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Language or Dialect?The History of a Conceptual Pair$
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Raf Van Rooy

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780198845713

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198845713.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 28 November 2021

Between systematization and rationalization

Between systematization and rationalization

The conceptual pair through the Enlightenment lens

(p.204) 16 Between systematization and rationalization
Language or Dialect?

Raf Van Rooy

Oxford University Press

Chapter 16 discusses further evidence for the systematization and rationalization of the language / dialect distinction in the period 1650–1800, the age of rationalism and the Enlightenment. On the one hand, a kind of dialectological tradition emerged. The study of regional variation became a subfield of philology, albeit never an autonomous one; occasionally, it even now received the label of dialectologia, apparently introduced in 1650. For the first time, philologists presented dissertations on dialectal diversity that were no longer exclusively focused on the Greek dialects. On the other hand, scholars adopted more rational attitudes towards the conceptual pair. Some chose to supplement the binary contrast with new concepts. Others advocated distinguishing more clearly between different interpretations of the language / dialect distinction. Confusion persisted, however, throughout the early modern period. The first vocal sceptic of the conceptual pair was Friedrich Carl Fulda, who made it painfully clear how arbitrary and imprecise the distinction actually was.

Keywords:   Systematization, rationalization, language / dialect distinction, rationalism, Enlightenment, dialectological tradition, dialectology, Friedrich Carl Fulda, arbitrariness, conceptual pair

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