Language Attitude

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Language Attitude

Language attitudes are the feelings people have about their own language or the language of others.

Attitude towards a language can determine whether the language continues or whether it is eliminated. If a language has political and financial backing it has a good chance of surviving. If people perceive that the language can improve their social status and economic prosperity those are usually strong motivators for people to maintain or make a language shift – sometimes at the expense of their own mother tongue/native language.

The St. Lucians speak English, French & French Creole. They are taught in schools that English is the superior language, it is clear therefore that English has the support of the Government and policy makers in St. Lucia.

Linguistic discrimination: is treating someone differently and unfairly solely because of his native language or other characteristics of speech.

A good example of linguistic discrimination would be the situation that occurred in the Ann Arbor case where a language barrier was created by the teachers unconscious negative attitude toward students of African American English. This attitude had a negative effect on the students learning, which put them at a disadvantage.

Linguistic Profiling

The term linguistic profiling is akin to racial profiling. Racial profiling depends upon visual cues while linguistic profiling is based on auditory cues. Linguistic profiling typically results from a discriminatory reaction to a phone call. If the person who hears the voice acts upon their racial deduction in a discriminatory manner, then this is linguistic profiling.

Language Rights

Negative language attitudes may lead to linguistic discrimination and linguistic profiling therefore the need arises for speakers of such languages to have their rights protected. Language rights should be considered basic human rights.

Language rights are important to linguists for a number of...
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