English-Only Language Policy: The Road to Provincialism?

Open access


In this note, we outline various possible long-run effects of an English-only acquisition policy in the European Union. The point of departure is how individual behaviour adapts to constraints in the environment. This leads to changes in collective behaviour, which becomes part of the environment, again influencing individual behaviour. Possible equilibria of this feedback mechanism are discussed. It is argued that domain loss and diglossia may result. The process is further characterized by external effects. Looking at language knowledge as a merit good, path dependencies and multiple stable equilibria can be explained.

If the inline PDF is not rendering correctly, you can download the PDF file here.

  • CHURCH Jeffrey–KING Ian. 1993. Bilingualism and Network Externalities. Canadian Journal of Economics / Revue canadienne d’économique 26: 337–345.

  • DORIAN Nancy C. 1981. Language Death: The Life Cycle of a Scottish Gaelic Dialect. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.

  • FERDINAND Siarl. 2013. A Brief History of the Cornish Language Its Revival and Its Current Status. e-Keltoi: Journal of Interdisciplinary Celtic Studies 2: 199–227.

  • GAL Susan. 1979. Language Shift: Social Determinants of Linguistic Change in Bilingual Austria. New York: Academic Press.

  • GAZZOLA Michele. 2014. Partecipazione esclusione linguistica e traduzione: Una valutazione del regime linguistico dell’Unione europea. Studi Italiani di Linguistica Teorica e Applicata 43: 227–264.

  • MUSGRAVE Richard A. 1956/1957. A Multiple Theory of Budget Determination. Finanzarchiv 17: 333–343.

  • VAN PARIJS Philippe. 2011. Linguistic Justice for Europe and for the World. Oxford political theory. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

  • WICKSTRÖM Bengt-Arne. 2016. Language Rights: A Welfare-Economics Approach. In: GINSBURGH Victor A.–WEBER Shlomo (eds) The Palgrave Handbook of Economics and Language. Houndmills: Palgrave MacMillan. Chapter 22: 663–692.

Journal information
Cited By
All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 286 174 17
PDF Downloads 132 79 9