Title

Some reflections on English as a ‘semi-sacred’ language

Document Type

Journal article

Source Publication

English Today

Publication Date

1-1-2006

Volume

22

Issue

1

First Page

29

Last Page

35

Publisher

Cambridge University Press

Abstract

By general consensus English has become, if not a global language, then at the very least a lingua franca. Some commentators on English in the world, like Robert Phillipson (Linguistic Imperialism (Oxford University Press, 1992), use the term that serves him as a title to imply that English is itself part of the problem of having just such a global language. The argument here however is that English – like Latin, Sanskrit, Classical Arabic and Examination Chinese – through its political ascendancy (as a result of various waves of colonial activity alongside its use for religious purposes), may have taken on the character of a ‘semi-sacred’ rather than simply an imperial and imperialist language.

DOI

10.1017/S0266078406001052

Print ISSN

02660784

E-ISSN

14740567

Publisher Statement

Copyright © 2006 Cambridge University Press. Access to external full text or publisher's version may require subscription.

Full-text Version

Publisher’s Version

Recommended Citation

Asker, B. (2006). Some reflections on English as a "semi-sacred" language. English Today, 22(1), 29-35. doi: 10.1017/S0266078406001052