Article published in:Thema's en trends in de sociolinguïstiek 3
[Toegepaste Taalwetenschap in Artikelen 62] 1999
► pp. 25–37
Languages in Science Communication
The article shows the rise of English and the decline of German and French as inter-national languages of science in the 20th century. It depicts the course of this development on the basis of statistical data as well as suggesting explanations for it. It then focusses on the consequences for the declining languages of science, especially German, and their communities, which are, among other things: domain limitation of the national language within the communities, slow-down of lexical modernization, the unpreparedness of scientists for the new situation and their absencefrom the international scene, and increased costs and difficulties for publishers in competing with publishers of the Anglophone countries. One way of ameliorating the situation would be more linguistic tolerance on the Anglophone side towards non-native English, or even the "non-native speakers' right to linguistic peculiarities". Another possibility seems to be to introduce English as a language of teaching at the universities of the other language communities, which is presently happening in Germany but might have highly problematic side-effects.
Published online: 24 March 2014