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By Stephen Barbour, Cathie Carmichael

This quantity examines the position of language within the current and earlier production of social, cultural, and nationwide identities in Europe, contemplating the best way language may possibly occasionally toughen nationwide id (as in England) whereas tending to subvert the geographical region (as within the United Kingdom).

The ebook describes the interactive roles of language, ethnicity, tradition, and associations within the personality and formation of nationalism and identification all through Europe. A decide upon staff of foreign participants ponder a number of questions drawing on proof from nearly all of eu countries.

The e-book concludes with a attention of the present relative prestige of the languages of Europe and the way those and the identities they replicate are altering and evolving.

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Sample text

I shall use the ti�rm 'territorial' to denote those languages that are, or were at some time in recorded history, quite clearly majority languages in some well-defined area of the islands. By 'non-territorial' I mean those that, despite in some cases having large numbers of speakers, never had such a clear territorial dominance in any region. The reason for the distinction is that it is only speakers of territorial languages who can, or could conceivably, lay claim to nationhood. ' has no answer.

The Lowland Scots In contrast to the other nations under discussion here, there seems to have been no period in recorded history before the twentieth century in which Scotland had a clear majority of speakers of a single language. Even today we can distinguish three regions with markedly different linguistic profiles: the Highlands and Western Isles; the Lowlands; and the Northern Isles (Orkney and Shetland). From the thirteenth century until the Reformation, Scots seems to have been the dominant language of the Lowlands.

Sections of the British working class and of British Nonconformists have seen themselves as sharing class or religious goals, for exam­ ple (see Hempton i996: 117-42) . If people with particular economic interests are more highly concentrated in certain regions than others, then a sense of regional identity can develop, as seen, for example, in North-East England (the traditional counties of Northumberland and Durham), with a relatively high proportion of working-class people, and, until its recent decline, relatively high levels of employ­ ment in heavy industry.

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