Full text: Sprachenpolitik in Grenzregionen

Dynamics are discussed using examples of small and world languages. Tendencies of language 
maintenance and language loss in the nineties are particularly emphasized. 
Stefan Oeter 
Legal aspects of language policy are traditionally discussed under the specific heading of 
.minority protection1. Protection of minorities was a prominent concept after 1918, and it has 
experienced a political revival since the end of the eighties. The binding legal outcome of that 
revival has been minimal, however. Several draft conventions failed, and the Council of 
Europe’s ,Framework Convention’ will not be of great importance. The article demonstrates the 
legal problems concerning minority protection, with due reference to the recent attempts at 
codification. It also highlights the political difficulties which characterize the struggle for 
minority protection in the internal legislation of European states, and it tries to understand the 
underlying rationale of these difficulties. The result of this analysis leaves no doubts: the entire 
notion of minority protection tends to contradict the traditional concept of ,nation state1. As long 
as European states are obsessed with ideas of ethnic homogeneity and unitary .national culture1, 
the problems involving the status of cultural and linguistic minorities will be difficult to solve, 
and the .minority question* will continue to be a constant source of unrest and political violence. 
Max Pfister 
The contribution deals with the problem of linguistic minorities in the eastern parts of North 
Italy that can be described as either more privileged or less privileged. In the centre of interest 
are the Ladin valleys in the Dolomites, the cultural and linguistic unity of which has been 
destroyed by historical events. Belonging to different political and religious administrative 
districts, these multilingual valleys in the Dolomites - they are part of the provinces of Bolzano, 
Trento and Belluno - receive varying degrees of support as far as the culture and the language 
of the Romance language minorities are concerned. Thanks to the status of autonomy of South 
Tyrol, the Val Gardena is privileged, while parts of the Ladin valleys in the province of Belluno 
are underprivileged. These are disparities that are analysed in some of the most recent 
sociolinguistic studies on this region. 
Friedrich Prinz 
Language and nation in the Bohemian countries (1848-1938) 
The revolution of 1848 brought the „national question“ in Bohemia between Czechs and 
Germans to the fore and led to a new permanent division in society that cut across traditional 
structures. Taking this as a starting point the development of the respective national movements 
and their climax within this period are outlined. 
At the centre of the presentation is the so-called „Mährischer Ausgleich“ of 1905, which tried to 
replace the nationalistic confrontation between the two people with another political model, and 
did so with considerable success. It was based on the central concept of national „personal 
autonomy“ (a concept devised by Karl Renner), according to which each citizen could decide 

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