This is the first volume entirely dedicated to contested languages. While generally listed in international language atlases, contested languages usually fall through the cracks of research: excluded from the literature on minority languages and treated as mere ensembles of geographically defined varieties by traditional dialectology. This volume investigates the nature of contested languages, the role language ideologies play in the perception of these languages, the contribution of academic discourse to the formation and perpetuation of language contestedness, and the damage contestedness causes to linguistic communities and ultimately to linguistic diversity. Various situations and degrees of language contestedness are presented and analysed, along with theoretical considerations, exploring potential roads to recognition and issues in language planning that arise from language contestedness. Addressing the “language vs dialect” question head on, the volume opens up new perspectives that are relevant to all students and researchers interested in the maintenance of linguistic diversity.
Chapter 1. What are contested languages and why should linguists care?
Marco Tamburelli and Mauro Tosco
Section 1. The broader picture
Chapter 2. Contested languages and the denial of linguistic rights in the 21st century
Chapter 3. Democracy: A threat to language diversity?
Section 2. Identifying and perceiving contested languages
Chapter 4. Mixing methods in linguistic classification: A hidden agenda against multilingualism? The contestedness of Gallo-“Italic” languages within the Romance family
Chapter 5. The cost of ignoring degrees of Abstand in defining a regional language: Evidence from South Tyrol
Mara Maya Victoria Leonardi and Marco Tamburelli
Chapter 6. Deconstructing the idea of language: The effects of the patoisation of Occitan in France
Chapter 7. Surveying the ethnolinguistic vitality of two contested languages: The case of Kashubian and Piedmontese
Nicole Dołowy-Rybińska and Claudia Soria
Chapter 8. Contested orthographies: Taking a closer look at spontaneous writing in Piedmontese
Chapter 9. Revitalising contested languages: The case of Lombard
Paolo Coluzzi, Lissander Brasca and Simona Scuri
Section 3. Working with contestedness
Chapter 10. Community-based language planning: Bringing Sicilian folktales back to life
Chapter 11. Teaching Piedmontese: A challenge?
Nicola Duberti and Mauro Tosco
Chapter 12. Publishing a grammar and literature anthology of a contested language: An experience of crowdfunding
Andrea Francesco Daniele Di Stefano
Chapter 13. Which Sardinian for education? The chance of CLIL-based laboratories: A case study
Federico Gobbo and Laura Vardeu
Section 4. Beyond contested languages
Chapter 14. Citizenship and nationality: The situation of the users of revived Livonian in Latvia
Chapter 15. The language ideology of Esperanto: From the world language problem to balanced multilingualism