Linguistic discrimination (also called glottophobia, linguicism and languagism) is unfair treatment of people which is based on their use of language and the characteristics of their speech, including their first language, their accent, the perceived size of their vocabulary (whether or not the speaker uses complex and varied words), their modality, and their syntax.[1] For example, an Occitan speaker in France will probably be treated differently from a French speaker.[2] Based on a difference in use of language, a person may automatically form judgments about another person's wealth, education, social status, character or other traits, which may lead to discrimination.

Linguistic discrimination was at first considered an act of racism. In the mid-1980s, linguist Tove Skutnabb-Kangas captured the idea of language-based discrimination as linguicism, which was defined as "ideologies and structures which are used to legitimize, effectuate, and reproduce unequal divisions of power and resources (both material and non-material) between groups which are defined on the basis of language".[3] Although different names have been given to this form of discrimination, they all hold the same definition. Linguistic discrimination is culturally and socially determined due to preference for one use of language over others.

Scholars have analyzed the role of linguistic imperialism in linguicism, with some asserting that speakers of dominant languages gravitate towards discrimination against speakers of other, less dominant languages, while disadvantaging themselves linguistically by remaining monolingual.[4] According to scholar Carolyn McKinley, this phenomenon is most present in Africa, where the majority of the population speaks European languages introduced during the colonial era; African states are also noted as instituting European languages as the main medium of instruction, instead of indigenous languages.[4] UNESCO reports have noted that this has historically benefitted only the African upper class, conversely disadvantaging the majority of Africa's population who hold varying level of fluency in the European languages spoken across the continent.[4] Scholars have also noted impact of the linguistic dominance of English on academic discipline; scholar Anna Wierzbicka has described disciplines such as social science and humanities being "locked in a conceptual framework grounded in English" which prevents academia as a whole from reaching a "more universal, culture-independent perspective".[5]

Linguistic prejudice

Speakers with certain accents may experience prejudice. For example, some accents hold more prestige than others depending on the cultural context. However, with so many dialects, it can be difficult to determine which is the most preferable. The best answer linguists can give, such as the authors of Do You Speak American?, is that it depends on the location and the speaker. Research has determined however that some sounds in languages may be determined to sound less pleasant naturally.[6] Also, certain accents tend to carry more prestige in some societies over other accents. For example, in the United States speaking General American (a variety associated with the white middle class) is widely preferred in many contexts such as television journalism. Also, in the United Kingdom, the Received Pronunciation is associated with being of higher class and thus more likable.[7] In addition to prestige, research has shown that certain accents may also be associated with less intelligence, and having poorer social skills.[8] An example can be seen in the difference between Southerners and Northerners in the United States, where people from the North are typically perceived as being less likable in character, and Southerners are perceived as being less intelligent. As sociolinguist, Lippi-Green, argues, "It has been widely observed that when histories are written, they focus on the dominant class... Generally studies of the development of language over time are very narrowly focused on the smallest portion of speakers: those with power and resources to control the distribution of information."[9]


Linguistic discrimination appeared before the term was established. During the 1980s, scholars explored the connection between racism and languages. Linguistic discrimination was a part of racism when it was first studied. The first case found that helped establish the term was in New Zealand, where white colonizers judge the native population, Māori, by judging their language. Linguistic discrimination may originate from fixed institutions and stereotypes of the elite class. Elites reveal strong racism through writing, speaking, and other communication methods, providing a basis for discrimination. Their way of speaking the language is considered the higher class, emphasizing the idea that how one speaks a language is related to social, economic, and political status.[10]

Later, linguistic ideology is introduced to sociolinguistics to address linguistic discrimination directly rather than under the category of racism. Linguistic ideology is defined as the conception or feeling that how a person speaks a certain language can imply social status.[11] This concept further demonstrates that linguistic discrimination derives from the stereotype and cognition of how certain populations speak the language.[10]

Language and social group saliency

Linguistic discrimination is sometimes linked with belonging to a social group, as in patriotism and nationalism. This poster is propaganda from World War I.

It is natural for human beings to want to identify with others. One way we do this is by categorizing individuals into specific social groups. While some groups may be readily noticeable (such as those defined by ethnicity or gender), other groups are less salient. Linguist Carmen Fought explains how an individual's use of language may allow another person to categorize them into a specific social group that may otherwise be less apparent.[12] For example, in the United States it is common to perceive Southerners as less intelligent. Belonging to a social group such as the South may be less salient than membership to other groups that are defined by ethnicity or gender. Language provides a bridge for prejudice to occur for these less salient social groups.[13]


Linguistic discrimination is a form of racism. Impact of linguistic discrimination ranges from physical violence to mental trauma, and then to extinction of a language. Victims of linguistic discrimination may experience physical bullying in school and a decrease in earnings in job. In countries where a variety of languages exist, it is hard for people to obtain basic social service such as education and health care[14] since they do not understand the language. Mentally, they may be ashamed or feel guilty to speak their home language.[15] People who speak another language that is not the mainstream language does not feel social acceptance. Researches show that countries with assimilation policies result in higher stress.[16] They are forced to accept this mainstream language and foreign culture.[17] According to statistics, every two weeks an endangered language will be extinct. This is because, on the country level, linguistically marginalized populations must learn the common language to obtain resources. Their opportunities are very limited when they cannot communicate in a way everyone else understands.[18]

English language

English, being the language that most countries speak in the world, experiences a lot of linguistic discrimination when people from different linguistic backgrounds meet. Regional differences and native languages may have an impact on how people speak the language. For example, many non-native speakers in other countries fail to pronounce the “th” sound. Instead, they use the "s" sound, which is more common in other languages, to replace it. “Thank” becomes “sank,” and “mother” becomes “mozer.” In Russian-English pronunciation, “Hi, where were you” may be pronounced like “Hi, veir ver you” since it is closer to Russian. It may be considered an inappropriate ways to speak the language and be ridiculed by native speakers. Research has shown that this linguistic discrimination may lead to bullying and violence in the worst case. However, linguistic discrimination may not always be bad bias or cause superiority. A mixed pronunciation of different languages may also lead to mixed reactions. Some people who are native to the language may find these mixes to be special and good, while some others are unfriendly with these speakers. Nonetheless, all these are stereotypes of certain languages and may lead to cognition bias. Former president Donald Trump’s wife, Melania Trump, was harshly mocked and insulted on the internet due to her Slovenian accent of speaking English.[19] In fact, in many countries where English is the lingua franca, accent is a part of identity.[20]


History of linguistic imperialism

The impacts of colonization on linguistic traditions vary based on the form of colonization experienced: trader, settler or exploitation.[21] Congolese-American linguist Salikoko Mufwene describes trader colonization as one of the earliest forms of European colonization. In regions such as the western coast of Africa as well as the Americas, trade relations between European colonizers and indigenous peoples led to the development of pidgin languages.[21] Some of these languages, such as Delaware Pidgin and Mobilian Jargon, were based on Native American languages, while others, such as Nigerian Pidgin and Cameroonian Pidgin, were based on European ones.[22] As trader colonization proceeded mainly via these hybrid languages, rather than the languages of the colonizers, scholars like Mufwene contend that it posed little threat to indigenous languages.[22]

A photo of students at the Carlisle Indian Industrial School

Trader colonization was often followed by settler colonization, where European colonizers settled in these colonies to build new homes.[21] Hamel, a Mexican linguist, argues that "segregation" and "integration" were two primary ways through which settler colonists engaged with aboriginal cultures.[23] In countries such as Uruguay, Brazil, Argentina, and those in the Caribbean, segregation and genocide decimated indigenous societies.[23] Widespread death due to war and illness caused many indigenous populations to lose their indigenous languages.[21] In contrast, in countries that pursued policies of "integration", such as Mexico, Guatemala and the Andean states, indigenous cultures were lost as aboriginal tribes mixed with colonists.[23] In these countries, the establishment of new European orders led to the adoption of colonial languages in governance and industry.[21] In addition, European colonists also viewed the dissolution of indigenous societies and traditions as necessary for the development of a unified nation state.[23] This led to efforts to destroy tribal languages and cultures: in Canada and the United States, for example, Native children were sent to boarding schools such as Col. Richard Pratt's Carlisle Indian Industrial School.[21][24] Today, in countries such as the United States, Canada and Australia, which were once settler colonies, indigenous languages are spoken by only a small minority of the populace.

Portrait of Lord Macaulay
Mufwene also draws a distinction between settler colonies and exploitation colonies. In the latter, the process of colonization was focused on the extraction of raw materials needed in Europe.[21] As a result, Europeans were less invested in their exploitation colonies, and few colonists planned to build homes in these colonies. As a result, indigenous languages were able to survive to a greater extent in these colonies compared to settler colonies.[21] In exploitation colonies, colonial languages were often only taught to a small local elite. During the period of British rule in India, for example, Lord Macaulay highlighted the need for "... a class who may be interpreters between us and the millions who govern... a class of persons, Indian in blood and color, but English in taste, in my opinion, in morals and in intellect" in his now-famous "Macaulay minutes", which were written in support of the English Education Act of 1835.[25] The linguistic differences between the local elite and other locals exacerbated class stratification, and also increased inequality in access to education, industry and civic society in postcolonial states.[21]


Several postcolonial literary theorists have drawn a link between linguistic discrimination and the oppression of indigenous cultures. Prominent Kenyan author Ngugi wa Thiong'o, for example, argues in his book Decolonizing the Mind that language is both a medium of communication, as well as a carrier of culture.[26] As a result, linguistic discrimination resulting from colonization has facilitated the erasure of pre-colonial histories and identities.[26] For example, African slaves were taught English and forbidden to use their indigenous languages. This severed the slaves' linguistic and thus cultural connection to Africa.[26]

Colonial languages and class

In contrast to settler colonies, in exploitation colonies, education in colonial tongues was only accessible to a small indigenous elite.[27] Both the British Macaulay Doctrine, as well as French and Portuguese systems of assimilation, for example, sought to create an "elite class of colonial auxiliaries" who could serve as intermediaries between the colonial government and local populace.[27] As a result, fluency in colonial languages became a signifier of class in colonized lands.[citation needed]

In postcolonial states, linguistic discrimination continues to reinforce notions of class. In Haiti, for example, working-class Haitians predominantly speak Haitian Creole, while members of the local bourgeoise are able to speak both French and Creole.[28] Members of this local elite frequently conduct business and politics in French, thereby excluding many of the working-class from such activities.[28] In addition, D. L. Sheath, an advocate for the use of indigenous languages in India, also writes that the Indian elite associates nationalism with a unitary identity, and in this context, "uses English as a means of exclusion and an instrument of cultural hegemony”.[29]

Linguistic discrimination in education

Photo of school children in Haiti

Class disparities in postcolonial nations are often reproduced through education. In countries such as Haiti, schools attended by the bourgeoisie are usually of higher quality and use colonial languages as their means of instruction. On the other hand, schools attended by the rest of the population are often taught in Haitian Creole.[28] Scholars such as Hebblethwaite argue that Creole-based education will improve learning, literacy and socioeconomic mobility in a country where 95% of the population are monolingual in Creole.[30] However, resultant disparities in colonial language fluency and educational quality can impede social mobility.[28]

On the other hand, areas such as French Guiana have chosen to teach colonial languages in all schools, often to the exclusion of local indigenous languages.[31] As colonial languages were viewed by many as the "civilized" tongues, being "educated" often meant being able to speak and write in these colonial tongues.[31] Indigenous language education was often seen as an impediment to achieving fluency in these colonial languages, and thus deliberately suppressed.[31]

Photo of a school in Uganda

Certain Commonwealth nations such as Uganda and Kenya have historically had a policy of teaching in indigenous languages and only introducing English in the upper grades.[32] This policy was a legacy of the "dual mandate" as conceived by Lord Lugard, a British colonial administrator in Nigeria.[32] However, by the post-war period, English was increasingly viewed as necessary skill for accessing professional employment and better economic opportunities.[32][33] As a result, there was increasing support amongst the populace for English-based education, which Kenya's Ministry of Education adopted post-independence, and Uganda following their civil war. Later on, members of the Ominde Commission in Kenya expressed the need for Kiswahili in promoting a national and pan-African identity. Kenya therefore began to offer Kiswahili as a compulsory, non-examinable subject in primary school, but it remained secondary to English as a medium of instruction.[32]

While the mastery of colonial languages may provide better economic opportunities, the Convention against Discrimination in Education[34] and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child also states that minority children have the right to "use [their] own [languages]". The suppression of indigenous languages within the education system appears to contravene this treaty.[35][36] In addition, children who speak indigenous languages can also be disadvantaged when educated in foreign languages, and often have high illiteracy rates. For example, when the French arrived to "civilize" Algeria, which included imposing French on local Algerians, the literacy rate in Algeria was over 40%, higher than that in France at the time. However, when the French left in 1962, the literacy rate in Algiers was at best 10-15%.[37]


As colonial languages are used as the languages of governance and commerce in many colonial and postcolonial states,[38] locals who only speak indigenous languages can be disenfranchised. By forcing the locals to speak the colonizers' language, colonizers assimilate the indigenous people and hold colonies longer. For example, when representative institutions were introduced to the Algoma region in what is now modern-day Canada, the local returning officer only accepted the votes of individuals who were enfranchised, which required indigenous peoples to "read and write fluently... [their] own and another language, either English or French".[39] This caused political parties to increasingly identify with settler perspectives rather than indigenous ones.[39]

It is a common approach for colonizers to set language limitations. Japanese government in 1910 enacted decrees in colony Korea to completely eliminate existing Korean culture and language. All schools must teach Japanese and Hanja. By doing so, Japanese government was able to make Korea more dependent on Japan and colonize Korea longer.

Even today, many postcolonial states continue to use colonial languages in their public institutions, even though these languages are not spoken by the majority of their residents.[40] For example, the South African justice system still relies primarily on English and Afrikaans as its primary languages, even though most South Africans, particularly Black South Africans, speak indigenous languages.[41] In these situations, the use of colonial languages can present barriers to participation in public institutions.


Linguistic discrimination is often defined in terms of prejudice of language. It is important to note that although there is a relationship between prejudice and discrimination, they are not always directly related.[42] Prejudice can be defined as negative attitudes towards a person based on their membership of a social group, whereas discrimination can be seen as the acts towards them. The difference between the two should be recognized because prejudice may be held against someone, but it may not be acted on.[43] The following are examples of linguistic prejudice which may result in discrimination.

Linguistic prejudice and minority groups

While, theoretically, any speaker may be the victim of linguicism regardless of social and ethnic status, oppressed and marginalized social minorities are often the most consistent targets, due to the fact that the speech varieties that come to be associated with such groups have a tendency to be stigmatized.

In Canada

Francophones in Canada

This section needs expansion with: explanations, examples and additional citations. You can help by adding to it. (February 2021)

Canada was first occupied by French people in the history. Later, British colonizers took the control of Canada, while the influence of French culture and languages were still enormous. Historically, the Canadian federation and provinces have discriminated against Canada's French-speaking population, during some periods in the history of Canada, they have treated its members as second-class citizens, and they have favored the members of the more powerful English-speaking population. This form of discrimination has resulted in or contributed to many developments in Canadian history, including the rise of the Quebec sovereignty movement, Quebecois nationalism, the Lower Canada Rebellion, the Red River Rebellion, a proposed Acadia province, extreme poverty and low socio-economic status of the French Canadian population, low francophone graduation rates as a result of the outlawing of francophone schools across Canada, differences in average earnings between francophones and anglophones in the same positions, fewer chances of being hired or promoted for francophones, and many other things.

Anglophones in Quebec

The Charter of the French Language, first established in 1977 and amended several times since, has been accused of being discriminatory by English-speakers.[citation needed] The law makes French the official language of Quebec and mandates its use (with exceptions) in government offices and communiques, schools, and in commercial public relations. The law is a way of preventing linguistic discrimination against the majority francophone population of Quebec who were for a very long time controlled by the English minority of the province. The law also seeks to protect French against the growing social and economic dominance of English. Though the English-speaking population had been shrinking since the 1960s, it was hastened by the law, and the 2006 census showed a net loss of 180,000 native English-speakers.[44] Despite this, speaking English at work continues to be strongly correlated with higher earnings, with French-only speakers earning significantly less.[45] The law is credited with successfully raising the status of French in a predominantly English-speaking economy, and it has been influential in countries facing similar circumstances.[44] However, amendments have made it less powerful under the pressure from society and thus less effective than it was in the past.[46]

In Europe

Linguistic disenfranchisement rate

The linguistic disenfranchisement rate in the EU can significantly vary across countries. For residents in two EU-countries that are either native speakers of English or proficient in English as a foreign language the disenfranchisement rate is equal to zero. In his study "Multilingual communication for whom? Language policy and fairness in the European Union", Michele Gazzola comes to the conclusion that the current multilingual policy of the EU is not in the absolute the most effective way to inform Europeans about the EU; in certain countries, additional languages may be useful to minimize linguistic exclusion.[47]

In the 24 countries examined, an English-only language policy would exclude 51% to 90% of adult residents. A language regime based on English, French and German would disenfranchise 30% to 56% of residents, whereas a regime based on six languages would bring the shares of excluded population down to 9–22%. After Brexit, the rates of linguistic exclusion associated with a monolingual policy and with a trilingual and a hexalingual regime are likely to increase.[47]

Linguistic discrimination towards languages in the Celtic nations

Other examples

"I will not speak Basque" punishment in the exercise book of a schoolchild during Franco's dictatorial regime

In the Soviet Union, following the phase of Korenizatsiya ("indigenization") and before Perestroika (late 1930s to late 1980s), Russian was called "the language of friendship of nations" to the disadvantage of other languages of the Soviet Union.[citation needed]

In the United States

Perpetuation of discriminatory practices through terminology

Here and elsewhere the terms 'standard' and 'non-standard' make analysis of linguicism difficult. These terms are used widely by linguists and non-linguists when discussing varieties of American English that engender strong opinions, a false dichotomy which is rarely challenged or questioned. This has been interpreted by linguists Nicolas Coupland, Rosina Lippi-Green, and Robin Queen (among others) as a discipline-internal lack of consistency which undermines progress; if linguists themselves cannot move beyond the ideological underpinnings of 'right' and 'wrong' in language, there is little hope of advancing a more nuanced understanding in the general population.[60][61]

Black Americans

Because some black Americans speak a particular non-standard variety of English which is often seen as substandard, they are often targets of linguicism.[62] AAVE is often perceived by members of mainstream American society as indicative of low intelligence or limited education, and as with many other non-standard dialects and especially creoles, it is usually called "lazy" or "bad" English. According to researches, AAVE was initially a language that black people in America used to clearly express the life of oppression.[63] People reflect that it is usually more difficult and understand and respond to an AAVE speaker.[64]

AAVE usually contains words and phrases that have a different meaning from their original meaning in standard English. Pronunciation also differs from standard English. Some phrases require sufficient cultural background to understand. From the grammatic aspect, AAVE shows more complex structures that allow speaker to express a wider range with more specificity. However, since the majority of AAVE speakers is African Americans, they easily become target of discrimination due to the long exisiting racism and white supremacy.[65]

The linguist John McWhorter has described this particular form of linguicism as particularly problematic in the United States, where non-standard linguistic structures are often deemed "incorrect" by teachers and potential employers in contrast to other countries such as Morocco, Finland and Italy where diglossia (the ability to switch between two or more dialects or languages) is an accepted norm, and non-standard usage in conversation is seen as a mark of regional origin, not of intellectual capacity or achievement.

In the 1977 Ann Arbor court case, AAVE was compared against standard English to determine how much of an education barrier existed for children that had been primarily raised with AAVE. The assigned linguists determined that the differences, stemming from a history of racial segregation, were significant enough for the children to receive supplementary teaching to better understand standard English.[66]

For example, a black American who uses a typical AAVE sentence such as "He be comin' in every day and sayin' he ain't done nothing" may be judged as having a deficient command of grammar, whereas, in fact, such a sentence is constructed based on a complex grammar which is different from that of standard English, not a degenerate form of it.[67] A listener may misjudge the user of such a sentence to be unintellectual or uneducated. The speaker may be intellectually capable, educated, and proficient in standard English, but chose to say the sentence in AAVE for social and sociolinguistic reasons such as the intended audience of the sentence, a phenomenon known as code switching. Currently, AAVE is unique and organized enough to be a new language that derives from English but becomes its own new language. It shares many similar characteristics with standard English, but it has its own complexity with African American culture and history. Nonetheless, AAVE is only used in non-formal situations. It is not uncommon for AAVE speakers to speak in formal and standard English under formal situations.

Reports have shown that black workers who sound more "black" earn on average 12% less than their peers (data in 2009).[68] In education, students who speak in AAVE are educated by their teachers that AAVE is not proper or is not correct. According to a survey, when a person speaks in AAVE, listeners tend to believe that the speaker is an African American from North America and is more related to adjectives such as poor, uneducated, and unintelligent.[69] By merely sounding like black, a person may be assumed to be in certain image.

Hispanic Americans and linguicism

Another form of linguicism is evidenced by the following: in some parts of the United States, a person who has a strong Spanish accent and uses only simple English words may be thought of as poor, poorly educated, and possibly an undocumented immigrant. However, if the same person has a diluted accent or no noticeable accent at all and can use a myriad of words in complex sentences, they are likely to be perceived as more successful, better educated, and a "legitimate citizen". Accent has two parts, the speaker and the listener. Thus, some people may perceive an accent as strong because they are not used to hearing them and the emphasis is on an unexpected syllable or as soft and imperceptible. The bias and discrimination that ensues is tied to the difficulty the listener has in understanding that accent. The fact that the person uses a very broad vocabulary creates even more cognitive dissonance on the part of the listener who will immediately think of the speaker as either undocumented, poor, uneducated or even insulting to their intelligence.


Linguistic discrimination against Asians is still a topic under studied. A scholar in paper includes a short story that an Asian reporter was asked whether she can speak English every time she meets a stranger. Everyone was assuming that she may not understand English because she has an Asian appearance.[72] Most Americans assume Asian cannot speak English. Among Asian immigrants, 60% are able to speak English fluently. The proportion is much lower for new immigrants. However, this low English literacy level and lack of translation discourages many Asian immigrants to obtain access social services, such as health care. Asian immigrants, especially younger students, experience a language barrier. They are forced to learn a new language.[73]

Chinglish is a common point of attack. It is the mixture of Chinese and English. It is considered a confusion of Chinese and English grammar, accompanied by Chinese accent. An example would be "Open the light," since "open" and "turn on" are the same word ("开") in Chinese. Another example would be "Yes, I have."[74] This is the literal translation from Chinese to English, and it is hard for Chinese people to learn this quickly. Speaking Chinglish may result in racial discrimination, while this is only the nuance between Chinese and English grammar.

American Sign Language users

Users of American Sign Language (ASL) have faced linguistic discrimination based on the perception of the legitimacy of signed languages compared to spoken languages. This attitude was explicitly expressed in the Milan Conference of 1880 which set precedence for public opinion of manual forms of communication, including ASL, creating lasting consequences for members of the Deaf community.[75] The conference almost unanimously (save a handful of allies such as Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet), reaffirmed the use of oralism, instruction conducted exclusively in spoken language, as the preferred education method for Deaf individuals.[76] These ideas were outlined in eight resolutions which ultimately resulted in the removal of Deaf individuals from their own educational institutions, leaving generations of Deaf persons to be educated single-handedly by hearing individuals.[77]

Due to misconceptions about ASL, it was not recognized as its own, fully functioning language until recently. In the 1960s, linguist William Stokoe proved ASL to be its own language based on its unique structure and grammar, separate from that of English. Before this, ASL was thought to be merely a collection of gestures used to represent English. Because of its use of visual space, it was mistakenly believed that its users are of a lesser mental capacity. The misconception that ASL users are incapable of complex thought was prevalent, although this has decreased as further studies about its recognition of a language have taken place. For example, ASL users faced overwhelming discrimination for the supposedly "lesser" language that they use and were met with condescension especially when using their language in public.[78] Another way discrimination against ASL is evident is how, despite research conducted by linguists like Stokoe or Clayton Valli and Cecil Lucas of Gallaudet University, ASL is not always recognized as a language.[79] Its recognition is crucial both for those learning ASL as an additional language, and for prelingually-deaf children who learn ASL as their first language. Linguist Sherman Wilcox concludes that given that it has a body of literature and international scope, to single ASL out as unsuitable for a foreign language curriculum is inaccurate. Russel S. Rosen also writes about government and academic resistance to acknowledging ASL as a foreign language at the high school or college level, which Rosen believes often resulted from a lack of understanding about the language. Rosen and Wilcox's conclusions both point to discrimination ASL users face regarding its status as a language, that although decreasing over time is still present.[80]

In the medical community, there is immense bias against deafness and ASL. This stems from the belief that spoken languages are superior to sign languages.[81] Because 90% of deaf babies are born to hearing parents, who are usually unaware of the existence of the Deaf community, they often turn to the medical community for guidance.[82] Medical and audiological professionals, who are typically biased against sign languages, encourage parents to get a cochlear implant for their deaf child in order for the child to use spoken language.[81] Research shows, however, that deaf kids without cochlear implants acquire ASL with much greater ease than deaf kids with cochlear implants acquire spoken English. In addition, medical professionals discourage parents from teaching ASL to their deaf kid to avoid compromising their English[83] although research shows that learning ASL does not interfere with a child's ability to learn English. In fact, the early acquisition of ASL proves to be useful to the child in learning English later on. When making a decision about cochlear implantation, parents are not properly educated about the benefits of ASL or the Deaf Community.[82] This is seen by many members of the Deaf Community as cultural and linguistic genocide.[83]

In Africa

In the Middle East

In Asia


Linguicism applies to written, spoken, or signed languages. The quality of a book or article may be judged by the language in which it is written. In the scientific community, for example, those who evaluated a text in two language versions, English and the national Scandinavian language, rated the English-language version as being of higher scientific content.[109]

The Internet operates a great deal using written language. Readers of a web page, Usenet group, forum post, or chat session may be more inclined to take the author seriously if the language is written in accordance with the standard language.


In contrast to the previous examples of linguistic prejudice, linguistic discrimination involves the actual treatment of individuals based on use of language. Examples may be clearly seen in the workplace, in marketing, and in education systems. For example, some workplaces enforce an English-only policy, which is part of an American political movement that pushes for English to be accepted as the official language. In the United States, the federal law, Titles VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects non-native speakers from discrimination in the workplace based on their national origin or use of dialect. There are state laws which also address the protection of non-native speakers, such as the California Fair Employment and Housing Act. However, industries often argue in retrospect that clear, understandable English is often needed in specific work settings in the U.S.[2]

See also


  1. ^ The controversy concerning the reductions of Finnish autonomy is considered to already have begun in the early 1890s, see Woldemar von Daehn.[57]


  1. ^ "Language Discrimination". Workplace Fairness. Retrieved 13 August 2021.
  2. ^ a b "Language Discrimination: Your Legal Rights" (PDF). ACLU Foundation of North California. The Legal Aid Society-Employment Law Center. 2002. Archived from the original (PDF) on 4 September 2012.
  3. ^ Quoted in Skutnabb-Kangas, Tove, and Phillipson, Robert, "'Mother Tongue': The Theoretical and Sociopolitical Construction of a Concept". In Ammon, Ulrich (ed.) (1989). Status and Function of Languages and Language Varieties, p. 455. Berlin, New York: Walter de Gruyter & Co. ISBN 3-11-011299-X.
  4. ^ a b c Dommisse, Ebbe (16 November 2016). "Single dominant tongue keeps inequality in place". The Business Day. Retrieved 14 October 2020.
  5. ^ Anna Wierzbicka, Professor of Linguistics, Australian National University and author of 'Imprisoned by English, The Hazards of English as a Default Language, written in Natural Semantic Metalanguage (NSM), the universally convertible currency of communication, which can serve as a common auxiliary inter-language for speakers of different languages and a global means for clarifying, elucidating, storing, and comparing ideas" (194) (book review)
  6. ^ Bresnahan, M. J., Ohashi, R., Nebashi, R., Liu, W. Y., & Shearman, S. M. (2002). Attitudinal and effective response toward accented English. Language and Communication, 22, 171–185.
  7. ^ "HLW: Word Forms: Processes: English Accents". Archived from the original on 14 June 2008. Retrieved 19 April 2012.
  8. ^ Bradac, J. J. (1990). Language attitudes and impression formation. In H. Giles & W. P. Robinson (Eds.), Handbook of language and social psychology (pp. 387–412). London: John Wiley.
  9. ^ Lippi-Green, Rosina (2012). English with an Accent: Language, ideology, and discrimination in the United States (Second ed.). Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge. p. 40. ISBN 978-0-415-55911-9.
  10. ^ a b May, Stephen (October 2023). "Linguistic racism: Origins and implications". Ethnicities. 23 (5): 651–661. doi:10.1177/14687968231193072. ISSN 1468-7968. S2CID 260592292.
  11. ^ Kroskrity, Paul V. (2010), "Language ideologies – Evolving perspectives", Society and Language Use, Handbook of Pragmatics Highlights, vol. 7, Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company, pp. 192–211, doi:10.1075/hoph.7.13kro, ISBN 978-90-272-0784-5, retrieved 21 October 2023
  12. ^ "Do You Speak American . What Speech Do We Like Best? | PBS". PBS.
  13. ^ Jaspal, R. (2009). Language and social identity: a psychosocial approach. Psych-Talk, 64, 17-20.
  14. ^ Lipovec Čebron, Uršula (30 March 2021). "Language as a Trigger for Racism: Language Barriers at Healthcare Institutions in Slovenia". Social Sciences. 10 (4): 125. doi:10.3390/socsci10040125. ISSN 2076-0760.
  15. ^ "Preventing Linguistic Racism and Discrimination – CETL". 4 February 2022. Retrieved 22 October 2023.
  16. ^ Lueck, Kerstin; Wilson, Machelle (1 January 2010). "Acculturative stress in Asian immigrants: The impact of social and linguistic factors". International Journal of Intercultural Relations. 34 (1): 47–57. doi:10.1016/j.ijintrel.2009.10.004. ISSN 0147-1767.
  17. ^ Álvarez, Brenda. "Linguistic Discrimination Still Lingers in Many Classrooms | NEA". Retrieved 22 October 2023.
  18. ^ "Why language matters: Endangered languages and discrimination". Retrieved 22 October 2023.
  19. ^ Barrett, Tyler Andrew; Dovchin, Sender, eds. (31 December 2019). Critical Inquiries in the Sociolinguistics of Globalization. doi:10.21832/9781788922852. ISBN 9781788922852. S2CID 241622093.
  20. ^ Nejjari, Warda; Gerritsen, Marinel; van Hout, Roeland; Planken, Brigitte (29 April 2020). "Where does a 'foreign' accent matter? German, Spanish and Singaporean listeners' reactions to Dutch-accented English, and standard British and American English accents". PLOS ONE. 15 (4): e0231089. Bibcode:2020PLoSO..1531089N. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0231089. ISSN 1932-6203. PMC 7190091. PMID 32348318.
  21. ^ a b c d e f g h i Mufwene, Salikoko (2002). "Colonisation, globalisation, and the future of languages in the twenty-first century". International Journal on Multicultural Societies. 4 (2): 162–193. CiteSeerX
  22. ^ a b Mufwene, Salikoko; Vigouroux, Cécile B. (2008). Globalization and language vitality: Perspectives from Africa.
  23. ^ a b c d Hamel, Rainer Enrique (1995). "Indigenous education in Latin America: Policies and legal frameworks". Linguistic Human Rights. DE GRUYTER MOUTON. pp. 271–288. doi:10.1515/9783110866391.271. ISBN 978-3-11-086639-1.
  24. ^ Szasz, Margaret Connell (April 2009). "Colin G. Calloway. White People, Indians, and Highlanders: Tribal People and Colonial Encounters in Scotland and America. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008. Pp. 368. $35.00 (cloth)". Journal of British Studies. 48 (2): 522–524. doi:10.1086/598899. ISSN 0021-9371.
  25. ^ Parameswaran, Radhika E. (February 1997). "Colonial Interventions and the Postcolonial Situation in India". Gazette (Leiden, Netherlands). 59 (1): 21–41. doi:10.1177/0016549297059001003. ISSN 0016-5492. S2CID 145358972.
  26. ^ a b c Kamoche, Jidlaph G.; Thiong'o, Ngũugĩ wa (1987). "Decolonising the Mind: The Politics of Language in African Literature". World Literature Today. 61 (2): 339. doi:10.2307/40143257. ISSN 0196-3570. JSTOR 40143257.
  27. ^ a b Mufwene, Salikoko; Vigouroux, Cécile B. (2008). Globalization and language vitality: Perspectives from Africa.
  28. ^ a b c d Chitpin, Stephanie; Portelli, John P., eds. (8 January 2019). Confronting Educational Policy in Neoliberal Times. doi:10.4324/9781315149875. ISBN 9781315149875. S2CID 213687921.
  29. ^ Parameswaran, Radhika E. (February 1997). "Colonial Interventions and the Postcolonial Situation in India". Gazette (Leiden, Netherlands). 59 (1): 21–41. doi:10.1177/0016549297059001003. ISSN 0016-5492. S2CID 145358972.
  30. ^ Hebblethwaite, Benjamin (2012). "French and underdevelopment, Haitian Creole and development: Educational language policy problems and solutions in Haiti". Journal of Pidgin and Creole Languages. 27 (2): 255–302. doi:10.1075/jpcl.27.2.03heb. ISSN 0920-9034.
  31. ^ a b c Bunyi, Grace (July 1999). "Rethinking the place of African indigenous languages in African education". International Journal of Educational Development. 19 (4–5): 337–350. doi:10.1016/s0738-0593(99)00034-6. ISSN 0738-0593.
  32. ^ a b c d Fishman, Andrew W.; Rubal-Lopez, Joshua A.; Conrad, Alma (13 October 2011). Post-Imperial English : Status Change in Former British and American Colonies, 1940-1990. Walter de Gruyter. ISBN 978-3-11-087218-7. OCLC 979587836.
  33. ^ Lin, Angel; Martin, Peter, eds. (31 December 2005). Decolonisation, Globalisation. doi:10.21832/9781853598265. ISBN 9781853598265.
  34. ^ Convention against Discrimination in Education, Article 5
  35. ^ Rannut, Mart (2010). Linguistic human rights: Overcoming linguistic discrimination (Vol. 67). Walter de Gruyter. ISBN 978-3-11-086639-1.
  36. ^ Tully, Stephen (2005). Tully, Stephen (ed.). "UN: Convention on Rights of the Child, 1989". International Documents on Corporate Responsibility. doi:10.4337/9781845428297.00029. ISBN 9781845428297.
  37. ^ Canagarajah, Suresh; Said, Selim Ben (2010), "Linguistic imperialism", The Routledge Handbook of Applied Linguistics, Routledge, doi:10.4324/9780203835654.ch27, ISBN 978-0-203-83565-4
  38. ^ Mufwene, Salikoko (2002). "Colonisation, globalisation, and the future of languages in the twenty-first century". International Journal on Multicultural Societies. 4 (2): 162–193. CiteSeerX
  39. ^ a b Evans, Julie; Grimshaw, Patricia; Phillips, David (21 August 2003). Equal Subjects, Unequal Rights. Manchester University Press. doi:10.7228/manchester/9780719060038.001.0001. ISBN 978-0-7190-6003-8.
  40. ^ Brock-Utne, Birgit (2003). "The language question in Africa in the light of globalisation, social justice and democracy". International Journal of Peace Studies. 8 (2): 67–87. JSTOR 41852902.
  41. ^ Cote, David (2014). "The right to language use in South African criminal courts" (PDF). Doctoral Dissertation, University of Cape Town.
  42. ^ Schütz, H.; Six, B. (1996). "How strong is the relationship between prejudice and discrimination? A meta-analytic answer". International Journal of Intercultural Relations. 20 (3–4): 441–462. doi:10.1016/0147-1767(96)00028-4.
  43. ^ Whitley, B.E., & Kite, M.E. (2010) The Psychology of Prejudice and Discrimination. Ed 2. pp.379-383. Cencage Learning: Belmont.
  44. ^ a b Richard Y. Bourhis & Pierre Foucher, "Bill 103: Collective Rights and the declining vitality of the English-speaking communities of Quebec " Archived 29 October 2013 at the Wayback Machine, Canadian Institute for Research on Linguistic Minorities, Version 3, 25 November 2010
  45. ^ Louis N. Christofides & Robert Swidinsky, "The Economic Returns to the Knowledge and Use of a Second Official Language: English in Quebec and French in the Rest-of-Canada" [permanent dead link], Canadian Public Policy – Analyse de Politiques Vol. XXXVI, No. 2 2010
  46. ^ "JFL volume 22 issue 2 Cover and Front matter". Journal of French Language Studies. 22 (2): f1–f2. 16 May 2012. doi:10.1017/s0959269512000038. ISSN 0959-2695. S2CID 232332062.
  47. ^ a b Michele Gazzola, Multilingual communication for whom? Language policy and fairness in the European Union, European Union Politics, 2016, Vol. 17(4) 546–569
  48. ^ Wolf, Nicholas M. (2014). An Irish-Speaking Island: State, Religion, Community, and the Linguistic Landscape in Ireland, 1770–1870. University of Wisconsin Press. ISBN 978-0-299-30274-0.
  49. ^ John Davies, A History of Wales, Penguin, 1994, ISBN 0-14-014581-8, p 455
  50. ^ Arnove, R. F.; Graff, H. J. (11 November 2013). National Literacy Campaigns: Historical and Comparative Perspectives. Springer Science & Business Media. ISBN 9781489905055. Retrieved 19 April 2017.
  51. ^ Primary education: a report of the Advisory Council on Education in Scotland, Scottish Education Department 1946, p. 75
  52. ^ "Hypocrisy? France and its regional languages - The Local". Archived from the original on 28 January 2014.
  53. ^ "La proposition de loi Molac en faveur des langues régionales définitivement adoptée". 8 April 2021.
  54. ^ "Langues régionales : le Conseil constitutionnel censure partiellement la proposition de loi". 21 May 2021.
  55. ^ Polenz, Peter (1991). Deutsche Sprachgeschichte vom Spätmittelalter bis zur Gegenwart. Band 1, Einführung, Grundbegriffe, Deutsch in der frühbürgerlichen Zeit. Walther de Gruyter. pp. 279–281. ISBN 3-11-012458-0.
  56. ^ "1899. The Collection of Decrees of the Grand Duchy of Finland. No 3". Retrieved 9 December 2017.
  57. ^ Tyynilä, Markku (16 September 1997). "Daehn, Woldemar von (1838 - 1900)". Kansallisbiografia. Retrieved 16 May 2020.
  58. ^ "Montenegrin Serbs Allege Language Discrimination". Balkan Insight. 20 October 2014. Retrieved 29 March 2020.
  59. ^ Maitz, Péter (2015). "Sprachvariation, Sprachliche Ideologien und Schule". Zeitschrift für Dialektologie und Linguistik. 82 (2): 206–227. doi:10.25162/zdl-2015-0007. JSTOR 24770224.
  60. ^ Coupland, N. (1999). "Sociolinguistic Prevarication About 'Standard English'" Review article appearing in Tony Bex and Richard J. Watts (eds) Standard English: the Widening Debate London:Routledge
  61. ^ Lippi-Green, R. (2012) English with an Accent: Language, Ideology and Discrimination in the U.S.. Second revised, expanded edition. New York: Routledge.
  62. ^ Arifin, Jose Aramando; Dewi, Ienneke Indra (2023). "Lexicogrammatical Analysis on African-American Vernacular English Spoken by African-Amecian You-Tubers". E3S Web of Conferences. 426: 01055. Bibcode:2023E3SWC.42601055A. doi:10.1051/e3sconf/202342601055. ISSN 2267-1242. S2CID 261977525.
  63. ^ HILL, JANE H. (April 2010). "Flourishing African American Vernacular English and Endangered Indigenous Languages: A Common Thread". Transforming Anthropology. 18 (1): 42–47. doi:10.1111/j.1548-7466.2010.01069.x. ISSN 1051-0559. S2CID 145679477.
  64. ^ Stevens, James H.; Ruder, Kenneth F.; Tew, Roy (April 1973). "Speech Discrimination in Black and White Children". Language and Speech. 16 (2): 123–129. doi:10.1177/002383097301600203. ISSN 0023-8309. PMID 4762592. S2CID 6533654.
  65. ^ King, Sharese (14 January 2020). "From African American Vernacular English to African American Language: Rethinking the Study of Race and Language in African Americans' Speech". Annual Review of Linguistics. 6 (1): 285–300. doi:10.1146/annurev-linguistics-011619-030556. ISSN 2333-9683. S2CID 213112590.
  66. ^ Crystal, David (2010). The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Language. United Kingdom at the University Press, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p. 35. ISBN 978-0-521-73650-3.
  67. ^ Dicker, Susan J. (2nd ed., 2003). Languages in America: A Pluralist View, pp. 7-8. Multilingual Matters Ltd. ISBN 1-85359-651-5.
  68. ^ Grogger, Jeffrey (1 January 2011). "Speech Patterns and Racial Wage Inequality". Journal of Human Resources. 46 (1): 1–25. doi:10.3368/jhr.46.1.1. ISSN 0022-166X. S2CID 12760015.
  69. ^ Kurinec, Courtney A.; Weaver, Charles A. (2021). ""Sounding Black": Speech Stereotypicality Activates Racial Stereotypes and Expectations About Appearance". Frontiers in Psychology. 12. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2021.785283. ISSN 1664-1078. PMC 8740186. PMID 35002876.
  70. ^ Callahan, Laura (5 September 2014). "The importance of being earnest". Spanish in Context. 11 (2): 202–220. doi:10.1075/sic.11.2.03cal. ISSN 1571-0718.
  71. ^ a b Hill, Jane H. (September 1998). "Language, Race, and White Public Space". American Anthropologist. 100 (3): 680–689. doi:10.1525/aa.1998.100.3.680. ISSN 0002-7294.
  72. ^ Wang, Min; Dovchin, Sender (10 August 2022). ""Why Should I Not Speak My Own Language (Chinese) in Public in America?": Linguistic Racism, Symbolic Violence, and Resistance". TESOL Quarterly. 57 (4): 1139–1166. doi:10.1002/tesq.3179. ISSN 0039-8322. S2CID 251507824.
  73. ^ Greenwood, Shannon (19 December 2022). "In Their Own Words: Asian Immigrants' Experiences Navigating Language Barriers in the United States". Pew Research Center Race & Ethnicity. Retrieved 22 October 2023.
  74. ^ Mandarin, That's (20 July 2022). "5 Must-Know Common Chinglish Phrases". That's Mandarin. Retrieved 22 October 2023.
  75. ^ Berke, Jame (30 January 2017). "Deaf History - Milan 1880". Very Well. Archived from the original on 1 January 1970. Retrieved 12 May 2017.
  76. ^ Traynor, Bob (1 June 2016). "The International Deafness Controversy of 1880". Hearing Health and Technology Matters.
  77. ^ "Milan Conference of 1880". Weebly.
  78. ^ Stewart, David A.; Akamatsu, C. Tane (1 January 1988). "The Coming of Age of American Sign Language". Anthropology & Education Quarterly. 19 (3): 235–252. doi:10.1525/aeq.1988.19.3.05x1559y. JSTOR 3195832.
  79. ^ "ASL as a Foreign Language Fact Sheet". Retrieved 27 March 2017.
  80. ^ Rosen, Russell S. (1 January 2008). "American Sign Language as a Foreign Language in U.S. High Schools: State of the Art". The Modern Language Journal. 92 (1): 10–38. doi:10.1111/j.1540-4781.2008.00684.x. JSTOR 25172990.
  81. ^ a b Hyde, Merv; Punch, Renée; Komesaroff, Linda (1 January 2010). "Coming to a Decision About Cochlear Implantation: Parents Making Choices for their Deaf Children". Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education. 15 (2): 162–178. doi:10.1093/deafed/enq004. JSTOR 42659026. PMID 20139157.
  82. ^ a b Crouch, Robert A. (1 January 1997). "Letting the Deaf Be Deaf Reconsidering the Use of Cochlear Implants in Prelingually Deaf Children". The Hastings Center Report. 27 (4): 14–21. doi:10.2307/3528774. JSTOR 3528774. PMID 9271717. S2CID 2566163.
  83. ^ a b Skutnabb-Kangas, Tove; Solomon, Andrew; Skuttnab-Kangas, Tove (1 January 2014). Deaf Gain. Raising the Stakes for Human Diversity. University of Minnesota Press. pp. 492–502. ISBN 9780816691227. JSTOR 10.5749/j.ctt9qh3m7.33.
  84. ^ Foretia, Denis (21 March 2017). "Cameroon continues its oppression of English speakers". The Washington Post. Retrieved 15 May 2017.
  85. ^ "Le problème anglophone au Cameroun".
  86. ^ Associate professor in the education department of the University of Cape Town and author of 'Language and Power in Post-Colonial Schooling: Ideologies in Practice'
  87. ^ Repression of Kurds in Syria is widespread Archived 15 October 2007 at the Wayback Machine, Amnesty International Report, March 2005.
  88. ^ "After 52-year ban, Syrian Kurds now taught Kurdish in schools". 6 November 2015. Archived from the original on 10 May 2016.
  89. ^ Special Focus Cases: Leyla Zana, Prisoner of Conscience Archived 2005-05-10 at the Wayback Machine
  90. ^ Kurdish performers banned, Appeal from International PEN Archived 2012-01-13 at the Wayback Machine
  91. ^ "On trial for speaking Kurdish". ANF-Firatnews. 11 May 2011. Archived from the original on 15 June 2013. Retrieved 12 June 2013.
  92. ^ Karakaş, Saniye (March 2004). "Submission to the Sub-Commission on Promotion and Protection of Human Rights: Working Group of Minorities; Tenth Session, Agenda Item 3 (a)". United Nations Commission on Human Rights. Archived from the original (MS Word) on 28 June 2007. Retrieved 7 November 2006. Kurds have been officially allowed since September 2003 to take Kurdish names, but cannot use the letters x, w, or q, which are common in Kurdish but do not exist in Turkey's version of the Latin alphabet. [...] Those letters, however, are used in Turkey in the names of companies, TV and radio channels, and trademarks. For example Turkish Army has company under the name of AXA OYAK and there is SHOW TV television channel in Turkey.
  93. ^ Mark Liberman (24 October 2013). "Turkey legalizes the letters Q, W, and X. Yay Alphabet!". Slate. Retrieved 25 October 2013.
  94. ^ Turkey to get Kurdish television Archived 13 May 2006 at the Wayback Machine
  95. ^ "TRT HABER - Özel Kürtçe Kanala Yeşil Işık". 28 November 2011. Archived from the original on 18 January 2012. Retrieved 2 December 2011.
  96. ^ "Kurdish TV starts broadcasting in Turkey". Archived from the original on 12 January 2012. Retrieved 2 December 2011.
  97. ^ "Turkey to allow Kurdish lessons in schools". Aljazeera. 12 June 2012. Archived from the original on 13 March 2013. Retrieved 12 June 2013.
  98. ^ Glavin, Chris (7 February 2017). "Japanese Rule (1910–1945) | K12 Academics". Retrieved 23 October 2023.
  99. ^ Haviland, Charles (23 July 2013). "Remembering Sri Lanka's Black July". BBC. Retrieved 7 May 2018.
  100. ^ Sandel, Todd L. (2003). "Linguistic capital in Taiwan: The KMT's Mandarin language policy and its perceived impact on language practices of bilingual Mandarin and Tai-gi speakers". Language in Society. 32 (4). Cambridge University Press: 523–551. doi:10.1017/S0047404503324030. JSTOR 4169285. S2CID 145703339.
  101. ^ Lin, Alvin (1999). "Writing Taiwanese: The Development of Modern Written Taiwanese" (PDF). Sino-Platonic Papers (89). OCLC 41879041.
  102. ^ Uday Singh, Chander (31 March 1981). "Maharashtra-Karnataka border morcha by Shiv Sena seen as an attempt to reaffirm its sagging image". India Today. Retrieved 13 January 2022.
  103. ^ Dipankar Gupta (30 November 1999). "Why no one dared to mess with Shiv Sena?". India Today. Retrieved 13 January 2022.
  104. ^ Rampal, Nitish (27 December 2018). "Thing Is, Thackeray Really Was As Hateful As the Trailer Suggests". TheQuint. Retrieved 13 January 2022.
  105. ^ "Uddhav takes Raj's hate campaign forward, wants permit system for Biharis in Mumbai". India Today. 4 September 2012. Retrieved 13 January 2022.
  106. ^ "Shiv Sena sharpens attack on North Indians, says they are uninvited". The Economic Times. Retrieved 13 January 2022.
  107. ^ "Hindi imposition in the banking sector has left Kannadigas disadvantaged". The News Minute. 5 October 2021. Retrieved 13 January 2022.
  108. ^ a b "All you need to know about linguistic crisis in Asia". Skillsphere Education. 14 May 2018. Retrieved 23 October 2023.
  109. ^ Jenkins, Jennifer (2003). World Englishes: A Resource Book for Students, p. 200. Routledge. ISBN 0-415-25805-7.