It is the basic tenet of this research proposal that language policy is ultimately grounded in linguistic culture, i.e. the set of behaviors, assumptions, cultural forms, prejudices, folk belief systems, attitudes, stereotypes, ways of thinking about language, and religio-historical circumstances associated with a particular language. That is, the beliefs that a speech community has about language in general and its language in particular are part of the social conditions that affect the maintenance and transmission of its language. Therefore, typologizing language policies without looking at the cultural traditions out of which they arise is probably futile, if not simply trivial. These traditions may be part of the `great tradition' of the culture, or may be less highly respected, or even officially or internationally despised aspects of culture, such as widespread anti-semitism, racism, or chauvinism of any sort. Policy-makers often seem to be simply operating from cultural assumptions in in their background that they may be unaware of, or consider perfectly natural and appropriate. This is particularly true when inappropriate policies are handed down with the expectation that they will be implemented without regard for local conditions.
We therefore seek to return language policy study to a true interdisciplinary focus, and to reassert the primacy of the human and humanistic (i.e. cultural and historical) conditions underlying its operation.