Languages of the Internet
  • ISSN 1569-2159
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9862
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After Robert Phillipson argued in Linguistic Imperialism (1992) that the present spread of English throughout post-colonial societies is a specific form of Western imperialism, a vigorous academic debate ensued. It revolved around several interrelated questions: How do different languages interact in the global arena?; Is such language competition a manifestation of imperialism or of globalisation?; What are the social implications of language growth and of language decline/death?; etc. The present article is a critique of the debate and an attempt to develop a positivist, systemic, macro-level theory of language competition, which would offer a general framework for dealing with the issues in question.


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