2004: ex-aequo Fernand de Varennes & Joshua Fishman
Fernand de Varennes
He is a former Director of the Asia-Pacific Centre for Human Rights and the Prevention of Ethnic Conflict and the founding Editor-in-Chief of the Asia-Pacific Journal on Human Rights and the Law. Dr de Varennes is recognised as one of the world’s leading legal experts on language rights and has written two seminal works on this topic: Language, Minorities and Human Rights (1996) and A Guide to the Rights of Minorities and Language (2001). His publications have been translated into 17 languages. He has lectured worldwide on language rights, especially in Europe and Asia, and collaborated with the OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities in preparing The Oslo Recommendations regarding the Linguistic Rights of National Minorities and the Lund Recommendations regarding Political Participation of National Minorities. Dr de Varennes has worked with numerous international organisations such as the United Nations’ Working Group on the Rights of Minorities and UNESCO. He is Senior (Non-Resident) Research Associate at the European Centre for Minority Issues in Flensburg, Germany, on the advisory board of numerous research centres and journals. He has held the prestigious Tip O’Neill Peace Fellowship at INCORE (Initiative on Conflict Resolution and Ethnicity) in Derry, Northern Ireland and has published five books and over fifty scientific articles and reports.
(1926-2015) He is regarded as being probably the world’s finest sociolinguist in the second half of the 20th century. Indeed he could be said to be one of the founding fathers of that discipline. His academic career as a teacher, a researcher and a theoretician is long and distinguished. He has been associated with many universities and research centres and is currently Distinguished University Research Professor, Social Sciences, Emeritus at Yeshiva University, New York. He has authored or edited over 60 books and has contributed hundreds of articles to various publications. Over his long career he has paid particular attention to lesser used and endangered languages. Those working for linguistic diversity will probably think most readily of two seminal works of his, Reversing Language Shift and Can threatened languages be saved?, published in 1991 and 2001 respectively. In these he presents us with his Graded Intergenerational Disruption Scale [GIDS] with which language shift can be measured.
Further biographic details: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joshua_Fishman