Department of Politics & Public Administration
Centre for Applied Language Studies
Wednesday November 16, 2pm
Appellate Court, Glucksman Library
Sergi Morales-Gálvez (UL)
Regulating language in plurinational Spain
This research examines the regulation of linguistic diversity in Spain from a combined empirical and normative perspective. Spain is a particularly interesting case due to the intersection of linguistic and national diversity and its peculiar combination of the linguistic territoriality and personality principles. We first present a conceptual framework which draws on the personality and territoriality distinction as established by political philosophers. Second, we examine the way multilingualism is regulated in Spain. A dual system emerges in which Castilian/Spanish is the only state language while four other languages – Aranese, Basque, Catalan and Galician – are co-official in six Autonomous Communities. We identify two models concerning the degree of institutionalisation of non-Castilian languages: co-officiality and limited recognition. Finally, we characterise and assess normatively the advantages and disadvantages of the Spanish linguistic regulation. We argue that the Spanish linguistic system may be characterised as an Unequal Personality Linguistic Regime. This regime offers several instrumental advantages related to the prevalence of a shared language as well as a significant degree of territorial accommodation for minority language groups, but it also gives rise to injustices related to unequal treatment and domination. This research aims to contribute to the academic debate about the politics of language by analysing a paradigmatic case of multilingualism and plurinationalism, Spain, and considering the usefulness of the territoriality and personality framework to study specific cases.