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date: 21 July 2018

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter offers a normative engagement with language policy and politics, particularly involving the moral evaluation of power structures associated with language, and their possible alternatives. Questions about language rights and linguistic equality, the compatibility between particular language regimes and democratic principles, and the global ethics of English as a lingua franca, as well as emerging debates in political philosophy on linguistic justice, involve language ethics, namely, inquiry on the moral problems, practices, and policies related to language. Language ethics must be fundamentally interdisciplinary, not merely to bridge political philosophy and applied linguistics, but rather to combine their distinct scientific epistemologies in a principled and systematic way. The concluding section of the chapter turns its attention to the intrinsic tension between the aim of language policy to achieve particular moral outcomes and the messy, uncertain, and often unpredictable realities that shape local and global social change.

Keywords: applied ethics, interdisciplinarity, language ethics, language policy, language rights, lingua franca, linguistic equality, linguistic justice, political philosophy

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