- Start date: August 2008
- End date: October 2008
- Funder: British Academy
- Primary investigator: Professor Mike Baynham; Dr Chefena Hailemariam Debenna
According to the rhetoric of the Eritrean language policy all languages have equal status and equal opportunity to develop and so nine ethnic groups use their languages as medium at the primary school level. This research investigates the viability of this policy in light of controversy and early evaluation of language policy decision by Eritrean scholars.
Controversies surround the language right paradigm at a local level on one hand and language as a communicative resource at both local and global levels on the other. This research also investigates how the nation-state is able to fulfil its task of mediating between the world and the village without compromising its national identity. The research gives an overview of the impact of globalization on local sociolinguistic patterns and the distribution of communicative resources in terms of choice and determination. Finally, the research identifies the salient issues involved in language policy decisions that need to be addressed.