Double attachment: Minority status and linguistic affinity
The author has been working for a couple of years on a sociolinguistic research
upon the situation of the Kven minority living in Norway, on the one hand, and
the Hungarian minority living in Romania, on the other hand. This paper gives a
comparative perspective upon the linguistic human rights of these two Finno-
Ugric populations and the way they face their minority status.
After the presentation of the spatial position and the number of the Kvens
and the Hungarians in Romania, the auth or deals with the main linguistic rights
which the Constitution and the different domestic laws in Norway and Romania
provide to the national minorities. The most striking similarity in this respect is
the fact that although in both countries there are more or less language usage
rights provided to the minorities, there is also a huge gap between the rights and
their application in everyday life.
The main stress is laid by the author on the language of teaching in schools,
as it has been both in the case of Norway and Romania the "tool" of enforcing
the supremacy of the majority languages in the process of developing the
identity of the young generations.
The treatment of different segments of a minority's national identity, such as
ethnic self-portrait, historicai awareness, cultural image etc. can be frequently
met in the sociolinguistic literature. Still, the author considers that the
perspective of a researcher belonging to an ethnic minority upon another
minority can bring new stresses to the study of ethnic groups.