Language rights in the constitutions, organic acts, and statutes of the territories of the United States and the Freely Associated States
The constitutions, organic acts, and statutes of the territories of the United States and the Freely Associated States are given an exhaustive screening to identify legal language defining the linguistic obligations of each territory or associated state and the language rights of individuals and groups dwelling within. The author suggests that the territories of the United States and the Freely Associated States are well served by “hands-on” policies declaring provisions that protect the rights of language minority groups, or of all people living in the territory (i.e., Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and American Samoa) and associated states (i.e., the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and the Republic of Palau). As in many states in the United States, the absence of an explicit language policy in the United States Virgin Islands has not prevented it from practicing implicit language policies that promote the use of English while also allowing minority languages to be used in the territory. Unlike many states in the United States which declare English as the sole official language and/or enact provisions to protect official English, none of the territories and associated states of the United States declares English as the sole official language or establishes provisions that hinder the rights of language minority groups.
Keywords: language legislation, territories, Freely Associated States, United States, language rights, official language, language policy
Published online: 27 October 2017
Barreto, A. A.
Faingold, E. D.
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Cited by 1 other publications
Faingold, Eduardo D.
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