Can anything be done about the “glottophagy” of English?
A bibliographical survey with a political conclusion
Recent literature reviewed by the author, particularly in German and English, leads him to conclude that there is a growing awareness, primarily in Europe, that the progressive establishment of English in the medium term as an international auxiliary language increasingly endangers the very survival of languages and cultures other than English, with the progressive effect of increasing political domination. On the other hand, it is not at all clear to any of the authors of these studies that the phenomenon is a necessary consequence of the political weight of international domination by the United States and the English-language world, and that accordingly a remedy must be found — above all the creation of a political power with a consistency at least comparable to that of the English-speaking world, and, secondarily, the adoption of a European federal language — and future world language — in the form of a planned language (Esperanto is the only one that is ready to use), which, not being the native language of any single people, nor the official tongue of a great power, would not have the “glottophagic” effect of English. Entirely utopian are those alternatives — merely apparent alternatives — currently being proposed in the face of the hegemony of English, such as mass multilingualism, which is neither realizable in practice nor capable of constituting a valid substitute for a single, worldwide language of communication. Such alternatives, almost certainly doomed to failure, will only confirm the conclusive victory of English and the progressive disappearance of other languages.
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