Articles in Seduced by the Map
As is largely the case across the world, the development of national languages in the Germanic zone of northern Europe was more the product of state consolidation than the reflection of preexisting ethnolinguistic communities.
The relationships between language, politics, and geography are highly complicated across the Romance zone of Europe, challenging any facile stories of natural language-based ethnonational solidarity.
(Author’s Note: This is a preliminary draft of a chapter that might be included in a forthcoming book, tentatively entitled Seduced by the Map: How the Nation-State Model Prevents Us from Thinking Clearly About the World. It includes some bibliographical citations, but they are woefully incomplete.)
There are good reasons why students of nationalism often emphasize language. Building a community, …