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The Pushkin Manifesto

Theses formulated in connection with the 2nd International Symposium on Eurolinguistics in Pushkin, Russia, September 1999

A. Multilingualism in focus of research and a factor of glottogenesis in Eurolinguistics

Thesis 1: Departing from the insight that man is endowed with a faculté du language that is not of a monolingual but a multilingual nature, Eurolinguistics places the multilingual individual in the centre of research.

Thesis 2: Linguistic and cultural divergence or convergence, which arises through the effects of multilingualism, is the focus of Eurolinguistics.

B. Contact Typologies and networks of language contacts

Thesis 3: The description of historical and contemporary contact typologies of the European languages is an urgent task of Eurolinguistics.

Thesis 4: The historical, political, social and economic factors giving rise to such contact typologies are indispensable for describing the European and extra-European influences on the languages of Europe.

C. Common linguistic characteristics (europeanisms) mirroring networks of contacts

Thesis 5: Therefore to be described are the common linguistic characteristics of European languages, which have been the result of contacts between the peoples of Europe throughout the centuries of fusion.

Thesis 6: The common European Heritage underlying these characteristics (europeanisms) will thus be made known to the general public in an explicit way.

D. Europeanisms, European togetherness and identity

Thesis 7: Such insight into the common linguistic and cultural basis of European languages will foster a sense of European togetherness.

Thesis 8: Such feeling of European belonging together, from ancient to modern times, will help to create a European identity which is still lacking even among the younger generations.

E. Eurolinguistics, nationalism, national Weltbilder and discrimination

Thesis 9: Eurolinguistics will become a discipline counteracting nationalistic tendencies in the science of language, supporting the European educational policy of the member states of the European Union, and disintegrating biased national Weltbilder.

Thesis 10: A sense of European identity based on insights into the common European linguistic and cultural heritage will help to block the growth of extremist national movements and ethnic discrimination.

F. Eurolinguistics, lesser-used languages and linguistic equality

Thesis 11: Eurolinguistics will be a support for research into European minority languages of the past and the present promoting the equal standing of lesser-used languages and their inalienable rights of use in all domains.

Thesis 12: With its Europe-wide programme Eurolinguistics will promote an understanding of the inner causes of cultural, religious and political conflicts between major languages and between major and minority languages in Europe, thereby serving peace research (cf. The European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages of 1992).

G. European studies (Europäistik) as a subject in education

Thesis 13: Eurolinguistics as an integral part of a new interdisciplinary branch of the humanities – European studies (Europäistik) – with the aim of promoting a European-minded programme in the education of young Europeans from primary schools to universities.

H. Migration and Europeanisation

Thesis 14: Eurolinguistics also will incorporate urgent multilingual programmes for promoting the training of migratory workers and refugees and their children who become bilingual Europeans through long periods of absence from their native countries.

I. Eurolinguistics and globalisation – European languages world-wide

Thesis 15: The foundation of a international basis of European linguistics will set an example also to a global scenario by including English-world-wide, Spanish world-wide, French world-wide, Russian world-wide, etc.

Thesis 16: The overseas contacts of the former colonial languages have given rise to new pidgins and creoles and acted as catalysts for the technical, economic and cultural development outside Europe on other continents.

Thesis 17: Therefore, Eurolingustics is not only a European concern but that of a world civilisation in its function as a linguistic innovator for languages spoken outside Europe.

J. Eurolinguistic initiatives for a Europe-wide orientation

Thesis 18: The members of the Pushkin Symposium support the campaign of the Eurolinguistischer Arbeitskreis Mannheim in its efforts toward a Europe-wide orientation in research and organisations in the member states of the European Union and other European counties.

Thesis 19: Research projects and possibly research centres on multilingualism and Eurolinguistics should be founded in European countries where such projects and institutions do not exist, and where the assimilation of immigrant minorities is an issue called for to foster a feeling of Europe as our ”Heimat,” especially among the younger generations of migrated guest workers.

Thesis 20: The members of the Pushkin Symposium and ELAMA call upon official and private organisations to sponsor Eurolinguistic activities (exchange of scholars, meetings, workshops, symposia, research projects, campaigns for the acquisition of linguistic literature) in all countries and ask private persons to become members of Eurolinguistic associations (cf. 2 and 3.1 for a commentary).