Linguistic inequality in scientific communication today: What can future applied linguistics do to mitigate disadvantages for non-anglophones?. AILA Review, Volume 20
  • ISSN 1461-0213
  • E-ISSN: 1570-5595
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The progressive spread of English as the main language of international scientific communication has been interpreted in many different ways by several scholars. The paper presents a brief review of the scientific debate on such topics, focusing on the main stereotypes which have been created in order to provide explanations for the development of English as the language of science, and on the perception of non-Anglophone scholars on the reasons of the predominance of English in scientific literature and their disadvantages with respect to native speakers. Frequently used stereotypes on English as the language of science are analyzed and discussed in reference to the motivations asserted by linguists and non-linguists. A double ideological evidence can be registered: (1) arguments essentially consist in a-posteriori justifications, (2) English — far away from representing a free choice for non-native scholars — is perceived as the repository of the linguistic power that is desired and worshipped. The overview closes with the results of a pilot investigation on the languages of scientific publications, conducted on a sample of Italian scholars belonging to various scientific fields.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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