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Language without Rights$
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Lionel Wee

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199737437

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199737437.001.0001

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Beyond Ethnic Minorities

Beyond Ethnic Minorities

(p.74) 4 Beyond Ethnic Minorities
Language without Rights

Lionel Wee

Oxford University Press

The fourth chapter examines examples of linguistic discrimination that extend beyond ethnic minority languages. It discusses cases of intralanguage discrimination as well as language use in educational and workplace settings, and shows that such cases are not easily handled via an appeal to language rights. The chapter concludes by discussing the circumstances under which language rights might be useful, arguing that the usefulness of the notion of language rights lies mainly in helping to raise awareness of the problems of discrimination faced by a specific ethnic minority group. But there are significant costs involved, since the different problems and experiences of individual group members are not taken into consideration.

Keywords:   authenticity, Ebonics, enterprise culture, Singlish, Speak Good English Movement, workplace

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