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Linguistic Effects of Political Institutions

Amy H. Liu
The Journal of Politics
Vol. 73, No. 1 (Jan. 14, 2011), pp. 125-139
DOI: 10.1017/s0022381610000915
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1017/s0022381610000915
Page Count: 15
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Linguistic Effects of Political Institutions
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Abstract

What are the linguistic effects of political institutions? Are consensus-building, power-sharing democracies more likely to recognize minority languages? In this article, I argue (1) power-sharing institutions—proportional electoral rules, parliamentary systems, and federalism—are less likely to recognize minority languages than their moderation-inducing, power-concentrating counterparts; but (2) if there is recognition, the level of recognition is actually greater in the former than in the latter. By testing this argument using a newly constructed language-in-education barometer, I find a significant and robust relationship between political institutions and minority language recognition.

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