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Article: Who owns language? Mother tongues as intellectual property and the conceptualization of human linguistic diversity

TitleWho owns language? Mother tongues as intellectual property and the conceptualization of human linguistic diversity
Authors
KeywordsLanguage and law
Language as construct
Language rights
Mother tongue
Native speaker
Ownership
Issue Date2010
PublisherPergamon. The Journal's web site is located at http://www.elsevier.com/locate/langsci
Citation
Language Sciences, 2010, v. 32 n. 6, p. 638-647 How to Cite?
AbstractThis paper considers a number of perspectives on the notion of ownership of language and languages. It argues that from the point of view of law and legal theory there is no reason in principle why a language cannot be owned. Two conceptualizations of language ownership are discussed. The first is the 'liberal' view, which sees language as an open-access unstructured space. This is publicly or collectively owned in the sense that it is 'non-property'. The second is the mother tongue-native speaker model, which views language as the property of the ethnos, and understands it as highly structured, relatively closed space, to which native speakers have privileged access. On the 'liberal view', it would be wrong in principle to 'enclose' an entire language, or grant a monopoly right over it, and at most limited privatization is justified for the purposes of copyright and trademark law, i.e. to protect economic rights. For the mother tongue-native speaker model, the idea of language rights represents one form of recognition of a language as property. For the indigenous languages of face-to-face ethnic communities, a form of monopoly ownership has been argued as a serious option, though the exact form of the ownership and the nature of the intellectual property rights involved remain unclear. Finally the question is posed as to the language politics that follow from the integrationist view that languages are 'myths' or 'constructs'. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/138814
ISSN
2015 Impact Factor: 0.79
2015 SCImago Journal Rankings: 0.377
ISI Accession Number ID
References

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorHutton, Cen_HK
dc.date.accessioned2011-09-23T05:38:34Z-
dc.date.available2011-09-23T05:38:34Z-
dc.date.issued2010en_HK
dc.identifier.citationLanguage Sciences, 2010, v. 32 n. 6, p. 638-647en_HK
dc.identifier.issn0388-0001en_HK
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/138814-
dc.description.abstractThis paper considers a number of perspectives on the notion of ownership of language and languages. It argues that from the point of view of law and legal theory there is no reason in principle why a language cannot be owned. Two conceptualizations of language ownership are discussed. The first is the 'liberal' view, which sees language as an open-access unstructured space. This is publicly or collectively owned in the sense that it is 'non-property'. The second is the mother tongue-native speaker model, which views language as the property of the ethnos, and understands it as highly structured, relatively closed space, to which native speakers have privileged access. On the 'liberal view', it would be wrong in principle to 'enclose' an entire language, or grant a monopoly right over it, and at most limited privatization is justified for the purposes of copyright and trademark law, i.e. to protect economic rights. For the mother tongue-native speaker model, the idea of language rights represents one form of recognition of a language as property. For the indigenous languages of face-to-face ethnic communities, a form of monopoly ownership has been argued as a serious option, though the exact form of the ownership and the nature of the intellectual property rights involved remain unclear. Finally the question is posed as to the language politics that follow from the integrationist view that languages are 'myths' or 'constructs'. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.en_HK
dc.languageengen_US
dc.publisherPergamon. The Journal's web site is located at http://www.elsevier.com/locate/langscien_HK
dc.relation.ispartofLanguage Sciencesen_HK
dc.subjectLanguage and lawen_HK
dc.subjectLanguage as constructen_HK
dc.subjectLanguage rightsen_HK
dc.subjectMother tongueen_HK
dc.subjectNative speakeren_HK
dc.subjectOwnershipen_HK
dc.titleWho owns language? Mother tongues as intellectual property and the conceptualization of human linguistic diversityen_HK
dc.typeArticleen_HK
dc.identifier.emailHutton, C: chutton@hku.hken_HK
dc.identifier.authorityHutton, C=rp01161en_HK
dc.description.naturelink_to_subscribed_fulltext-
dc.identifier.doi10.1016/j.langsci.2010.06.001en_HK
dc.identifier.scopuseid_2-s2.0-77957307539en_HK
dc.identifier.hkuros194594en_US
dc.relation.referenceshttp://www.scopus.com/mlt/select.url?eid=2-s2.0-77957307539&selection=ref&src=s&origin=recordpageen_HK
dc.identifier.volume32en_HK
dc.identifier.issue6en_HK
dc.identifier.spage638en_HK
dc.identifier.epage647en_HK
dc.identifier.isiWOS:000283704600006-
dc.publisher.placeUnited Kingdomen_HK
dc.identifier.scopusauthoridHutton, C=7005571692en_HK
dc.identifier.citeulike7838150-

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