Sociology of Catalan language

Cartell sociolingüística catalana 2015

Does officiality secure the future of a language? Does independence warrant the presence of a language in all the social fields? In what ways can be multilingualism organized? How can be the relation between language, nation and state? All these questions are going to be dealt in this course, focusing on Catalan, but taking other contexts, especially European, into account. This approach will allow to treat topics such as minority policies, language policies and laws, standardization, bilingualism, multilingualism, cultural identity, substitution and recovery of languages or nationalism.

Catalan is spoken by approximately 10 million speakers in four European states. It is one of the twenty most used languages on the Internet. It is widely used in various fields and official in some regions. Despite of those facts, in the Catalan speaking zone other languages are still more used than Catalan; it exists a general feeling that the language is endangered; some regional individuals and institutions disagree on the identity of the language and struggle to split it in smaller languages; and politicians and organizations discuss often about the outcomes and limits of the officiality, sometimes as a result of not being official in the Spanish and European institutions.

Those partially contradictory aspects allow to observe how language can be treated differently in various social and political environments and discuss them with regard to the above-mentioned topics.

The lectures are from March 12th til April 30th, on Thursdays (10.15-11.45) and Fridays (12.15-13.45) in Metsätalo. Attendance is compulsory and no exam must be passed, but alternatives could be discussed.

Registration and more information in Weboodi and Avoin Yliopisto.