'English Only' and Our Struggle to Understand the Concept of Language

Language & Communication, Vol. 25, p. 61, 2005

University of Pittsburgh Legal Studies Research Paper Series

Posted: 2 Jun 2009

See all articles by Ann Sinsheimer

Ann Sinsheimer

University of Pittsburgh - School of Law

Date Written: June 1, 2009

Abstract

In this paper, I examine the impact of three language theories, nomenclaturism, segregationalism, and integrationalism, on our view of language. Specifically, I examine ‘'English Only'’ laws and the way in which the legal community has relied on language theories, implicitly and explicitly, in responding to these laws. The ‘'English Only'’ issue illustrates that the elements of 'a language' are diverse and highly contextualized, and, therefore, I propose that the principle of integrationalism is the best way to study the complex, multidimensional nature of language.

Suggested Citation

Sinsheimer, Ann, 'English Only' and Our Struggle to Understand the Concept of Language (June 1, 2009). Language & Communication, Vol. 25, p. 61, 2005, University of Pittsburgh Legal Studies Research Paper Series, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1412665

Ann Sinsheimer (Contact Author)

University of Pittsburgh - School of Law ( email )

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