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Title: Language policy and politics : the central state and linguistic minorities in Spain and Italy, 1992-2010
Author: Wells, Naomi Amelia Stewart
Awarding Body: University of Leeds
Current Institution: University of Leeds
Date of Award: 2013
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Linguistic minorities are playing a crucial role in determining how states are reimagining themselves in more plural and inclusive ways. Pressure from both supranational and sub-state levels of government has meant that the repression of linguistic minorities by state institutions is no longer acceptable and even attitudes of neglect are widely condemned. However, while there has been a noticeable change in attitudes towards linguistic minorities in many European states, the specific role of the central state in relation to these groups remains ambiguous and merits further study. This thesis thus compares the language policies of the central states of Spain and Italy between 1992 and 2010, concerning two specific linguistic minorities in each country. These include Catalan-speakers in Catalonia and the German-speaking minority in Alto Adige/Südtirol, which have received considerable recognition and find themselves in a comparable situation within their respective states. In contrast, the Asturian- and Sardinian-speaking minorities have received the most minimal recognition at both the regional and state levels. Three sources of primary data were identified for the purposes of this study: official state documentation and legislation, elite interviews with political and institutional representatives, and state-wide newspapers. The research reveals the rationales, ideologies and motivations behind the actions of the central states of Spain and Italy in their approaches towards these distinct groups. New insight is provided by considering cases which have not previously been compared, as well as focusing on the typically hidden language policies of the state in contrast to the visible and widely studied policies implemented at the regional or provincial levels. This approach allows conclusions to be drawn on the extent to which both states may be moving away from the traditional monolingual nation-state model and provides recommendations for future approaches to linguistic minorities at the state and European levels.
Supervisor: Richardson, Brian ; Smith, Angel Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available