“You Reap What You Sow”: Language Policies and Linguistic Situation in Former and Current Spanish Territories


The article deals with governments language politics and sociolinguistic situations in the three different and distant entitites: Catalonia (Spain), Peru and Philippines. Being importes in the XVI century, the Spanish language was the only common element to the countries. However, nowadays the destiny of the language is different. The analyses indicate that there is a balanced language politics in a polyethnic state is a key to successful governance. Spanish which was imported to the former colonies forced out local Catalan, Quechua, and Tagalog from almost spheres including governance, economy, and culture. Those languages were used only in families and ordinary life situations. Nevertheless, gradually local languages reconquered their positions. For instance, in Catalonia the process was a success leading to the Spanish government concerns about the future of Spanish in the autonomous community. As for Quechua (Runasimi), the Peruvian government is positive about the re-establishment of the role of the language giving it the co-official status. Spanish and Runasimi are interinfluencing each other, as well. The Philippines is a different case given that English has replaced Spanish as an official language. The authors emphasize that language destiny is defined by linguistic politics of a state.


language politics; linguistic situation; multilingualism; bilingualism; diglossia; language worldview; linguistic personality; Spanish; Catalan; Quechua; Catalonia; Peru; Philippines.

Authors: Elena Grinina, Galina Romanova

Read the article in PDF