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“Language Legislation and Linguistic Rights”: An International Conference


  • Dennis E. Baron, English
  • Eyamba Bokamba, Division of English as an International Language
  • C. C. Cheng, Language Learning Laboratory
  • Braj B. Kachru, Linguistics
  • Douglas A. Kibbee, French


March 21-23, 1996

The University of Illinois will host a colloquium on Language Legislation and Linguistic Rights on March 21-23, 1996. A select group of speakers from around the world will address linguistic issues such as language and culture, language and power, bilingualism; and the linguistic aspects of social issues such as community vs. individual rights, cultural survival, and free trade. It is expected that the conference proceedings will be published.

Language legislation and the concept of linguistic human rights have moved to the forefront of national and international news. In the United States, language legislation has taken the form of the national English Language Amendment, and a variety of state and local ordinances. In the US, legal solutions to perceived threats have quickly found their way to the courts, with appeals leading all the way to the United States Supreme Court. Many other countries around the globe have erected legal barriers against the penetration of English or other languages perceived as threats. These laws often conflict with guarantees of individual human rights, such as the UN Charter or the Declaration des Droits de l’Homme. In the realm of international law, language protection has colored debate on such issues as the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) and has influenced the structure of international institutions like the European Community and the United Nations.

For further information, contact:

Douglas A. Kibbee, Language Legislation Conference Department of French
University of Illinois
2090 Foreign Languages Building/ MC-158
707 South Mathews Avenue
Urbana IL 61801

FAX: (1) (217) 244-2223

Those wishing to participate should send a 1-2 page proposal to the organizers at the address listed above.