship aimed at systematic repression of all aspects of Catalonian cultural life. The 
process of démocratisation after 1975 brought all minority languages equal rights. On this basis 
the Catalonian language received official support and was promoted in all areas of public life. 
Today the language is co-official with Spanish. Recent attempts to give the Catalonian language 
priority over Spanish threaten to reverse the former situation of Spanish domination. Certain 
organizations even advocate the transformation of Catalonia into a purely monolingual area. 
This attitude is criticised by many both inside and outside of Catalonia. 
Adrien Finck / Maryse Staiber 
Regional language in Alsace 
This study of language policy in Alsace today focuses on the importance of „regional 
language“. It is primarily aimed at stating the problem; it also presents and justifies the authors’ 
point of view. The main point of the argument is that „regional language“ in this context is to be 
defined as encompassing both Alsatian - used as a term designating the rich variety of dialects 
spoken in the Alsace - and German - i.e. „Hochdeutsch“ as the standard language or written 
language of the koine. This definition reflects a linguistic and historical reality which is still in 
existence today. The study also attempts to present future perspectives in a European context. 
Lutz Gôtze 
Republic and Hungary 
The author describes the current situation of German minorities in the successor states of the 
former Soviet Union, in the Czech Republic and in Hungary. He also analyses the teaching of 
German at school and university level. Special attention is paid to the increasing demand for 
German language courses in Central and East European countries, a demand that cannot always 
be satisfied by the institutions of German cultural policy abroad. As a conclusion the author 
proposes an outline of future policies promoting the German language, a policy that is not 
tainted by visionary zeal. 

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