This bibliography attempts to document some of the many benefits that accrue to children who are educated in their mother tongue or heritage language. These benefits are purported to include boosts to emotional and psychological health, physical health, intelligence, financial earnings, academic success, and many other areas. While many linguists working in language revitalization agree that such benefits exist, few studies have actually documented them, and far fewer have attempted to quantify these benefits in any way. This bibliography is the beginning of an attempt to address that gap.
If you know of any other sources that should be added to this bibliography, please let me know by emailing me here.
The received wisdom regarding language endangerment typically begins with statistics regarding the number of languages in the world (7,000), and goes on to note how 50 – 90% of these will be extinct by 2100. The causes, it is claimed, are globalization and modern capitalism, and cultural dominance through things like technology and media, as well as causes which affect people rather than languages per se, such as disease, war, genocide, and natural catastrophes (but these last few are typically outside the realm of study and expertise for linguists and anthropologists).
The article takes a praxeological look at English-Only and official English policies, and argues that the problems that these policies are meant to address are non-problems – yet another example of activists and government imagining problems just so that they can solve them. In addition, following the tradition of Bastiat and Hazlitt, I show some of the many unseen effects of such official English policies, and – following the tradition of von Mises – that these policy prescriptions are unsuited for the ends they aim at, even in their proponents’ own terms.
This article follows a similar theme as my previous Mises articles, here and here, in that they all examine the social dimensions of language from a praxeological perspective. This article differs significantly from the previous two, however, in that it focuses on English language policy in the States, rather than the issue of endangered languages and language death which I wrote on previously.
Last Friday I gave the second talk in my three-part lecture series on language typology. This talk and the one before it are both structured so as to be accessible to people with no background in linguistics or languages. The topic for this week was voice and transitivity, or, “cool things you can do with verbs”. You can download the pdf version here, or the PowerPoint here, or just skim through the slides below. And if you missed it, you can get last week’s talk here.