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date: 26 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter identifies key notions about the nature and workings of language and their wider political implications in Europe from around 1789 to the first decades of the nineteenth century. There are at least three formations, aesthetic and philosophical, linguistic, and political. Even though treated under separate headings for ease of exposition, they are meant to meet in this introduction in response to more granular surveys. The political dimension in particular tends to be left to historians or to philologists who deal with that part of the continent where it first gained real prominence: East and East Central Europe. Thus, after the first two sections on aspects of philosophy and early linguistics, where the focus is on Germany with France and England, the third section on language and nation moves eastwards to the Slavonic-speaking lands, to finally return back, albeit very briefly, to the West. The main purpose of this survey to provide introduction and guidance.

Keywords: philosophy, linguistics, politics, nationalism, grammar, philology

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