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Multilingualism: A Very Short Introduction

John C. Maher

May 2017

ISBN: 9780198724995

168 pages
Paperback
174x111mm

Very Short Introductions

Price: £8.99

John C. Maher explains why societies everywhere have become more multilingual, despite the disappearance of hundreds of the world languages. He considers our notion of language as national or cultural identities, and discusses why nations cluster and survive around particular languages even as some territories pursue autonomy or nationhood.

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Description

John C. Maher explains why societies everywhere have become more multilingual, despite the disappearance of hundreds of the world languages. He considers our notion of language as national or cultural identities, and discusses why nations cluster and survive around particular languages even as some territories pursue autonomy or nationhood.

  • Explains the role of language and multilingualism in our increasingly multicultural community
  • Highlights the role of languages in the global movement of people for travel, work, and migration
  • Discusses the role of language in identity, and how this can play a part in issues of nationalism or regional rights
  • Considers the reasons why languages thrive or decline
  • Part of the Very Short Introductions series - over eight million copies sold worldwide

About the Author(s)

John C. Maher, Professor of Linguistics, International Christian University, Tokyo

John C. Maher is Professor of Linguistics at the International Christian University, Tokyo. He was Lecturer in Asian Studies at the University of Edinburgh, British Council lecturer in the Philippines, and Senior Academic Member at St. Antony's College, Oxford University. He is the author of English as an International Language of Medical Communication (University of Michigan Press, 1992), co-editor of Multilingual Japan (Multilingual Matters, 1995), with Kyoko Yashiro, and co-author of Introducing Chomsky (ICON, 2005), with Judy Groves. He is Editor of Educational Studies and Program Director of Linguapax Asia.

Table of Contents

    1:A multilingual world
    2:The Causes of Multilingualism
    3:Bilingualism: one mind many languages
    4:Multiculturalism, Myth and Controversies
    5:Multilingual People: footballers and opera singers
    6:Politics, Language and the State
    7:Lingua Franca and Constructed Languages
    8:Identity and Culture
    9:Education and Language Awareness
    References
    Further Reading
    Index