Language, Religion and National Identity in Europe and the Middle East: A historical study

Language, Religion and National Identity in Europe and the Middle East: A historical study

by John Myhill
     
 

This book discusses the historical record of the idea that language is associated with national identity, demonstrating that different applications of this idea have consistently produced certain types of results. Nationalist movements aimed at ‘unification’, based upon languages which vary greatly at the spoken level, e.g. German, Italian, Pan-Turkish and…  See more details below

Overview

This book discusses the historical record of the idea that language is associated with national identity, demonstrating that different applications of this idea have consistently produced certain types of results. Nationalist movements aimed at ‘unification’, based upon languages which vary greatly at the spoken level, e.g. German, Italian, Pan-Turkish and Arabic, have been associated with aggression, fascism and genocide, while those based upon relatively homogeneous spoken languages, e.g. Czech, Norwegian and Ukrainian, have resulted in national liberation and international stability. It is also shown that religion can be more important to national identity than language, but only for religious groups which were understood in premodern times to be national rather than universal or doctrinal, e.g. Jews, Armenians, Maronites, Serbs, Dutch and English; this is demonstrated with discussions of the Holocaust, the Armenian Genocide, the civil war in Lebanon and the breakup of Yugoslavia, the United Netherlands and the United Kingdom.

Editorial Reviews

Christopher Hutton
It should be stressed that this is an important work. Myhill compels us to look in a multidimensional way at the great identity conflicts and genocidal disasters of modernity, providing a challenging and provocative close reading of the evolution and interaction of a large number of ethnic and national groups.
Peter Trudgill
It has always been clear that language is linked to nationalism and nationalism to language. What John Myhill has done here is to show for the first time that this easy equation ignores the linguistic facts. It may be true that a "language is a dialect with an army and a navy". But it is not just the army and the navy that matter. It also matters that some languages are more obviously languages than others.
Federico Gobbo
[...] the book will interest anyone who wants to read (or re-read) facts and data about European and Middle East nations in the light of the influence of language and religion, two main driving forces of the identity of human beings.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9789027227119
Publisher:
Benjamins, John Publishing Company
Publication date:
06/21/2006
Series:
Discourse Approaches to Politics, Society and Culture Series
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
311

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >