“Une arme de premier ordre”: Representation of Breton and Welsh in Revivalist Discourse around 1900
- Číslo 59 
PublisherUniverzita Karlova, Filozofická fakulta
SourceLitteraria Pragensia, 2020, 59, 62-76
KeywordsKeywords not found
The present article examines the ways in which the Breton language is represented and perceived in revivalist writings from around 1900, with comparative references to the image of Welsh in the publications of Welsh revivalist authors from the same period. Undoubtedly, the existence of the minority language was one of the most important arguments for any nation-building movement in claiming cultural and political rights. In the process of promoting the language, the revivalists were nevertheless facing difficulties arising from its minority position. These included, for instance, the language boundary in Brittany or the risk of being accused of separatism. Revivalist movements therefore adopted different discourse strategies to represent the language, with the aim to appeal not only to its speakers but also to accommodate members of the majority language community, as well as an international audience. This article seeks to answer the following questions: what are the representational strategies the revivalist groups adopted to defend and promote the minority language in addressing the general public? How did they communicate the necessity to revive or keep a minority language alive to a non-speaker or a non-member of the nation? The main sources employed are publications by members of Breton and Welsh revivalist movements. Methods of discourse analysis are applied in a comparative and transnational perspective.