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  • Publication
    Out of the communist frying pan and into the EU fire? Exploring the case of Kashubian
    (Taylor & Francis, 2009-07) ;
    A language currently at the nexus of change is Kashubian (in Polish: kaszubski), a West Slavic language spoken in northern Poland in the province of Pomerania. Termed a 'regional language' by the Polish government in preparation for the ratification of the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages (signed in 2003 and ratified in 2008), it presents interesting parallels with other minority languages at different phases, in terms of its weak economic status and a history of repression. The impact of Poland's accession to the EU in 2004 and the Polish government's recent revitalisation initiatives will be explored. The views of three prominent Kashubian activists are considered as they reflect on the past, present and future of Kashubian. Issues considered include the changing status of Kashubian and the impact of such change on identity, the role of Catholicism in supporting Kashubian and the need for development in the spheres of literature and education. Of particular interest is a consideration of the effect on the language's visibility and status as a result of having a Kashub, Donald Tusk, become Prime Minister in October 2007, following decades of neglect and denial of Kashubian's status as a language under Communism, and he is one of those interviewed here.                     
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