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Language Regimes in Transformation

Future Prospects for German and Japanese in Science, Economy, and Politics

Language Regimes in Transformation by Florian Coulmas
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Globalization has many faces. One of them is the transformation of language regimes. This book provides an in-depth account of how two second-tier languages, Japanese and German, are affected by this process. In the international arena, they no longer compete with English, but their status in their home countries and as foreign languages in third countries is in flux. Original empirical and theoretical contributions are presented in this up-to-date study of language regime change.

The desirability of a single all-purpose language for all communication needs is seldom questioned. It is simply taken for granted in many advanced countries, such as Japan and the German-speaking countries. However, it is not clear whether German and Japanese can sustain their full functional potential if their own speakers use these languages in certain domains with decreasing frequency. The advantages of borderless communication in a single language, on one hand, and maintaining highly cultivated all-purpose languages, on the other, are obvious. The question of whether and how these two principles can be reconciled in the age of globalization is not. In this book, leading scholars present their answers: Ulrich Ammon, Tessa Carroll, Nanette Gottlieb, Patrick Heinrich, Takao Katsuragi, John Maher, Kiyoshi Hara, Elmar Holenstein, Konrad Ehlich, Fumio Inoue, and Florian Coulmas.

De Gruyter; August 2008
228 pages; ISBN 9783110197877
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Title: Language Regimes in Transformation
Author: Florian Coulmas