The Territory of Language

Scott Spector

in Prague Territories

Published by University of California Press

Published in print January 2000 | ISBN: 9780520219090
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520929777 | DOI:
The Territory of Language

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  • Modern History (1700 to 1945)


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This chapter discusses the relation between a proliferation of philosophical and literary reconsiderations of the status of language and the context of a multiethnic empire vexed by language troubles, which is unlikely to be casual. On the other hand, to posit such a relation does not yet begin to answer the question of how “language” as a figure functioned in the spheres. The Bohemian “language conflict” had taken shape in the nineteenth century, operating almost from the start as a signifier for broad and complex processes of political transformation. The image of German as the natural language of state for the Habsburg monarchy, as having grown organically into that role since the early modern period, only to encounter a challenge to its authority rather suddenly in the nineteenth century, was a myth constructed in response to that very challenge.

Keywords: language; Bohemian language conflict; political transformation; German; Habsburg monarchy

Chapter.  10410 words. 

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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