CUSC’s 25th anniversary: “Why do we defend linguistic diversity?”

As part of the celebration of CUSC’s 25th anniversary foundation (University Center for Sociolinguistics and Communication), on May 15, a panel discussion took place at the University of Barcelona, during which the participants analyzed the evolution of research and the ideologies associated with linguistic diversity around the world. Representatives from four different institutions participated: Pere Comellas, member of the Threatened Languages Study Group and the University Center for Sociolinguistics and Communication; Maria Sabaté-Dalmau, president of the Catalan Linguistic Sociolinguistics Society; Mònica Pereña, president of Linguapax; and Emili Boix i Fuster, promoter and current director of CUSC and member of Linguapax. UB’s vice-chancellor of linguistic policy, professor Jordi Matas, chaired the table. The vice-chancellor emphasized the work of CUSC over these 25 years and described the current situation of the university’s linguistic policy, highlighting the involvement of all Catalan universities through the Catalan Language Strengthening Plan and also emphasizing the harmony of the universities of Xarxa Vives.

During the debate, the participants reflected on why it is necessary to defend and promote linguistic diversity around the world, with a specific emphasis on the situation in Catalonia and other regions where Catalan is spoken, while the moderator asked for ideas, principles, or models that could be considered more effective to continue working for linguistic sustainability and the well-being of speakers.

The contributions, which ranged from aspects related to the family transmission of language, ideologies that prevent its survival, the well-being that brings to the speakers of small or minority languages the possibility of recovering and using their languages, and how these issues are addressed in different parts of the world, up to the role of supra-state organizations and especially technologies, were completed with contributions from the public that helped to enrich the dialogue and bring new points of view.