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LING 1040 - Language Rights

Imagine any of the following: You start school as a child and are not taught in your home language, the only one you speak well. You are arrested by the police, but you don’t understand the language they speak. You go to the Department of Motor Vehicles or another government office, and the people speak to you in an unfamiliar language. You talk to your friends in public but can’t use the language you use with them in private. Your parents give you one name, but the government insists you be called something else. How would your life be affected by this? All around the world these very things happen. In this course we examine issues of linguistic human rights: the fundamental right to use one's language and the efforts made to secure those rights and deny them. We explore how language rights are integral to human rights in general and an individual's definition of personal and cultural identity through studying a variety of case studies of the abrogation of language rights locally, nationally, and internationally. Course requirements include one midterm exam, three 1-2 page observation papers, a 7-10 page final paper on a case of language rights.
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Fall 2021, Spring 2021, Fall 2020, Spring 2020, Fall 2019
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