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Authority and Identity
 
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Authority and Identity
A Sociolinguistic History of Europe before the Modern Age
 
 
Palgrave Macmillan
 
 
 
 
 
21 Jul 2010
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£58.00
|Hardback In Stock
  
9780230232556
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DescriptionContentsAuthors

Language use is a principal means by which we distinguish ourselves and our group from others. In the modern age, language use often divides ethnic groups and nations: Germans are Germans because they speak German; French citizens must accept that Standard French is a central part of their national identity. Sociologists of language consider this equation of personal language use and national identity to be a product of the nationalism which developed in Europe from the eighteenth century on.

Authority and Identity: A Sociolinguistic History of Europe before the Modern Age is the first attempt to take the theoretical and methodological insights of macrosociolinguistics and apply them to the history of Europe before 1500. It analyses the recurrent tensions felt since writing technology first began to be used in Europe some 3,500 years ago between centrifugal and centripetal forces, demonstrating how similar linguistic ecologies can produce different kinds of linguistic authority and identity in individuals and groups due to differing sociolinguistic conditions.


Description

Language use is a principal means by which we distinguish ourselves and our group from others. In the modern age, language use often divides ethnic groups and nations: Germans are Germans because they speak German; French citizens must accept that Standard French is a central part of their national identity. Sociologists of language consider this equation of personal language use and national identity to be a product of the nationalism which developed in Europe from the eighteenth century on.

Authority and Identity: A Sociolinguistic History of Europe before the Modern Age is the first attempt to take the theoretical and methodological insights of macrosociolinguistics and apply them to the history of Europe before 1500. It analyses the recurrent tensions felt since writing technology first began to be used in Europe some 3,500 years ago between centrifugal and centripetal forces, demonstrating how similar linguistic ecologies can produce different kinds of linguistic authority and identity in individuals and groups due to differing sociolinguistic conditions.


Contents

List of Illustrations
A Note on Naming
Prologue
Sociology of Language: An Introduction
Linguistic Prehistory
The First European Literacies
The First Hegemonies
Centrifugal and Centripetal Forces. Late Antiquity and the Early Medieval Period
Competing Hegemonies: The High Middle Ages
The Birth of the Modern?: The Fourteenth and Fifteenth Centuries
Conclusions
Notes
Bibliography

 


Authors

ROBERT McCOLL MILLAR is Senior Lecturer in Linguistics at the University of Aberdeen, Scotland. His books include Language, Nation and Power and Northern and Insular Scots.