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{{#invoke:Message box|ambox}} {{ safesubst:#invoke:Unsubst||$N=Use dmy dates |date=__DATE__ |$B= }} A national language is a language (or language variant, e.g. dialect) which has some connection—de facto or de jure—with a people and perhaps by extension the territory they occupy. The term is used variously. A national language may for instance represent the national identity of a nation or country. National language may alternatively be a designation given to one or more languages spoken as first languages in the territory of a country.

C.M.B. Brann, with particular reference to Africa, suggests that there are "four quite distinctive meanings" for national language in a polity:<ref>Brann, C.M.B. 1994. "The National Language Question: Concepts and Terminology." Logos [University of Namibia, Windhoek] Vol 14: 125–134</ref>

  • "Territorial language" (chthonolect, sometimes known as chtonolect<ref>Wolff, H. Ekkehard "African Languages: An Introduction Ch./Art: Language and Society p. 321 pub. Cambride University Press 2000</ref>) of a particular people
  • "Regional language" (choralect)
  • "Language-in-common or community language" (demolect) used throughout a country
  • "Central language" (politolect) used by government and perhaps having a symbolic value.

The last is usually given the title of official language.

Standard languages, such as Standard German, Standard French, and Standard Spanish, may serve as national (language-in-common), regional, and international languages.


National language sections
Intro   Official versus national languages    National and official languages    See also    Notes and references   

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