AbstractsLanguage, Literature & Linguistics

Migrant tongues: justice, language policy, and the family

by true

Institution: TDX
Year: 2016
Keywords: Migration; Immigrants; Local language; Llengua nacional; Multilingïsme; multilingualism
Posted: 02/05/2017
Record ID: 2065759
Full text PDF: http://hdl.handle.net/10803/396170


How do migration receiving states justify that newcomers to their territory have to learn the local language? In addressing four kinds of justifications, this thesis introduces the novel perspective of family life and migrant languages in the debate on multiculturalism and concludes that only minimal “thin” rather than extensive “thick” demands of integration are warranted. First, immigrants' children have a standing interest in their mother tongue in virtue of their interest in a well-functioning family. Second, multilingualism is beneficial and receiving states have an interest in integrating migrant tongues into their policies. Third, prior history on a territory does not provide and adequate justification for the asymmetric treatment of national and immigrant groups. Fourth, the claim that immigrants arrive voluntarily and hence accept to integrate in the receiving states only holds if they have sufficient alternatives. In a world of global inequalities, however, this is not the case.