The need to preserve the linguistic human heritage and counter the processes of language shift that are taking place worldwide has become a major concern shared by researchers, scholars and leaders of many language communities.

This Dialogue wanted to bring together all persons interested in the maintenance of linguistic diversity in order to generate fruitful discussions that may be used to hold back the current processes of cultural homogenization of the world.

The congress was held in Barcelona between May 20 and 23 in the framework of the Universal Forum of Cultures – Barcelona 2004. Working sessions were of two types. On the one hand, the keynote communications, that gave a general overview on the three main axes of the congress (language diversity, sustainability and peace) and the possible interrelations among them, taking into account the new cultural, social, political and economic factors stemming from an increasing globalization process. On the other hand, the five parallel workshops that were held in the afternoon sessions had a more specific approach to linguistic diversity and its relation to language policy and planning.

Linguapax was born as a UNESCO initiative to bring a linguistic solution to specific issues in the area of peace research, defence of human rights and promotion of education for democracy by using innovative methods for language teaching. This philosophy is now embodied in the Linguapax Institute, an international NGO based in Barcelona, aimed at promoting peace through the respect of linguistic diversity and the promotion of plurilingual education. The Universal Forum of Cultures – Barcelona 2004 that took place from May 9 to September 26 2004 was an international event intended to offer a new and creative space for reflection and ex-perimentation in relation to the main social and cultural conflicts that humanity is faced with at the outset of the twenty-first century. The convergence of proposals and objectives of these two initiatives motivated the joint organization of this international congress.

Opening session

Fèlix Martí. President of Linguapax pdf (Catalan)

Elda Moreno. Council of Europe pdf (French)

Pasqual Maragall. President of the Generalitat of Catalonia (Autonomous Goverment) pdf (Catalan)

Plenary Sessions

Introductory speech

David Crystal
‘Creating a world of languages’ (pdf)

1. Language diversity

The present situation: the number of languages and the fight against homogenising tendencies and language shift processes. The loss of cultural diversity in general and linguistic diversity in particular as a common phenomenon spread worldwide. The magnitude of the threat and reactions against hegemonic languages. Forecasts over the maintenance of linguistic diversity.

Bernard Comrie
‘Language diversity: a key to understanding human diversity’  (pdf)

Nancy Hornberger
‘Indigenous language revitalization, biliteracy and student voice: Instances from Quechua, Guaraní and Maori bilingual education’ (pdf)

2. Sustainability

The links between language, culture and the environment. Language ecology as an interdisciplinary research area focusing on the relationships between linguistic diversity and biological diversity. The need to preserve a linguistic balance at a global scale. The promotion of multilingual practices in order to reach a more equalitarian coexistence among the different language communities of the world.

Suzanne Romaine
‘Linguistic diversity, sustainable development, and the future of the past’ (ppt)

Albert Bastardas
‘Towards a “linguistic sustainability”: Concepts, principles, and problems of human communicative organisation in the 21st century’ (pdf)

3. Peace

The respect for linguistic diversity based upon harmonious coexistence of all language communities. Linguistic rights, both individual and collective, as fundamental human rights. Linguistic and cultural diversity as a key factor to improve intercultural communication, conflict resolution and the promotion of peace among peoples.

Fernand de Varennes
‘Pax Linguae, Pax Humanus: Linguistics rights as a foundation for peace’ (pdf)

Miquel Siguan
‘Languages and Peace’ (pdf) (also available in Catalan)

Isidor Marí
Synthesis text on the Plenary Sessions (pdf) (also available in CatalanSpanish)


1. Positive models of language policy and planning

Case studies of different linguistic communities and their models of language policy and planning.

Workshop coordinator: Jean-Jacques Van Vlasselaer. Workshop conclusions (pdf)

Anne Marie Beukes
‘The first ten years of democracy: Language policy in South Africa’ (pdf)

Nadine Dutcher
‘Language policy and education in multilingual societies: Lessons from three positive models (Guatemala, Eritrea and Papua New Guinea)’ (pdf)

Félix Etxeberria
‘Logros y retos de la educación bilingüe en el País Vasco’ (pdf),
‘Logros y retos de la educación bilingüe en el País Vasco’ (powerpoint)

Araceli Díaz de Lezana
‘El desarrollo tecnolingüístico del euskera’ (pdf)

Josep Quer
‘La planificació lingüística de la llengua de signes catalana (LSC)’ (pdf)

David A. Klaus
‘The use of indigenous languages in early basic education in Papua New Guinea: a model for elsewhere?’ (pdf)

Joe MacDonnacha
‘The role of the university in meeting the needs of linguistic communities: an Irish case study’ (pdf),
‘The role of the university in meeting the needs of linguistic communities: an Irish case study’ (powerpoint)

Abdou Elimam
‘Revaloriser les langues afin de les promouvoir?’ (pdf)

Adil Moustaoui
‘Conflicto lingüístico y política lingüística en Marruecos: una propuesta de análisis’ (pdf)

Uuc-kib Espadas
‘La dimensión global del debate por los derechos lingüísticos en México’ (pdf)

2. Case studies of language revitalization and standardisation

Examples of programmes that aim to revitalize threatened languages. The new information technologies and their use in revitalization strategies. Language description and the importance of both corpus and status planning as key elements in the protection and promotion of languages.

Workshop coordinator: Joan Argenter. Workshop conclusions (Catalan) (pdf) (also avaialble in Spanish)

Anvita Abbi
‘Vanishing diversities and submerging identities’ (pdf)

José Antonio Flores Farfán
‘Empoderamiento de las lenguas y culturas locales: ejemplos de México’ (pdf)

Martha Muntzel
‘The role of literacy in language revitalization’ (pdf)

G. Ambrosch, D. Halwachs, Y. Mantra, B. Schrammel
‘Romani as a case study of language codification and revitalization’ (pdf)

Mohand Tilmatine
‘Standardisation linguistique: le cas de l’amazighe (berbère) en Afrique du Nord’ (pdf)

Esteban Emilio Mosonyi / Jorge Pocaterra
‘Experiencias recientes en los pueblos indígenas de Venezuela’ (pdf)

F. Xavier Fargas
‘Estandardització i manlleus: la diversitat entra dins del corpus’ (pdf)

Michael Prosser
‘The prospects for the long-term survival of non-Han minority languages in the South of China’ (pdf)

Peter Wittenburg
‘The DOBES Program and its contribution to standardization and revitalization’ (pdf)

Eda Derhemi
‘Dysfunctional attrition and language maintenance in the Arbresh of Piana degli Albanesi’ (pdf)

3. Evaluation on the current sociolinguistic research. New trends and paradigms

New paradigms of sociolinguistic research: ecolinguistic, complex and holistic theories. Planning multilingualism and cost-effectiveness analysis in language policies. Contrast between official language policies and the newest theoretical approaches.

Workshop coordinator: Lachman Khubchandani. Workshop conclusions (pdf)

Elana Shohamy
‘The hidden agendas of language policy; effects on language rights’ (pdf)

T. Turell, R. Casesnoves, D. Sankoff
‘La base démolinguistique pour évaluer l’aménagement linguistique dans un contexte bilingue’ (pdf)

S. Ehrhart, C. Hélot
‘Building bridges or taking the ferry: pidgins, creoles and language acquisition in a multilingual setting’ (pdf)

Nadège Lechevrel
‘Ecologie des langues: le fait scientifique et l’idéologie’ (pdf)

Emili Boix
‘Les representacions: un camp d’investigació des de l’antropologia lingüística per a mantenir la diversitat’ (pdf)

François Grin
‘Do the concepts of resource allocation and resource distribution constitute useful paradigms for language policy?’ (pdf)

Pádraig Ó Riagáin
‘Does achieving the status of an official language make a difference in the long-term viability of a previously dominated minority language?’ (pdf)

Aija Priedite
‘What do qualitative and quantitative surveys tell us about language policy?’ (pdf)

Giovanna Campani
‘The role of language in the mobilization of ethnic and immigrant minorities’ (pdf)

Abel Montagut
‘La contribució de la llengua internacional esperanto a la supervivència de la diversitat lingüística’ pdf [text 1]pdf [text 2]

4. Language law and language rights

Overview of the development of language legislation in different parts of the world and its repercussions on emerging regional blocs such as the European Union, NAFTA, Mercosur and others. Analysis of significant documents: European Charter of Regional or Minority Languages, the Universal Declaration of Linguistic Rights, etc.

Workshop coordinator: Miquel Strubell. Workshop conclusions (pdf)

Susana Cuevas
‘La Ley de derechos lingüísticos en México’ (pdf)

Christine Anthonissen
‘Walking the tightrope between policy and practice: Testing a national policy of language diversity in higher education language practices’ (pdf)

Dónall Ó Riagáin
‘Respect, understanding and tolerance: Language policy and the peace process in Northern Ireland’ (pdf)

Rosa Júlia Plá Coelho
‘A juridical approach to linguistic diversity in Europe: Considerations regarding adopting a catalog of basic language rights for national, international and European Union laws’ (pdf)

Christopher Stroud
‘Language rights and linguistic citizenship’ (pdf)

Niamh Nic Shuibhne
‘The EU and its language scheme: Before and after the enlargement’ (pdf)

Paolo Coluzzi
‘Problemas y dificultades en el proceso de planificación lingüística para las lenguas minoritarias italianas’ (pdf)

Mònica Sabata
‘La Declaració Universal de Drets Lingüístics’ (pdf)

Santiago Frigola
‘Legislació i drets lingüístics de la comunitat sorda’ (pdf)

Michelle Daveluy
‘Self-governance vs. lingusitic peace among the Canadian Inuit’ (pdf), ‘Self-governance vs. lingusitic peace among the Canadian Inuit’ (powerpoint)

5. Agents in favour of language diversity (NGO, IGO, civil society organizations)

Non Governmental Organizations and the struggle to conserve and promote language diversity. The effective participation of institutions from different parts of the world in the design, implementation and follow-up of programmes in the defence of endangered languages.

Workshop coordinator: Denis Cunningham. Workshop conclusions (pdf)

E. Annamalai
‘The public perception of language diversity’ (pdf)

Barbara Trudell
‘The role of local agency in the defense of minority languages: Indigenous language committees in Northwest Cameroon’ (pdf)

Alan Hedley
‘Sustainable development through biocultural diversity: The role of international nongovermental organizations’ (pdf)

K. Lindh, L. M. Gashi
‘Multilingual online training for cultural understanding: Starting points and challenges’ (pdf)

Albert Raasch
‘Cohésion sociale, politique linguistique et Linguapax’ (pdf)

Nicholas Ostler
‘The defence of language diversity’ (pdf)

D. Solà, J. Vinyet
‘Voluntaris per la llengua’ (pdf)

Anikó Hatoss
‘Language maintenance and acculturation in the Hungarian diaspora of Queensland: a microcosm from which to learn’ (pdf)

A. Noguerol, R. Ramírez, D. Masats
‘L’enfocament plural de l’ensenyament de llengua (ües) a l’escola. El projecte Jaling: materials i propostes’ (pdf)

Radojica Petrovic
‘A system of web-based projects sustaining language diversity’ (pdf)

Linguapax Awards 2004

The jury of the Linguapax prizes, formed by the members of the Advisory Committee of the Linguapax Institute have decided to award this year Joshua Fishman and Fernand de Varennes. The ceremony took place on May 23rd during the closing session of the congress.