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By Sue Wright

There's a want on the center of linguistic theorizing to take account of bi- and multilingual views. within the box of language making plans, problems with bilingualism are usually perceived via monolingual filters and resolved by way of monolingual responses. during this quantity, problems with monolingualism, multilingualism and id are addressed without delay in stories of Canada and Spain.

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Extra info for Monolingualism and Bilingualism: Lessons from Canada and Spain (Also Pub As Vol 2, No 1 of Current Issues in Language and Society)

Example text

This seemed acceptable; at Meech Lake, Quebec in 1987, all parties agreed to a 'package' which included at its core 'distinct' status for the province. But all provincial legislatures had to ratify this agreement by June 1990and this was not accomplished. The main ingredients of the failure were these: (1) between 1987 and 1990 some provincial governments changed, and the existing support for the deal was not sustained; (2) Quebec passed a law requiring all outside commercial signs to be in French only; this had an exacerbating effect upon Canadian English-French relations; (3) in anglophone Canada, increasing concern was expressed that one province, one national group, would be designated as 'distinct'even though the legal force of the relevant wording in the agreement was unclear.

This accord also failed; very roughly, one could say that the Québécois felt it insufficiently addressed their concerns, while most of those outside the province saw it as an unacceptable olla-podrida. 1 After the failure of the Charlottetown Accord, several things were clear on the Canadian political landscape. First, a general and predictable constitutional weariness gripped the country: after so much talking, so much wrangling, so many last-minute scrambles, what more could be (or should be) done?

1992) argued, from a pro-independence position, that the post-Meech surge would prove the springboard to sovereignty. Stéphane Dion (1992), looking at the same figures, analysed the situation along three lines: Quebec's sense of the fragility of French in North America (and the centrality of language in Quebec nationalism), the confidence among the Québécois as maîtres chez eux, and the catalyst which the Meech Lake failure provided for perceived rejection by English Canada. It is clear, I think, that all three factors subtly intertwine and contribute to the volatility of separatist sentiment in Quebec.

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