Meertaligheid en identiteit in de multiculturele samenleving

  • Guus Extra


This paper deals with multilingualism and identity in the multicultural
society, as a consequence of processes of migration and minorizaton. In
this context, the status and use of immigrant minority languages are
considered from phenomenological, demographic, and sociolinguistic
The first section offers phenomenological perspectives on how these
languages and their speakers hit the headlines, in particular in terms of a
conceptual discussion of such notions as nation-state, national and ethnic
identity, ethnicity, citizenship, and integration.
The second section goes into the utilization and effects of different
demographic criteria for the definition and identification of (school)
population groups in a multicultural society. Given the decreasing significance
of nationality and birth country criteria, it is argued that the
combined criteria of ethnicity and home language are potentially promising
long-term alternatives for obtaining basic information on the increasingly
multicultural composition of European nation-states.
The third section offers sociolinguistic perspectives on the distribution
and vitality of immigrant minority languages across Europe. In this
context, the rationale, method, and first outcomes of the Multilingual
Cities Project, carried out in six major multicultural cities in different
European Union memberstates, are presented. The project is carried out
under the auspices of the European Cultural Foundation, established in
Amsterdam, and is coordinated by a research group of Babylon at Tilburg

How to Cite:

Extra, G., (2002) “Meertaligheid en identiteit in de multiculturele samenleving”, Handelingen - Koninklijke Zuid-Nederlandse maatschappij voor taal- en letterkunde en geschiedenis 56, 105-130. doi:

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Published on
08 Feb 2002
Peer Reviewed