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The Linguistic Question in Belgium in Historical Perspective

Belgium is an excellent socio-linguistic laboratory. from the nineteenth century onward, french has not only been the spoken language of the Walloon region but also the language of the Belgian élite. the founders of the Belgian state chose it as the dominant language of Belgian public life and the dutch language, spoken in flanders, was given an inferior social status. any form of equivalence between the two languages was rejected. the strategy of the flemish movement consisted, at first, in gaining legal protection for their language in flanders. as the french-speaking people refused straightforward bilingualism, it was decided in 1932 that territoriality would become the alternative for both communities. the dutch-speaking people wanted to be protected by secure linguistic boundaries. But in the borderland municipalities where the speakers of the “prestigious” language have strong numbers they demand linguistic rights. in the capital, the meeting place of the two communities where the dutchspeaking people represent a minority, they too demand an equivalent recognition of their language. to this day, the strategies of the two communities have followed divergent paths.

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Référence électonique : Els WITTE, "The Linguistic Question in Belgium in Historical Perspective", Pouvoirs, revue française d’études constitutionnelles et politiques, n°136, 136 - La Belgique, p.37-50 . Consulté le 2019-07-21 04:25:07 . URL : https://revue-pouvoirs.fr/The-Linguistic-Question-in-Belgium.html