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Languages and Communities in Early Modern Europe

$88.00 (P)

Part of The Wiles Lectures

  • Date Published: October 2004
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521828963

$ 88.00 (P)

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About the Authors
  • Peter Burke explores major themes in the social and cultural history of the languages spoken or written in Europe between the invention of printing and the French Revolution. One theme is the relation between languages and communities and the place of language as a way of identifying others, as well as a symbol of one's own identity. A second, linked theme is that of competition: between Latin and the vernaculars, different vernaculars, dominant and subordinate, and different varieties of the same vernacular.

    • Places the history of the many languages of Europe in their cultural, social and political contexts
    • Examines the relationship between languages and communities
    • Written by a renowned historian of international repute
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "These essays, originally given as the Wiles Lectures at Queen's University in Belfast, share the characteristics of much of his best work, truly European-wide reading, sensitivity to cultural and sociological theory, and broad vision."
    Sixteenth Century Journal

    "(A)lthough others have investigated in greater detail the standardization of particular vernaculars in Europe, none deal with the issue comparatively and on a pan-European scale with anything like the range of Burke...In telling his story from the end of the Middle Ages to the French Revolution, Burke skillfully negotiates the dangers inherent in a linear narrative structure...(the book) draws attention to an emerging field of historical study and widespread patterns in relations between languages and communities in early modern Europe"
    Matt Lauzon, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Journal of Modern History

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    Product details

    • Date Published: October 2004
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521828963
    • length: 226 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 14 mm
    • weight: 0.47kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Prologue: communities and domains
    1. 'Speak, that I may see thee': the discovery of language in early modern Europe
    2. Latin: a language in search of a community
    3. Vernaculars in competition
    4. Standardizing languages
    5. Mixing languages
    6. Purifying languages
    Epilogue: languages and nations

  • Author

    Peter Burke, University of Cambridge
    Peter Burke is Professor of Cultural History and a Fellow of Emmanuel College at the University of Cambridge. He has published over twenty books which have been translated into over thirty languages.

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