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Invisible Languages in the Nineteenth Century

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Anna Havinga and Nils Langer

The great linguistic diversity of spoken languages contrasts greatly with the much smaller number of languages used in written discourse. Many linguistic varieties – in particular, regional and minority languages – are not deemed suitable for writing because they do not possess the necessary lexical wealth or grammatical complexity. Such prejudices are commonplace amongst non-linguists and they have their origin in the sociolinguistic history of their speaker communities.
This book focuses on the nineteenth century as the time when language became an important part of the cultural identity of speakers, communities and nations. It comprises fourteen chapters on a variety of languages and countries and seeks to explore why and how certain linguistic varieties were excluded from written discourse – in other words, why they remain invisible to contemporary readers and modern historians. The case studies in this book illustrate the factors involved in the invisibilisation of languages in the nineteenth century; the metalinguistic debates about the suppression or promotion of regional, minority and non-standard languages; and the ways in which a careful study of informal writing can visibilise the linguistic diversity of spoken languages.

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Acknowledgements vii List of Figures ix List of Tables x Nils Langer and Anna D. Havinga Invisible Languages in Historical Sociolinguistics: A Conceptual Outline, with Examples from the German–Danish Borderlands 1 Niall Ó Ciosáin The Celtic Languages: Visible and Invisible 35 Joanna Crow Mapudungun and the Contested Process of (Nation) State Building in Nineteenth-Century Chile 51 Markus Schiegg The Invisible Language of Patients from Psychiatric Hospital 71 Elin Fredsted How a Minority Lost its Vernacular: Language Shift in Written Sources from the German–Danish Borderlands 95 Aidan Doyle A Sociolinguistic Analysis of a National Language: Irish in the Nineteenth Century 117 vi Jochen A. Bär Dialect in German Literature, 1760–1930 135 Harald Wolbersen The Decline of the South Jutish in Angeln: A Historical Case of Transformation into the Modern Age around 1800 149 Joakim Enwall Co-opting the Marginalised? Western Mission and Script Creation among the Miao in Southwest China, 1877–1915 173 Róisín Healy The Visible Church and ‘Invisible’ Polish: Protestant and Catholic Clergy in Prussian Poland 191 Joan Leopold Lithuanian Made ‘Visible’ through German Linguists: August Friedrich Pott and August Schleicher 211 Steen Bo Frandsen The Danish Composite State and the Lost Memory of a Multilingual Culture 239 Anna D. Havinga Germanising Austria: The Invisibilisation of East Upper German in Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century Austria 257 José del Valle Ways of Seeing Language in Nineteenth-Century Galicia, Spain 281 Notes on Contributors 299 Index 303

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