ISSN online: 2221-1616

Bulletin of the Institute of Sociology (Vestnik instituta sotziologii)

Research Article

Майя М Егорова, Candidate of Political Science associate of other organizaiton, ,
The role of language in the process of national state formation: the experience of Italy.
Vestnik instituta sotziologii. 2012. Vol. 3. No. 2. P. 229-239

This Article is downloaded: 400 times
Topic: Language and social transformations

For citation:
Егорова М. А. The role of language in the process of national state formation: the experience of Italy. Vestnik instituta sotziologii. 2012. Vol. 3. No. 2. P. 229-239


Great importance has been recently given in political science to the study of linguistic (ethno-linguistic) processes, since linguistic diversity, being the wealth of the state, carries a potential conflictogenic component. This article examines language both as a basis of forming the state, and as a possible cause of separatism of the ethno-linguistic territories. At present, the language aspect has gained relevance due to the fact that for many countries of the world it has become not a cementing component, but on the contrary, it has become casus belli. The role of the Florentine dialect in the history of Italian statehood is analyzed. It is shown that literature, especially in its written form, which extends over the centuries, is the key element that promotes the formation of single language. The role of language in changing the political configuration of states is seen in the case of Padania, which successfully underwent modernization, but failed to become a monolithic region. The main reasons for this are its intra-economic heterogeneity, the strong regionalist traditions of a number of cities and regions, the presence in the given territory of areas of compact residence of the South Tyrol and Ladin population that have long fought with varied success for the widest possible autonomy. Despite the policy of “Italization”, so far more than two-thirds of the population of this province speaks German. The right of peoples to self-determination is closely related to their linguistic rights. In today’s world, only a few peoples are involved in the process of acquiring real linguistic rights, which is carried out within the framework of the autonomy granted to them. The world practice shows that the most significant results in the preservation and development of languages are reached by those states in which special measures are taken at the legislative level to protect the linguistic rights of indigenous peoples and national minorities. The erosion of the current states in the context of globalization is fraught with the most serious complications in the field of relations between the language sphere and politics.


language, dialect, nation, ethnic minorities, secession, State, region, identity, literature, Italy, Padania, Northern League


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