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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Language choice in multilingual societies: an appraisal of the Ethiopian case
Author:Dagafa, Aberra
Periodical:The journal of Oromo studies
Geographic term:Ethiopia
Subjects:language policy
official languages
Amharic language
Abstract:This paper examines the language policy of Ethiopia as reflected in the Constitution of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia (FDRE), which has favoured Amharic despite the fact that there were other languages vying for the same status. It shows that Amharic was declared the federal working language without any consideration of such criteria as the numerical size and language neutrality that other multilingual countries have used in making their choice of a national language among several competing languages. The paper also evaluates the choice made under the FDRE Constitution in light of widely accepted international standards with a view to pointing out the possible harms the choice may cause to other language groups of Ethiopia. Finally, it shows that the flawed choice, if not rectified, will have harmful effects for the human rights of citizens and the stability of the body politic, and it proposes some recommendations. Notes, ref. [ASC Leiden abstract]