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Language rights and language justice in the constitutions of the world

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The author analyzes 187 constitutions from around the world for legal language defining the linguistic obligations of the nation and the language rights of its citizens. “Undivided” nations, e.g. Uruguay and the United States, adopt a “hands-off” constitutional policy toward language obligations and rights because such nations possess (or claim to possess) a strong sense of national identity and no groups of citizens having or seeking autonomy or secession. On the other hand, “divided” nations, e.g. Belgium, Canada and South Africa, adopt a “hands-on” constitutional policy, because they possess unassimilated language groups or groups having or seeking autonomy or secession.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of Tulsa

Publication date: January 1, 2004

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