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date: 27 January 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines the relationship between language policy and planning (LPP) and political theory, specifically the major figures of modern European political philosophy: Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, and Johann Gottfried Herder. This chapter illustrates how these four figures’ diverse philosophical conceptions of language have differing implications for government policy aimed at language usage, and how these implications are evident in current LPP theory and practice. Although Locke and Herder are widely seen as mainstays of modern Eurocentric language ideologies central to the armature to the modern nation-state, it is also fruitful to pay greater attention to the tensions and contradictions within what has been depicted as a single ideology. Thus, the purpose here is to analyze connections between specific conceptions of language and various implied or explicit understandings of the relationship(s) between language use and government activity.

Keywords: Johann Gottfried Herder, Thomas Hobbes, individualism, John Locke, language, political theory, language planning, language policy, Jean-Jacques Rousseau

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