Linguistic Justice Requires an Artificial Language: a Comment on van Parijs

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Abstract

In advocating the use of a global auxiliary language, Van Parijs forms part of a tradition that stretches back to the seventeenth century. However, he differs from this tradition in promoting the use of English rather than an artificial language of some sort. This paper examines the theoretical situation that van Parijs proposes as the most fair, in which English functions worldwide as the preferred auxiliary language and in which certain measures have been taken to counterbalance injustices of three types. I draw attention to injustices of each of these types done to speakers of English in that situation. This leads to the conclusion that proposals to use an artificial language as a global lingua franca that were made in the seventeenth and later centuries have a stronger case than van Parijs has argued.

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