What’s (a) language anyway?

So far I’ve been looking into landscape research with focus more or less on landscape, the core concept. I’ve briefly touched on language and linguistics in connection to landscape, but unlike with landscape, I haven’t really had a look under the hood. This time I’ll do just that.

I’ll start a bit differently from the usual, looking way back. One night, I was watching something, some documentary, I can’t remember the topic, but related to my own research, while watching it, it occurred to me that while the fundamental principles that constitute the entity that is the Republic of Finland enshrined in ‘The Constitution of Finland’ (731/1999) do indicate which languages have an official status, but there is no elaboration as to how those languages are understood as distinct entities. I suddenly wondered: what are they? Section 17 of the constitution (731/1999; here unofficial translation dated to 2011), titled ‘Right to one’s language and culture’ elaborates this:

“The national languages of Finland are Finnish and Swedish”

“The right of everyone to use his or her own language, either Finnish or Swedish, before courts of law and other authorities, and to receive official documents in that language, shall be guaranteed by an Act. The public authorities shall provide for the cultural and societal needs of the Finnish-speaking and Swedish-speaking populations of the country on an equal basis.”

“The Sami, as an indigenous people, as well as the Roma and other groups, have the right to maintain and develop their own language and culture. Provisions on the right of the Sami to use the Sami language before the authorities are laid down by an Act. The rights of persons using sign language and of persons in need of interpretation or translation aid owing to disability shall be guaranteed by an Act.”

In summary, it is clear that Finnish and Swedish have an official status. Other listed languages have certain recognition, but not the same recognition as Finnish and Swedish. The official versions of the constitution (731/1999) are in Finnish and Swedish. Any other version is thus unofficial. I used the unofficial English translation as it is done by the same legislative authorities, despite being labeled as unofficial. The point here is that the constitution takes it for granted that Finnish and Swedish, as well as the other named languages, are distinct entities. That’s what occurred to me at least seemingly randomly one night while watching something unrelated. Now that I look at the constitution, it also deals with culture that is also taken for granted. Anyway, there’s no indication what is meant by a language or a culture.

Now someone might object to that I’m covering the current iteration of the constitution dated to 1999 with certain amendments done to it later on. What I mean is that some things may have been muddled ever since the first version of the constitution. So it’s at least worth looking into the early 1900s when the constitution first came to be. Dated to July 17, 1919, under two years from the declaration of independence, principles titled ‘Suomen Hallitusmuoto’ (94/1919), loosely translating to the forms of government of Finland, came to be. Section 14 of it, actually untitled, lists Finnish and Swedish as the national languages. Other languages are not mentioned. Interestingly, the word culture is not used at all, in the whole document (94/1919), whereas it is included already in the title of the relevant section in the current version (731/1999). Dated to January 13, 1928, the ‘Valtiopäiväjärjestys’/’Riksdagsordning’, loosely translating to the organization of the parliament, reinforces the status of Finnish and Swedish, essentially stating that these are the languages to be used in the parliament. Culture is not mentioned, at least not explicitly.

Okay, so, there is little difference between what was and what currently is set in the constitution. What about the pre-independence times? Dated to July 20, 1906, the ‘Suomen Suuriruhtinaanmaan Valtiopäiväjärjestys’ (26/1906), loosely translating to the organization of the parliament of the Grand Duchy of Finland, states that Finnish or Swedish are to be used in the parliament, as explicitly stated in section 50. No indication as to what is meant by language is included. Culture is also not mentioned. The pre-independence predecessor to the forms of government is the ‘1772 års regeringsform’, the Instrument of Government of 1722 (aka Swedish Constitution of 1772), which, unlike in Sweden, remained valid in Finland. It makes no explicit mention of languages. I guess it doesn’t have to. Swedish is taken for granted to the level that it need not be mentioned.

What is included in a constitution does not, of course, necessarily mean that it was not discussed by the members of a parliament. Those are at least nowadays documented, so it’s worth looking at those as well. Starting from the current constitution (731/1999), the government bill or proposal related to it (HE 1/1998) offers little additional information regarding the status of languages. It does, however, refer to previous proposal. In a previous government proposal (HE 309/1993) the addition of non-national but otherwise recognized languages and cultures is to be included. In it, it is explicitly stated that the inclusion of other, non-national languages (Finnish and Swedish), is not to be restricted only to safeguarding rights related to languages, but also culture. Traditional livelihoods of the Sami peoples, such as reindeer herding, fishing and hunting are given as examples. In summary, there is little clarification as why things are the way they are and how that came to be.

In addition to the constitution, Finland also has a separate act pertaining to languages, the ‘Language Act’ (423/2003). It goes into further detail than the constitution, but it does little to elaborate the background to it. Oddly enough, the taken for granted position of national languages, or rather the right to one’s own language and culture, section 17 of the constitution, is acknowledged in the government proposal (HE 92/2002) related to the language act. It is noted that their status, as set in the forms of government in 1919, was a contested issue and it was included only in the fourth proposal. The proposal discussed here (HE 92/2002) is based on a report commissioned for it, but not included in its entirety in the proposal. Anyway, in the proposal it is stated that back in the day language has been associated with nationality and race, but such views are nowadays seen as dubious due to the often stereotypical characterization and categorization of people, setting them apart from one another. The example of Swedish speaking Finns is used to point out that they consider themselves Finnish despite the language spoken by them. It is emphasized that despite sharing a common language with Swedes they do not consider themselves Swedish. While the proposal contains a detailed account on what it pertains to and what it affects, as expected really, it doesn’t go into more detail on this matter. I opted not elaborate the first language act (148/1922) because it worth mentioning. That means I have to look elsewhere.

The report that I wanted to find, referred to in the proposal (HE 92/2002) as ‘komiteanmietintö 2001:3’, seems to exist only in print, so I’m unable to access it at the moment. It seems to be in the university library though. Anyway, what I was able to find was a related document dated to 2000 as drafted by the same committee responsible for the actual report. It is titled as ‘Kansalliskielten historiallinen, kulttuurinen ja sosiologinen tausta’ / Nationalspråkens historiska, kulturella och sociologiska bakgrund’, translating as ‘the historical, cultural and sociological background of the national languages’. As I’m not that interested in the position of the languages, that’s well documented in legislation, I hope this will shed some light on the background, as indicated in the title of the memo. It’s already worth noting in the title that language and culture are mentioned. I hope these concepts get elaborated, even though I’m not getting my hopes up here.

Adding to the short summary in the proposal (HE 92/2002), it is summarized in the memo that the general view of how things came to be is that the ancestors to Finns were present in what is now referred to as Finland some 9000 to 10 000 years ago. The arrival of Finno-Ugric speakers is indicated as having happened 5000 years ago. It is noted that various peoples, including speakers of Germanic languages have ended up in the area, here and there, but not displacing the language spoken. Bear in mind that is dated to 2000, so it’s nearly two decades ago. That said, I’m not as fussy over the details rather than whether it offers further concept clarity to the issue at hand. Anyway, back to the memo, the use of Swedish is detailed under the Swedish rule, from the 13th century onward. This is all well and good, but it doesn’t really answer how languages are seen as certain distinct entities, beyond indicating them as such.

The memo goes on to cover the period of Russian rule, from 1809 onward as the Grand Duchy of Finland. It’s once again all well and good overall. A shift from Swedish to Finnish is emphasized and generally seen as a strategy to distance the people from their ties to Sweden. It is also noted that this period marked the emergence of a Finnish identity as, unlike prior to 1809, Finland existed as a distinct entity, despite being part of another entity. In other words, under the Swedish rule, Finland was essentially Sweden-East, whereas under the Russian rule Finland was not Russia-West. It is worth noting that the role of language, or languages, that is Finnish and Swedish, is downplayed in the memo. The emergence of the state of Finland is not seen as tied to language, albeit it is also noted that it did play a part. I guess the point is that things would have been different under a continued Swedish rule, as it is stated in the memo that changes made to the use of languages in the 19th century had to do with the use of Finnish, as opposed to the use of Swedish or Russian. It is further elaborated Finnish was increasingly introduced in the universities at the time, more so than Swedish, which, as already mentioned, was seen as somewhat unwelcome, a tie to a competing foreign monarchy. It’s also worth noting that it is stated in the memo that the use of Swedish was largely dominant in the ruling elite until the final decades of the 19th century. The shift from Swedish to Finnish was not a fast process and led by the academics, as well as in part by the clergy. In addition, it is noted that mid-century Finnish was not considered as developed enough to be granted an official status.

The memo then moves on to cover the developments of the early 20th century. The earliest designation of Finnish as an official language, alongside Swedish is in the decree (18/1902) pertaining to the use of Finnish and Swedish in courts and by what I understand as in other official contexts by various authorities. Otherwise it is stated in the memo that the early 20th century was marked by added requirements to use Russian in official contexts which didn’t go down well in Finland. I guess that’s hardly surprising, considering that prior to such changes the Russian Emperors had largely done the opposite. So, the way I read it is that Finnish acted as a point of contrast, representing the autonomy of the Grand Duchy. The introduction of more Russian was going against that notion. In general, I read the memo as indicating that while people spoke Finnish, as well as Swedish, Finnish acquired its status during the time of the Grand Duchy as it was viewed as a pull factor towards the Empire, which, ironically, became a push factor from the Empire once more Russian was introduced.

The memo covers other aspects as well, including but not limited to education and legislation, but it doesn’t really include discussion of what I’m interested in this essay. I do, however, appreciate the overview of how things came to be the way the are, in general, but overall it is taken for granted that languages are what they are. There is a little discussion of how language is not necessarily tied to a this or that identity or culture, as opposed to something that people speak, but otherwise it doesn’t do much for me, for my purposes.

So far I haven’t come across anything in the legislation or related documentation where languages are not taken for granted as distinct entities. The point is that, in Foucauldian parlance, languages are understood as distinct entities in a regime of truth. I’m not an expert in law and I don’t claim to be one, but to my understanding laws tend to contain definitions and it seems a bit, well, ironic that the legislators see to it that people’s rights to their language (as well as their culture) are guaranteed, yet no definition of language is provided. That said, I don’t think this is the result of some conspiracy, an invention of a bunch of influential people who schemed it all behind closed doors. That’s a bit much.

I’m not basing this on anything, but assuming that humans have a common origin, which itself is hardly controversial, they must have spoken something shared, let’s say a language for the sake of clarity, yet they probably didn’t fuss over its use. I don’t know how it worked with Neanderthals, and no one can verify it, one way or another, considering that they aren’t around for us to confirm, but if they did speak, then it might have an effect on this. While I do think it’s important, as well as interesting to start from the beginning, but that’s not exactly what I’m interested in this essay. For me what’s relevant is delineating languages, where does one begin and end, only for another to begin and so on. For example, Danish, Norwegian and Swedish are considered as having common ancestry and they are to some extent mutually intelligible, yet they are seen as distinct from one another. In other words, there is a boundary, it’s either this or that, not something else. It’s not that they aren’t different and in that way distinct. It’s rather that, at least to me, this division appears as too convenient. For example, located in the southern tip of Sweden, Skåne (Scania) was once part of Denmark. It changed hands from one kingdom to another in as late as mid-17th century. This is one example within the borders of Sweden, but as you might guess already, the point is that if we have to choose, to indicate whether people in Skåne speak, or rather spoke, Danish or Swedish, I’d say Danish. I don’t think I’m competent in historical linguistics, but still, considering all of Denmark or all of Sweden as a homogeneous unit, as speakers of Danish or Swedish is hardly accurate, but I bet the legislators beg to differ and these days they might be right, at least to certain extent. I’m not familiar with Skånska (Scanian), except for some bits from I’ve heard, namely in that cooking show with the host from Skåne, Tina Nordström, and I’m not even sure that counts. Anyway, it wouldn’t surprise me if it is nowadays influenced by Swedish to the extent that it is considered Swedish.

This leads me back to the topic. What is Swedish? What is Finnish? More generally then, what is a language? I pointed out that what is, or was, spoken in Skåne, Skånska, was influenced by Danish and then by Swedish. Now, for me, stating just that comes across as if Danish and Swedish are monolithic entities. I guess one could generalize and say that Swedish is a broad characterization of what is spoken within the borders of Sweden, but that sort of skips the untidy bits where borders have shifted, like, say, in Skåne. We could say the same for Bohuslän, which was also once outside Sweden. We could also exemplify this with different regions in France where, now, obviously, everyone speaks French, at least supposedly. That’s actually not that inaccurate, but France has not always been as homogeneous as it is nowadays. Of course, regardless of the context, I’m glossing over people who don’t speak the language of the majority, but that’s beside the point. Having studied geography, albeit I think that’s not the key thing here, it seems somewhat obvious that what language people use is more of a continuum rather than marked by sharp boundaries. Sure there are some boundary lines which one sort of would expect to differentiate people, say, seas, mountains and deserts. I find it a bit unsurprising that people happen to be similar to those who reside in close proximity and in recurring contact, whereas not so with the people who live somewhere far far away or not necessarily somewhere distant but blocked by other obstacles, like, say a mountain range or a body of water. So, when people in Norway, Sweden and Denmark aren’t cut from the same cloth, it’s hardly surprising. That said, find a border area, say, somewhere around the border of Germany and Austria and you’ll find certain similarities, despite what’s marked on a map. Not that you can’t find disjunction in border areas. For example, think of the Finland-Russia border or the Germany-Czech border.

I guess I could have skipped the last two paragraphs and just jumped into what they allude to, standardization of language. Returning to the Finnish context, like elsewhere, we have Finnish as this self-evident distinct entity, as enshrined in various pieces of legislation. At school I was taught standard Finnish. No, I’m that young that there was no actual punishment for going astray, except perhaps recurring correction and docking grades for such monstrosity. I could always speak colloquially, which, for me, is some form of a Southwestern dialect. That said, I’ve never really found myself in agreement with that, I’ve always felt that I speak the language in a way that others around me do, more or less. When dialects have been showcased, I’ve felt that someone had characterized them and then when expressed, they come across as archaic. In other words, they never managed to capture how people actually speak. It was never really recognized. Instead, I remember it being just ignored and dismissed as not really … a ‘proper’ dialect, as if that was also standardized! It might be that my memory doesn’t serve me right, but spoken language was not really considered that important and if it came up, the point of contrast was some ‘proper’ dialect, not something lousy contemporary that we the children spoke. Written language was considered the real deal and plenty of red ink was involved, at least when I wrote something. I understand that the intention was good, so that I’d be able to write in a way works for the reader, yet in retrospect, it just comes off as disciplinary. Knowing where to put the commas was always serious business. There’s no wishy-washy, whatever works, anything goes, throw a comma here, or there, or wherever you feel like it. There are rules and you must abide by the rules because … someone made them, I mean because that’s where a comma goes, no, not there, but there! I believe the explanation was along the lines of don’t ask silly questions. Some teachers did, however, reply along the lines of, well, isn’t that interesting, maybe you should study it further, once you have the chance to do so later on of course.

This actually applies to other languages as well, albeit I’ve never really had much issues with English. Sure it was emphasized that do not use a comma in front of that, unlike in Finnish, but otherwise it always felt less standardized, well, except for being taught to abide to a … standard, either British or American English, so no mixing of cell phones and mobile phones, as if that’s worth sweating over. This also applied to speech. I remember speaking in RP, but once I move abroad to Ireland, it vanished into thin air. Poof, gone. I remember handing over my passport (Ireland is not in the Schengen) and as it was handed back, I replied cheers, but with rhoticity. Anyway, these days it’s just whatever it is and I can’t be fussed about it at all. If that bothers someone, well, cry me a river.

Later on, at an undergrad course I remember being taught academic writing, which I always excelled, not because I felt it was necessary to write in a certain style or register, but because it worked for me. I think that on some courses outside the English department I was the one who was in charge of the language. In other words, I was able to construct such hardcore sentences that the person evaluating the text might have been dazzled by it. Obviously I still encounter this requirement in publishing, someone making comments about some gross infraction, as if the fabric of reality was suddenly torn by a type, sorry, a typo or something that is deemed informal in a certain context. I realize that I can’t really blame the people, not that it would do any good anyway, it’s not like I’m in a position to do anything except correct things, but still, it’s hilariously fussy. The best thing is when your text elaborates how discipline functions, then someone disciplines you. The irony of it, it is palpable. If you could confront the reader on it, somehow I’m convinced that the reader could not point me to the authority that could convince me as to why such and such standard exists. Well, maybe that’s possible, fair enough, but eventually you’d run out of people. You’d be at the top of the pyramid, finally, asking the question from, I wanted to write the Pharaoh but that doesn’t make any sense (pyramid→Pharaoh?), so the one on top will do. That person, I mean I hope it is person and not, say, a dog, will to take credit for being the person who judges that, like a despot, or that the standard is beyond that person, i.e. transcendent. There’s a third answer I can think of, to suddenly realize that the standard is just arbitrary, a matter of discourse, but that would also entail that one would have to inspect that closer and possibly re-evaluate it. That’s of course all hypothetical. Imagine even getting past the first priest. Somehow I think the third alternative is the one that holds. The second one is too … religious. Nevertheless, you’ll probably end up facing the first alternative if you push it. What was it again that Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari (116) wrote in the ‘A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia’: “[y]our only choice will be between a goat’s ass and the face of the god, between sorcerers and priests.” Of course that only adds up to the irony of it, considering that there is no one on the throne, no Pharaoh, only you and me, the we, hence the irony. Oh, and if you think the characterization is off, well, then you are missing the point. The despotic regime does not necessitate a sovereign and a group of bureaucrats. As expressed by Deleuze and Guattari (116-117), “[it] is applicable not only to the imperial despotic regime but to all subjected, arborescent, hierarchical, centered groups: political parties, literary movements, psychoanalytic associations, families, conjugal units, etc.”, “at work everywhere” and “reign[ing] over every domestic squabble[.]”

I chose to write my essays in a casual style, taking plenty of liberties, just freestyling. This is in part due to the aforementioned attitudes towards language that I come across every now and then. For me it really makes little difference, this or that, formal or informal. If the content is solid gold, then it is solid gold. Gold is still gold, no matter how much or little it shines. In my experience not everything that shines or looks like is gold though. I’m not sure if you can polish a turd, but you can make something average look like shiny clinky gold, but that only means that something not made of gold gets passed on as gold. That said, I’m probably more indifferent towards the issue, at best amused by the people who uphold standards that may actually be counterproductive. Sure, you have to make sense of the content from the expression, but poor, for the lack of a better word here, expression does not necessitate that the content is poor. I think it’s petty to ignore or reject something on the basis that it lacks polish. It’s also counterproductive in the sense that worthy content may get snubbed, whereas more polished same old, same old, more of the same type of content may get accepted. I reckon it’s easier to add some gloss, to sugarcoat something than it is to fix a lack of content, but then again, what do I know, I’m not a priest, just some dude on the lower levels of the pyramid who has to stay in the fold or risk being marked as a betrayer, traitor or a heretic, as Deleuze and Guattari (121-126) refer to it, regardless of whether such holds or not. I have little interest in imposing my views, being a prophet or a heresiarch as such come with other issues, as elaborated by Deleuze and Guattari (126-128), hence my indifference towards the clergy.

Getting back on track, I find myself in agreement with Sinfree Makoni and Alistair Pennycook in ‘Disinventing and Reconstituting Languages’. I’m not going to elaborate all the aspects covered by them, only what I find most relevant here. So, they (1) hold that languages, as also discussed in this essay, are inventions. Now, such statements probably ruffles some feathers and the clergy likely disagrees. I think it’s easy to dismiss such as nonsensical. How can languages be inventions? They clearly exist and have existed, as elaborated in this essay in the Finnish context. The thing is, however, that what is at stake is not whether whatever people speak and have spoken in the past is not language, something mutually intelligible to a vast number of people situated in certain geographical area. It’s rather whether what that gets called is an invention, which has certain repercussions, or a mere handy an umbrella term that is used to characterize people who speak something mutually intelligible. Makoni and Pennycook (2) note that “[t]he enumerability of language has to be understood as a part of a broader project of ‘governmentality[.]’” That’s a clearly Foucauldian concept right there and I have covered it previously. For me, it’s hardly surprising that holding languages as distinct entities, marked by standards and non-standards, which have been and I guess still are to some extent understood as sub-standard varieties (or variants), something undesirable and to be culled in favor of the proper variant, the standard (or invariant). I reckon that governing a vast swath of land, for example all of France, has its issues and the hodgepodge of what people speak is among them. It seems rather obvious really that making the societal body more homogeneous makes it easier to manage. Instilling the notion of a shared language, one that is codified, ought to do marvels in this respect. People are not only easier to manage, but people end up holding it as true, hence the earlier point about a regime of truth. It’s sort of self-perpetuating really. As also discussed by Makoni and Pennycook, it’s not just that those in office suddenly set up a notion of a language and people went with it. As explained in the memo discussed in this essay, in the Finnish context the linguists played their part, producing knowledge, which then emphasized Finnish as this distinct entity, as it is understood contemporarily. In more specific terms, Makoni and Pennycook (16) elaborate this:

“[T]he way in which both sense of language are understood is constructed through a particular ideological lens dependent in a large measure on specific metadiscursive regimes and the analysts’ cultural and historical ‘locus of enunciation'[.]”

In that segment, they follow Walter Mignolo (200) in ‘Coloniality, Subaltern Knowledges, and Border Thinking: Local Histories/Global Designs’. I would replace the word ideological with just discursive, but that has to do with me not being fond of the word, usually taken in a rigid sense as asserted by Louis Althusser. Anyway, that’s just a sidenote. Makoni and Pennycook (16-17) emphasize that linguists in particular depend on the metadiscursive regimes. They (17) hope to challenge the prevalent understandings of language “as a medium of communication”, “as system”, “as a describable entity” and “as competence[.]” In other words, they hope to find alternatives for these, not neutral, but seemingly neutral understandings. Moving on, of course, the role of linguists is not the whole story, as explained in the memo. Makoni and Pennycook (18) also make note of this, how it’s not a unidirectional process where language simply creates a nation. The increasing use of what the majority of spoke in the Grand Duchy was seen as a useful development by the Empire as it distanced people from Sweden, well, until the Emperors came to their ‘senses’ and pushed for more homogeneity. The problem with empires is that they tend to expand to the point that they get overextended, having to do splits to manage it all. Judging by the summary in the memo, the previous strategy proved counterproductive once greater homogeneity of population became desirable. In other words, following Makoni and Pennycook, oddly enough, supporting the invention of Finnish proved disastrous for the Empire.

I think it should perhaps be added that the point is not to be dismissive. In the Finnish context, I’m sure it makes difference to people whether they speak Finnish, Swedish or Russian, or something else, but that’s not the point here. It’s rather that using those labels assumes more homogeneity than there is, dismissing heterogeneity of language as used by people. Adding granularity to the discussion, examining dialects, for example, does little to alleviate the issue. It only adds further enumeration, which does little redress the issue because it already had to do with enumeration. So, for example, as already mentioned, in school I was taught standard Finnish, namely in the form of writing. While it was ‘my language’, fair enough, it ignored variation and granularity that I kept encountering in speech. Now, at times there’d be discussion of dialects, so it wasn’t completely ignored, yet they still didn’t match my use of language or of those around me. It did little for me. This is in retrospect, but what that entails is that to be Finnish meant certain propriety, which for me has to do with discipline.

Concluding this essay, in summary, my interest in attempting to grapple what a language is has to do with my own research. I find myself in agreement with Makoni and Pennycook, as well as Deleuze and Guattari as they for sure go the extra mile in order to avoid understanding language as something static and neutral, yet I acknowledge that this is a minority view. I use the existing labeling in my own research, not because I’m in favor of it or support it, but because how languages are seen as distinct in the current regimes of truth. My goal is to shed light on how that is manifested in the landscape. Contrary to what some might think, my view can then be understood as critical examination of how language manifests itself materially, literally in tangible visible objects. I find it particularly interesting how it, in combination to landscape, which, as I’ve elaborated in my previous essays, creates this organization of reality that makes us take it for granted. Sure you can also use my work to work things around and do just the opposite and I can’t exactly prevent people from doing that. The problem for me is rather how to convince the readers, other scholars, who, incidentally also judge my funding applications, of my goals when they can be seen as detrimental and undercutting the dominant views. This is a rather practical problem. Funding is a big deal, especially when in the lack of it, and as much as it is claimed that science is objective, free of opinions and outside influences, I’m not exactly convinced of such claims. I reckon it doesn’t bide well for the application if or when whatever you are proposing comes across as nothing short of heresy.


  • Althusser, L. (1971). Lenin and Philosophy and Other Essays (B. Brewster, Trans.). New York, NY: Monthtly Review Press.
  • Deleuze, G. ([1986] 1988). Foucault (S. Hand, Trans.). Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press.
  • Deleuze, G., and F. Guattari ([1980] 1987). A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia (B. Massumi, Trans.). Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press.
  • Makoni. S., and Pennycook A. (Eds.) (2007). Disinventing and Reconstituting Languages. Clevedon, United Kingdom: Multilingual Matters.
  • Mignolo, W. (2000). Local Histories/Global Designs: Coloniality, Subaltern Knowledges, and Border Thinking. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

References (legislation / preparatory documents / reports)

  • Regeringsform (Instrument of Government) (1772).
  • Asetus suomen- ja ruotsinkielen käyttämisestä Suomenmaan tuomioistuimissa ja muissa viranomaisissa (Decree on the use of Finnish and Swedish in Courts and Other Authorities in Finland) (18/1902).
  • Suomen Suuriruhtinaanmaan Valtiopäiväjärjestys (The Organization of the Parliament of the Grand Duchy of Finland) (26/1906).
  • Suomen Hallitusmuoto (The Form of Government in Finland). (94/1919).
  • Kielilaki (Language Act) (148/1922).
  • Hallituksen esitys (Government Proposal) (HE 309/1993).
  • Hallituksen esitys (Government Proposal) (HE 1/1998).
  • Hallituksen esitys (Government Proposal) (HE 92/2002).
  • Suomen perustuslaki (The Constitution of Finland) (731/1999).
  • Language Act Committee (2000). Kansalliskielten historiallinen, kulttuurinen ja sosiologinen tausta. Helsinki, Finland: Ministry of Justice (Finland).
  • Kielikomitean mietintö (Language Commitee Report) (KM 2001:3).
  • Kielilaki (Language Act) (432/2003).