ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Development with Diversity

Political Philosophy of Language Endangerment in South Asia

South Asia's high rate of language endangerment is yet to be discussed in relation to human development and this paper examines it in terms of the political philosophy of human development. It discusses the sociopolitical contexts in which multilingualism, language endangerment, and linguistic justice are constituted as subjects of political philosophy and looks into the postulated correlation of linguistic diversity with human development. No significant correlation of human development with language diversity is observed at the global level, but a fuzzy correlation is found in south Asia. Four normative statements are derived and negotiated with political philosophy to rationalise the discourse on language endangerment in south Asia. Based on this, the paper points out that development with diversity has to be the political philosophy of this region.

The author has benefi ted a lot from a discussion with Muhammad Irshad of the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai on the economic aspect of the issue. Any drawbacks are, of course, those of the author.

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