Monday, January 24, 2011

Tiersma on Language Policy in the United States

Peter Tiersma (Loyola, Los Angeles) has posted a chapter of The Oxford Handbook on Language and Law (forthcoming 2011), which he is co-editing with Lawrence Solan (Brooklyn Law School).

The chapter
contains an overview of language policy in the United States, starting in the early days of the republic, the attempts to force Native Americans to assimilate culturally and linguistically to the dominant English-speaking American culture, the nativist movement around World War I, and the more recent efforts to make English the official language of the United States and of individual states. More specifically, it discusses the constitutionality of Official English (or English-only) laws and ends with a brief survey of rights of limited English speakers to social services in their own languages and to have their children receive bilingual education.
You can download it here.

Hat tip: bookforum