This volume examines the role of language in the present and past creation of social, cultural, and national identities in Europe, considering the way in which language may sometimes reinforce national identity (as in England) while tending to subvert the nation-state (as in the United Kingdom).
The book describes the interactive roles of language, ethnicity, culture, and institutions in the character and formation of nationalism and identity throughout Europe. A select team of international contributors consider various questions drawing on evidence from the majority of European countries.
The book concludes with a consideration of the current relative status of the languages of Europe and how these and the identities they reflect are changing and evolving. "Each chapter is full of fascinating sociolinguistic and historical facts but together the volume provides a wide-ranging set of approaches to language and nationalism so dense that it defies summarizing, and no brief review can do justice to the wealth of information and arguments in this volume. Barbour, Carmichael, and their colleagues have given a wide interdisciplinary readership a very interesting, informative, and readable volume."--Michael Clyne, University of Melbourne