Linguistic Rights

Topics: Sri Lanka, Human rights, Sinhalese people Pages: 5 (1556 words) Published: February 17, 2012
Linguistic rights (or language rights or linguistic human rights) are the human and civil rights concerning the individual and collective right to choose the language or languages for communication in a private or public atmosphere. Other parameters for analyzing linguistic rights includes degree of territoriality, amount of positivity, orientation in terms of assimilation or maintenance, and overtness. Linguistic rights include, among others, the right to one's own language in legal, administrative and judicial acts, language education, and media in a language understood and freely chosen by those concerned. Linguistic rights in international law are usually dealt in the broader framework of cultural and educational rights. Important documents for linguistic rights include the Universal Declaration of Linguistic Rights, the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages and the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities. \

Linguistic rights became more and more prominent throughout the course of history as language came to be increasingly seen as a part of nationhood. Although policies and legislations involving language have been in effect in early European history, these were often cases where a language was being imposed upon people while other languages or dialects were neglected. Most of the initial literature on linguistic rights came from countries where linguistic and/or national divisions grounded in linguistic diversity have resulted in linguistic rights playing a vital role in maintaining stability.[1] However, it was not until the 1900s that linguistic rights gained official status in politics and international accords.[2] Linguistic rights were first included as an international human right in the Universal Declaration of Human [edit] India See also: Constitution of India

The constitution of India was first drafted on January 26, 1950. There is estimated to be about 1500 languages in India. Article 334-335 declared that the official languages of India will be Hindi and English. India does not have a national language.[32] Article 345 states that “the Legislature of a state may by law adopt any one or more of the languages in use in the State or Hindi as the language or languages to be used for all or any of the official purposes of that State: Provided that, until the Legislature of the State otherwise provides by law, the English language shall continue to be used for those official purposes within the State for which it was being used immediately before the commencement of this Constitution”.[33] Rights in 1948.

[edit] Collective Linguistic Rights
Collective linguistic rights are linguistic rights of a group, notably a language group or a state. Collective rights is "the right of a linguistic group to ensure the survival of its language and to transmit the language to future generations".[8] Language groups are complex and difficult to demarcate than states.[9] Part of this difficulty is that members within language groups assign different roles to their language, and because of the difficulty in defining a language.[9] Some states have legal provisions for the safeguard of collective linguistic rights because there are clear-cut situations and under particular historical and social circumstances.[9] Collective linguistic rights apply to states because it expresses itself in one or more languages.[9] Generally, the language regime of states, which is communicated through allocation of statuses to languages used within its boundaries, qualifies linguistic rights claimed by groups and individuals in the name of efficient governance, in the best interest of the common good.[9] States are held in check by international conventions and the demands of the citizens. Linguistic rights translate to laws differently from country to country, as there is no generally accepted standard legal definition.[10]

The most basic definition of linguistic rights is the right of an individual to use...
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