The relationship between minorities and language is complicated and related to the development of nation-states. Language minorities, as a social group, are distinguished from minority languages. The definition of minority is problematic. The size of a minority can differ widely. For membership, there is the issue of who counts as a speaker. Important frameworks are discussed. The model of 'ethnolinguistic vitality' measures chances for survival as a distinctive community. The GIDS scale (Graded Intergenerational Disruption Scale) assigns a key role to language group reproduction in reversing language shift (RLS). The policy-to-outcome path uses capacity, opportunity, and desire as central conditions for minority languages to be used.
Original languageEnglish
Title of book/report/proceedingsEncyclopedia of Language and Linguistics
Place of publicationLondon
Publication date2006

ID: 417229