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Invisible Languages in the Nineteenth Century

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Edited By 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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Notes on Contributors

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Jochen A. Bär is Professor of German Linguistics at the University of Vechta (Germany). Having completed his PhD in Language Theory in Early German Romanticism at the University of Heidelberg in 1998, he taught German Language and Literature in Aachen, Darmstadt, Gießen, Heidelberg, Kassel and Marburg. He researches a broad range of topics in semantics, grammar and historical linguistics and currently works on the German theory of art and literature in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century. Joanna Crow is a Senior Lecturer in Latin American Studies at the University of Bristol. Her research, until now, has focused on the history of indigenous-state relations in Chile, and cultural and intellectual pro- duction in Chile related to debates about ethnic and national identities. Her monograph The Mapuche in Modern Chile: A Cultural History was published by University Press of Florida in 2013. She has also published in the Journal of Iberian and Latin American Studies, Bulletin of Latin American Research, Latin American and Caribbean Ethnic Studies and National Identities. She is currently working on two new research projects: on Mapuche intellectual networks in the early twentieth century and on Chilean-Peruvian intellectual relations. Aidan Doyle is a Lecturer in the Irish Department, National University of Ireland, UCC. His research covers such areas as morphology, morpho- syntax, word-formation and historical linguistics. His latest book A History of the Irish Language was published by Oxford University Press in 2015. Joakim Enwall is Professor of Chinese at Uppsala University (Sweden). He studied...

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