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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter Mouton November 4, 2011

Development and the national language question: a case study

  • Paulin G. Djité EMAIL logo


Having gone through a colonial history and colonial language policies similar to those of many African countries, Cambodia, the Lao PDR, Myanmar and Vietnam have all chosen a different path when it comes to language policy, opting against retaining a European language (i.e., English or French) and choosing instead Khmer, Lao, Myanma and Vietnamese respectively, as their national and official languages.

Taking a closer look at the linguistic situations in these countries, this paper asks whether a national language policy makes a difference when it comes to a multilingual context. In other words, is there a perceptible difference in the language policies of these countries and those of most African countries that can be attributed to the choice of the national and/or official language? More importantly, can a national/official language policy resolve the fundamental issues of development in multilingual contexts?

Published Online: 2011-11-04
Published in Print: 2011-November

© 2011 Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co. KG, Berlin/Boston

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