Linguistic Justice, van Parijs, and Esperanto

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Abstract

In the European and world-wide scenario of linguistic justice offered by van Parijs (2011), it is argued that we need one lingua franca only and that the only suitable candidate is English. In order to sustain his argument, the author has to reject three known alternatives against the English-only scenario. The second alternative is Esperanto. Van Parijs argues that there are some inner defects in the Esperanto language, and therefore Esperanto is not suitable for the role of world-wide lingua franca. This paper offers counterarguments based on the evidence of facts, showing that if nowadays Esperanto is only a lesser-used language the reason is not in the inner traits of the language, rather in geopolitical decisions. I argue that in the most probable global scenario English still plays the actual major role, but along with other cultural languages being regional lingua francas.

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