The language situation in Timor-Leste

Taylor-Leech, Kerry (2011) The language situation in Timor-Leste. In: Language planning in the Asia Pacific: Hong Kong, Timor-Leste and Sri Lanka. Taylor & Francis (Routledge), Oxford, United Kingdom, pp. 92-159. ISBN 9780415618519

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Abstract

Timor-Leste celebrated its formal political independence on 20th May 2002. The National Constitution of the new nation declared the endogenous lingua franca (Tetum) and the former colonial language (Portuguese) to be co-official. The remaining local languages were given the status of national languages. Indonesian and English were designated as working languages ‘for as long as is deemed necessary’. In this monograph, I consider the origins and implications of these constitutional provisions. The paper consists of five parts. 1. A social and economic profile of the polity. This section also discusses migration, communications and the media in relation to language policy and practice. 2. A language profile of the country, followed by a discussion of diglossia, multilingualism,literacy and official language choice. 3. An account of the sociolinguistic consequences of language contact and an historical analysis of social policies and practices that have shaped the habitus. 4. A discussion and analysis of current language policy development in terms of goals, motives and orientations. 5. An assessment of the prospects for language maintenance with special reference to policy outcomes and options. I advocate a rights-oriented approach to language management, arguing that in the absence of such an approach, ad hoc power relationships between languages will continue to dominate social discourse and language politics.


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Item Type: Book Chapter (Commonwealth Reporting Category B)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Chapter 3. This book is a reproduction of two special issues of Current Issues in Language Planning: vol. 10 (1)and vol.l1(1). The Publisher requests to those authors who may be citing this book to state, also, the bibliographical details of the special issue on which the book was based. This chapter has already been published in 'Current Issues in Language Planning' (2009) 10(1), 1-68. (eP7040). Print copy held in the USQ Library at call no. 306.449 Lan.
Depositing User: Dr Kerry Taylor-Leech
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Education
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 06:58
Last Modified: 10 Nov 2011 07:16
Uncontrolled Keywords: Timor Leste; language policy; language practices; literacy; multilingualism; diglossia; official languages; national languages
Fields of Research (FOR2008): 16 Studies in Human Society > 1605 Policy and Administration > 160510 Public Policy
20 Language, Communication and Culture > 2004 Linguistics > 200401 Applied Linguistics and Educational Linguistics
16 Studies in Human Society > 1601 Anthropology > 160103 Linguistic Anthropology
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO2008): C Society > 95 Cultural Understanding > 9599 Other Cultural Understanding > 959999 Cultural Understanding not elsewhere classified
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/20011

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