Linguistic Conflicts in Eastern Europe and Their Historical Parallels

  • Miroslav Hroch


This chapter will analyze the relation between language and national identity conflicts in contemporary Eastern and Southeastern Europe, against the historical experience of nationalist movements in multi-national empires like the Habsburg monarchy and Czarist Russia during the 19th century. Analogies between current developments and the past can be justified only if we can view today’s movements and conflicts in Eastern Europe as a kind of ‘repeat performance’ or fulfilment of a more or less successful Phase C or Phase B of their nationalist movements in the 19th century. By ‘Phase C’ is meant the third fundamental phase of nationalist movements: the rise of a mass national movement. This phase follows a successful Phase B — the period of patriotic agitation. During Phase B, language, or more correctly, the linguistic programme, has played an important role.


Mother Tongue State Language Successful Phase Literary Language Ethnic Conflict 
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© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1992

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  • Miroslav Hroch

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