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Title: Europeanization and language : the impact of EU language status on Maltese
Authors: Harwood, Mark
Keywords: European Union -- Malta
Maltese language
Language policy -- European Union countries
European Union countries -- Languages -- Law and legislation
Issue Date: 2021
Publisher: Routledge
Citation: Harwood, M. (2021). Europeanization and language : the impact of EU language status on Maltese. Journal of Contemporary European Studies,
Abstract: This article explores an area of Europeanization literature not studied before, namely the impact of EU language status on a state language. Using Maltese, the Union’s only Semitic language, as a case study, the article explores how that status, the resources allocated to EU languages as well as the EU’s language programmes have impacted the Maltese language, its domestic status, use, corpus and its relationship with Malta’s other official language, English. Using a series of semi-structured interviews with the members of the National Council for the Maltese Language, we explore how the EU has impacted Maltese, noting that membership has enabled Maltese to gain greater prominence both within the country and beyond its shores, to strengthen its corpus with a rapid increase in available terminology and facilitate the use of the language through EU translation tools. That said, any long-term impact of ‘Brussels’ Maltese’ is unclear and the EU’s language programmes have had a negligible influence. As in many areas of socialisation, a key element has been the empowering of domestic reform coalitions which, in the case of Maltese, have been a significant factor in the language’s increased prominence and use post-membership.
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