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The topic of planned languages (Esperanto) in the current specialist literature

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Although planned languages such as Esperanto have achieved only limited success in their attempt to facilitate international communication so far, they have attracted considerable attention in discussions on the language question. This article examines how the topic is treated in recent publications on linguistics and language policy. The analysis reveals that researchers put forward a number of recurrent arguments for and against. Among arguments in favour of planned languages are their contribution to equal rights in international communication, their positive impact on the learning of other foreign languages, and their cost saving effects. Arguments against them include their bad image and limited communicative functions. Some researchers make predictions about the possible developments in the linguistic structure of Esperanto in the case of its official adoption, taking the development of ethnic languages as a point of departure. Esperanto’s Eurocentricity, its alleged isolation from culture, and the (non)existence of native speakers are among the features that are controversially discussed in the literature. Some conclusions for further interlinguistic research are drawn.
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Keywords: Esperanto; interlinguistics; language policy; planned language

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2015

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