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Metalinguistic Perspectives on Germanic Languages

European Case Studies from Past to Present


Edited By Gijsbert Rutten and Kristine Horner

In what ways has language been central to constructing, challenging and reconfiguring social and political boundaries? This volume traverses space and time to explore the construction of such boundaries. Focusing on the ways that language functions as an inclusive and divisive marker of identity, the volume includes case studies on Scandinavia, the Netherlands, Belgium  and Luxembourg. It also explores the northern and southern borderlands of present-day Germany as well as the city of Cologne and the surrounding Ruhr area. The chapters critically engage with focused accounts of past and present language situations, practices and policies. Taken as a whole, the volume stresses the importance of studying metalinguistic perspectives as a means of enabling detailed analyses and challenging generalizations.
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Notes on Contributors


KEVIN ABSILLIS is Assistant Professor of Modern Dutch-Language Literature and Literary Studies at the University of Antwerp. His main research interests are in Flemish literature, Belgian and Dutch book history (between the nineteenth and twenty-first centuries), Flemish nationalism and language ideology. Recent publications have appeared in Language and Literature, De Gulden Passer, Journal for Book History and Wetenschappelijke tijdingen. In addition, he has co-edited the following volumes: De manke usurpator. Over Verkavelingsvlaams [The Lame Usurper: On Allotment Flemish] (2012, with Jürgen Jaspers and Sarah Van Hoof) and De plicht van de dichter. Hugo Claus en de politiek [The Poet’s Duty: Hugo Claus and Politics] (2013, with Sarah Beeks, Kris Lembrechts and Georges Wildemeersch). His PhD, on the history of the publishing house A. Manteau, was awarded the triennial Pil van Gastel prize for History in 2013.

JOHN BELLAMY is a post-doctoral research associate in Luxembourg Studies and Multilingualism at the University of Sheffield. He has conducted a number of research projects into language attitudes, language ideologies, multilingualism and perceptual dialectology in Austria, Germany, Luxembourg and the UK. Having previously applied quantitative approaches for earlier sociolinguistic research (for example, Language attitudes in England and Austria, 2012), he is currently carrying out a qualitative study in Luxembourg with a focus on multilingualism and the voices of young people in the Grand Duchy. He also has a key role in the Worldwide Universities Network on Multilingualism and Mobility in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres.


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