vendredi 23 mars 2007

Esperanto as an object

Perhaps you may feel that Esperanto is a strange object for a political science dissertation...

I fink I have first to explain what exactly Esperanto is... As Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, says : "Esperanto is the most widely spoken constructed international auxiliary language". To get a better idea about this language I have quoted a few lines of the article :

The name derives from Doktoro Esperanto, the pseudonym under which L. L. Zamenhof first published the Unua Libro in 1887. The word itself means 'one who hopes'. Zamenhof's goal was to create an easy and flexible language as a universal second language to foster peace and international understanding.

Although no country has adopted the language officially, it has enjoyed continuous usage by a community estimated at between 100,000 and 2 million speakers. By some estimates, there are about a thousand native speakers.

Today, Esperanto is employed in world travel, correspondence, cultural exchange, conventions, literature, language instruction, radio broadcasting. Some state education systems offer elective courses in Esperanto; there is evidence that learning Esperanto is a useful preparation for later language learning (see Esperanto and education).

Within the framework of polical science analysis, we consider Esperanto neither as a language nor as a community of speakers. In fact Esperanto is the demand from an active minority group. We will name this group the Esperantists. The name is important because in France two names are used : espérantiste and espérantophone (esperanto speaker, more neutral). Concerning this distinction, we can read the dissertation by Sébastien Erhard Espérantistes et espérantophones : dénominations d’identités sociolinguistiques en mutation from the University of Rouen.

So, my dissertation will adress with the Esperantists, an active minority group who claim for the Esperanto language as an answer to various problems.

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