The project DILING (Dimensions of Linguistic
Otherness: Prospects and Maintenance and Revitalization of Minority
Languages) of the Research Institute for Linguistics of the Hungarian
Academy of Sciences has been supported within the SSA (Specific
Support Action) programme of the European Union.
general goal of the SSA program is to support supplementary actions
not involving actual research, fieldwork or the like, but actions
like organising conferences and workshops, reviewing some areas
of the literature with the aim of surveying the state of the art
in some field, laying the grounds for a future EU-funded cooperation,
and putting forward policy recommendations.
We have planned to carry out all these activities within the framework
of this project with eight participating countries (the Czech Republic,
Moldavia, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Ukraine, Hungary).
Our primary intention is to foster a multi-disciplinary approach
to linguistic minorities in the region, and at the same time to
try to involve various groups of stakeholders beyond the research
community. Our medium-term ambitions for the period after this project
ends include putting together a larger EU-funded research-oriented
cooperation concerning linguistic minorities in the region.
project hopes to provide a frame for the efficient transfer of knowledge
accumulated about linguistic minorities by minority research on
the national level between the participating, relatively isolated
research groups of the region, as well as for establishing lasting
professional links between research groups the countries involved.
We would also like to propagate good research practices in the region,
contributing to the integration of its relevant research activities
into a common European Research Area, and to disseminate results
to researchers and stake-holders in general both in a scientific
and in a more practical form.
Linguistic minorities within the region to be targeted by our project
are relatively under-studied; there is a limited amount of reliable
comparative data on minority languages. Researchers in the field
characteristically work on different projects in isolated groups
with scarce links and cooperation. Effective policy action and implementation
regionally and at the European level necessitates in-depth analyses
of the actual social and linguistic situation of the minorities,
as well as unique characteristics of the region itself.
our proposed project we focus on both research and policy dimensions
of language shift (linguistic assimilation) vis-á-vis language maintenance
and revitalisation processes, making preparations for creating a
multidisciplinary scientific and methodological framework for future
must face that there is no unified model for the study of language
shift and maintenance. There are even fewer approaches that are
aimed at describing social and linguistic change in a unified framework
that could be generalised to dissimilar contact situations.
the limitations in previous research practices detailed above, by
pulling together experts from different countries and of expertise
in different sets of linguistic minorities in the region, our project
is designed to be comparative and multidisciplinary in nature from
the very beginning to its last stages, preparing a common regional
major component of the project is to provide a systematic review
of the state of linguistic minorities of the region, countries which
are simultaneously characterised by a post-communist political,
sociological and cultural heritage and by an immense and ongoing
political-ideological restructuring due to a new, expanding Europe.
particular objective is to organise a conference to transfer knowledge
about the state of the art in linguistic minorities research in
general, as well as knowledge about linguistic minorities in each
one of the participating countries in particular (including results
of language shift/maintenance research on these groups). The conference
will on the one hand include surveys of the state-of-the art in
various fields of research pertaining to linguistic minorities,
delivered by invited international leading experts, and on the other
hand it will consist of presentations of a country review for each
A second objective is to disseminate the results of reviewing the
state of the art in research, the results of the country reviews,
as well as further, practical guides prepared for dissemination.
That means publishing an English language volume including reviews
of the state of the art in research, the country review studies,
a comparative analysis of the region based on the country studies
and an annotated bibliography. We also plan to put together a practical,
clear and easy-to-read booklet for each country, written in the
respective national languages, which will incorporate a guide that
introduces notions and basic scientific views related to linguistic
minorities with the intention of disspelling common misbeliefs),
the country studies re-written in a relatively non-technical language
for the booklets and a practical guide to legal matters related
to linguistic minorities.
aim to organise two targeted workshops as well, in order to study
existing good research practices and set up common research agendas
and research strategies at the national level, as well as assess
policies and policy implementation, prepare policy recommendations,
and develop research agendas and strategies at the regional level,
attempting to involve various stake-holder groups.
A website is to be launched in order to facilitate exchange of information.
The website will contain the actual project results, arising questions
and information about participants.