Discussion of Kloss, Types of Multilingual Communities
Handout for LING 540
- Types of speech communities. Speech community: all the
citizens in a given state but excluding those who mo(ther) to(ngue) is spoken
natively by less than 3 %: National Core Community: NCC
Mother tongue, major types:
- Monolingual type A: Iceland, Portugal, Japan
- Bi-trilingual type B: consists of 2 or 3 ling. communities EACH of which has at least 4 percent of
the population. Three seems to be the maximum that can be put on an equal part
(Switzerland, India, 3 lg. formula). More than 3 seems to overtax, tangle, render inefficient
the state's admin. and legislation etc. Equality of 2 in Canada, Belgium, Finland and 3 in
Switzerland (India's 3 is fictitious) and even in Switzerland the 3rd (Italian) gets
- Multilingual type C: more than 3 languages: usually a 4-plus language situation is neutralized
by (1) a foreign language, eg. English/French etc. Great disruption occurs. Even in many
B and C countries, multilingualism is restricted to the federal level, while in the
States/cantons, etc. monolingualism reigns (Belgium, Switzerland, etc.)
- Number of languages used by individuals. There is no correlation
between state and individual on this.
- Fully monolingual citizenry. Examples of an NCC A1: Portugal,
- Diglossic citizenry. Examples of an NCC A2: Greece, Egypt,
Haiti: diglossic language, two varieties.
- Bilingual citizenry. Examples of NCC A3: citizenry may be
monolingual but is faced with another language (2nd) in school, cultural
setting, etc. Nagaland?
- Tri/multilingual citizenry. Examples of NCC A4: monolingual
Maltese are faced with Italian and English as second/3rd (diglossic?)
languages; monolingual Luxemburgers are faced with French and German as 2/3rd
NCC's of types A2-4 are monolingual only in childhood/home language.
In NCC's of 3 and 4, the 2nd or 3rd tongue is characterized by:
- Voluntarism: no compulsion by external factors to adopt 2nd tongue as
- Permanence: long term stability in relationship between 2 lgs.
- Functional diversification: different domains of diff. lgs.
We need cover term for diffs betw. 2 and 3/4: endo-diglossic vs.
While NCC's of type A are common, type B (bilingual) may be monolingual or
bilingual, usually widespread B NCC's are very rare: even where they may be
equal by law, widespread biling. citizenry is usually not: Switzerland,
Belgium remain monolingual, Canada exhibits biling. mostly among French, etc.
etc. S. Africa biling. mostly among Afrikaaners, etc.
Often the international reputation of a language may have some influence on
tendency of other tongue speakers to learn it, but this has no effect in the
case of English speakers in Canada learning French.
NCC B: various types:
- Bilingual, but only one lg. official: 19th century Belgium
(Dutch were backward)
- One community is numerically inferior
- One pursues a policy of linguistic oppression at all costs. (19th
century Russia; Sri Lanka 1958-present, Iraq towards Kurds, etc.)
NCC's of type C: (more than 3 languages of sizable population).
- Enthrone one indigenous and one foreign: Pakistan
- Use two imported ones (Italian and English in Somalia, French and
English in Cameroon)
- : Types of personal and impersonal bilingualism.
- natural bilingualism: result of mixed marriages, mixed neighborhood, etc.
- voluntary bilingualism: result of strictly private endeavor, or is
matched by efforts of the state to encourage it (lg. is not only taught, but
- decreed bilingualism: backed by state but against wishes of population
(Poland pre-1914, Ukraine under Czars, etc.)
Impersonal bilingualism: official blanks (census forms, social-security
application forms, IRS forms), postage stamps/currency, official public
notices (posters), etc. (People are not bilingual, things are.)
- Legal status: is the language ``official/national" for the 1) whole state? 2)
part of territory only? 3) promoted in schools or elsewhere? 4) tolerated by
authorities only? 5) prohibited by authorities?
- Segments of population involved: 1) all adult males? 2) all literate
males/adults? 3) all secondary school graduates? (India) breadwinners?
- Type and degree of individual bilingualism: from full coordinate
bilingualism to marginal knowledge.
- Prestige of lgs: 1) rich literature? 2) modernization? 3)
international standing? 4) prestigeful speakers?
`bilinguisme de promotion' vs. `biling. de concession/resignation' (Belgium)
- Degree of distance: are language related or distant?
- Indigenousness of languages (vs. imported colonial relic?)
Japanese in Hawaii: latecomers vs. Hawaiian `natives'; Malays in Malaysia vs.
- Attitude toward linguistic stability: in immigrant societies,
attitude is that lang. shift is natural; in older societies attitude is that
language loyalty is natural.
Wed Sep 24 11:01:49 EDT 1997