The linguistic capital of contested languages
The centre-left and regional languages in Asturias and the Veneto, 1998–2008
Political debate concerning the recognition of regional and minority languages has been the subject of much study in recent years. However, with the focus on separatist and/or nationalist forces, the centre-left has often been overlooked in such studies. In both Asturias in Spain and the Veneto in Italy, centre-left parties have taken a particularly ambivalent approach towards language revival policies, and the ideologies behind this approach merit further study. Drawing particularly on Bourdieu’s work, the author will consider how linguistic hierarchies and linguistic capital are reflected in centre-left discourse and actions concerning the respective local languages. This will shed light on the ambiguous role of the centre-left concerning language policy, and provide further insight into the compatibility of liberal and progressive politics with language revival policies.
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