What Kind of Values Do Languages Have? Means of Communication and Cultural Heritage

Abstract
Recent debates on linguistic diversity inevitably raise questions about the value of languages. This paper deals with two descriptions of language’s value that play a prominent role in those debates: language considered as a means of communication and a cultural heritage. Its purpose is explanatory, providing an account of how languages are assessed in each of these descriptions. Moreover, the paper will also pay attention to the rhetorical uses of such value descriptions in the discourses on linguistic diversity, considering the intrinsic value given to language as a cultural heritage.
Keywords Languages  linguistic diversity  intrinsic value  cultural heritage  communication
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