An ethnolinguistic group (or ethno-linguistic group) is a group that is unified by both a common ethnicity and language. Most ethnic groups have their own language.[1][2] Despite this, the term is often used to emphasise when language is a major basis for the ethnic group, especially with regards to its neighbours.[1]

A central concept in the linguistic study of ethnolinguistic groups is ethnolinguistic vitality, the ability of the group's language and ethnicity to sustain.[3] An ethnolinguistic group that lacks such vitality is unlikely to survive as a distinct entity. Factors that influence the ethnolinguistic vitality are demographics, institutional control and status (including language planning factors).[4]

See also


  1. ^ a b Fishman, Joshua A.; García, Ofelia (2010). Handbook of Language and Ethnic Identity. Oxford University Press. p. 12. ISBN 9780195374926. 
  2. ^ Holloman, Regina E.; Arutiunov, Serghei A. (1978-01-01). Perspectives on Ethnicity. Walter de Gruyter. p. 244. ISBN 9783110807707. 
  3. ^ Bourhis, R.Y.; Barrette, G. (2006). "Ethnolinguistic Vitality". Encyclopedia of Language & Linguistics. pp. 246–249. 
  4. ^ Bourhis, R. Y.; Giles, H.; Rosenthal, D. (1981). "Notes on the construction of a 'subjective vitality questionnaire' for ethnolinguistic groups". Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development. 2 (2): 145–155. doi:10.1080/01434632.1981.9994047. 


Further reading

  • Lamy, Paul. "Language and ethnolinguistic identity: The bilingualism question." International Journal of the Sociology of Language 1979.20 (1979): 23-36.
  • Sachdev, Itesh, and Richard Y. Bourhis. "Language and social identification." Social identity theory: Constructive and critical advances 211 (1990): 229.
  • Giles, Howard, Richard Y. Bourhis, and Donald M. Taylor. "Towards a theory of language in ethnic group relations." Language, ethnicity and intergroup relations 307348 (1977).
  • Bourhis, Richard Y. "Language in ethnic interaction: A social psychological approach." Language and ethnic relations (1979): 117-141.