Global English in Theoretical Mathematics: Citation Analysis

Dr. Anna Friedman
2019 Journal of Library and Information Sciences  
The article presents the results of the analysis of English in Math as an academic discipline claiming that English is currently the undisputed language of science and technology replacing the vernacular in scientific journals in many countries. The research reports on the percentage of the cited resources in English and other European languages used in the articles published in the leading American and European journals in the field of Theoretical Mathematics throughout the decade 2000-2010.
more » ... e data includes 3499 citations from 179 articles. Only papers written in the same language as the language of the country in which this journal is published were analyzed. The categories of the citations are books and articles in English, German, French, and Italian. The findings show the follows: among Americans there is a tendency of decrease of English cited resources during the period from 2000 till 2010 -the continuing use of foreign-language sources by American scholars in these fields have been noted. Among other nations such as Germans, French and Italians, English remains the dominant language, and the continuing increase of the number of the cited resources in English has been observed, and the low use of foreign-language resources has been noted. This was true for all the nationalities selected for the research such as Germans, French, Italians and Russians. However, in the seventies the picture was changed -the English started "to gain momentum" among some nationalities such as the Germans and the Italians, whereas among the French and the Russians the number of the cited sources in their own language still exceeded the number of cited sources in the English language. The increasing dominance of the English language was noticed in the nineties almost among all the selected European nationalities, except for the Russians, who are still known to prefer publications from Russian journals, which are then translated from cover to cover into English. Before I undertake to address the question why English get the special status in Europe, I"d like to set the scene how a language from "an island on the corner" of the continent went global.First of all, as well-known, the spread of English around the world was historically a colonial process. Then, in 1973, after Ireland and Britain admitted into the European Union, English became one of the nine official languages of the EU (Danish,
doi:10.15640/jlis.v7n1a1 fatcat:hzxg5pl44zghva6jwmpfavge3y