Kwèyans Lenngwistik èk Déklawasyon Linivèsel Dwa Lenngwistik

Linguistic Creed and the Universal Declaration of Linguistic Rights


SIL Linguistic Creed (Benjamin Elson)

Benjamin F. Elson, September, 1987

We believe that language is one of God's most important gifts to man, and of all human characteristics, language is the most distinctly human and the most basic. Without language, culture and civilization would be impossible.

We also believe that any language is capable of being a vehicle for complicated human interaction and complex thought, and can be the basis for a complex culture and civilization.

Therefore, all languages deserve respect and careful study.

As the most uniquely human characteristic a person has, a person's language is associated with his self-image. Interest in and appreciation of a person's language is tantamount to interest in and appreciation of the person himself.

All languages are worthy of preservation in written form by means of grammars, dictionaries, and written texts. This should be done as part of the heritage of the human race.

Every language group deserves to see its language in print and to have some literature written in it.

Minority language groups within a larger nation deserve the opportunity of learning to speak, read, and write the national language.

Universal Declaration of Linguistic Rights (see pdf version here and here)

UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF LINGUISTIC RIGHTS

PRELIMINARIES
PREAMBLE
PRELIMINARY TITLE
Concepts
Articles 1-6

TITLE ONE
General Principles
Articles 7-14

SECOND TITLE
Overall linguistic régime
Section I - Public administration and official bodies
Articles 15-22
Section II - Education
Articles 23-30
Section III - Proper names
Articles 31-34
Section IV - Communications media and new technologies
Articles 35-40
Section V - Culture
Articles 41-46
Section VI - The socioeconomic sphere
Articles 47-52

ADDITIONAL DISPOSITIONS
First-Third
FINAL DISPOSITIONS
First-Second

Barcelona, June 1996