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Language and the Law
Linguistic Inequality in America

$31.99 (P)

  • Date Published: July 2016
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107623118

$ 31.99 (P)

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About the Authors
  • Language policy is a topic of growing importance around the world, as issues such as the recognition of linguistic diversity, the establishment of official languages, the status of languages in educational systems, the status of heritage and minority languages, and speakers' legal rights have come increasingly to the forefront. One fifth of the American population do not speak English as their first language. While race, gender and religious discrimination are recognized as illegal, the US does not currently accord the same protections regarding language; discrimination on the basis of language is accepted, and even promoted, in the name of unity and efficiency. Setting language within the context of America's history, this book explores the diverse range of linguistic inequalities, covering voting, criminal and civil justice, education, government and public services, and the workplace, and considers how linguistic differences challenge our fundamental ideals of democracy, justice and fairness.

    • Exposes language as an unexplored inequality that affects more than twenty percent of the population
    • Provides an overview of how language affects a diverse range of social interactions, including voting, court interpreting and bilingual education
    • Traces the historical origins of contemporary language problems, showing readers the continuities and changes in attitudes and policies
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "There is no doubt that this collection will be useful to lawyers and other supporters of rights, as well as to students of language policy and management study of the slow progress of legal recognition in the USA of non-English language rights. It covers in considerable detail most of the important cases and decisions as the system has gradually (and perhaps reluctantly) recognized the way that failure to allow for minority language patterns has contributed to the kinds of inequality more usually associated with race, gender, and the income gap."
    Bernard Spolsky, Professor Emeritus, Bar-Ilan University, Israel

    'Language and the Law examines a fascinating and promising area of research on the ways in which linguistic differences undermine some of the core promises of the US legal system.' Choice

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    Product details

    • Date Published: July 2016
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107623118
    • length: 240 pages
    • dimensions: 228 x 152 x 14 mm
    • weight: 0.36kg
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    1. Equality, liberty, and fairness in America
    2. Language and democracy
    3. Language in the legal system
    4. Language and education
    5. Government, public services and the English-only movement
    6. Language in the workplace
    7. Conclusions
    Index of court cases
    Index of names
    General index.

  • Author

    Douglas A. Kibbee, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
    Douglas A. Kibbee is Professor Emeritus in the Department of French at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. He is the author of For to Speke Frenche Trewely (1991), co-author of French: A Linguistic Introduction (Cambridge, 2006) and editor of Language Legislation and Linguistic Rights (1998).

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