© 2018

The Making of Catalan Linguistic Identity in Medieval and Early Modern Times

  • Provides an innovative study of Romance languages in the Medieval and Early Modern worlds

  • Demonstrates the political and ideological factors that influenced interpretations of the relationship between Catalan and Occitan

  • Sheds new light on Medieval and Early Modern linguistic historiography

Palgrave Macmillan

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-viii
  2. Vicente Lledó-Guillem
    Pages 1-24
  3. The Political Use of the Occitan Language by the Catalan-Aragonese Monarchy

  4. The Interpretation of the Catalan-Occitan Relationship in the Construction of the Spanish Empire

  5. Back Matter
    Pages 223-250

About this book


The historical relationship between the Catalan and Occitan languages had a definitive impact on the linguistic identity of the powerful Crown of Aragon and the emergent Spanish Empire. Drawing upon a wealth of historical documents, linguistic treatises and literary texts, this book offers fresh insights into the political and cultural forces that shaped national identities in the Iberian Peninsula and, consequently, neighboring areas of the Mediterranean during the Middle Ages and the Early Modern Period. The innovative textual approach taken in these pages exposes the multifaceted ways in which the boundaries between the region’s most prestigious languages were contested, and demonstrates how linguistic identities were linked to ongoing struggles for political power. As the analysis reveals, the ideological construction of Occitan would play a crucial role in the construction of a unified Catalan, and Catalan would, in turn, give rise to a fervent debate around ‘Spanish’ language that has endured through the present day. This book will appeal to students and scholars of historical linguistics, sociolinguistics, Hispanic linguistics, Catalan language and linguistics, anthropological linguistics, Early Modern literature and culture, and the history of the Mediterranean.


Linguistic historiography Linguistic anthropology Catalan Occitan Sicilian Vespers Spanish Empire Ausiàs March Bernat Desclot, Crònica Gaspar Escolano, Década primera Philology Crown of Aragon Early Modern linguistics Medieval linguistics Ramon Muntaner Nationalism linguistic nationalism Aragonese Catalan-Aragonese monarchy

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Romance Languages and LiteratureHofstra UniversityHempstead, NYUSA

About the authors

Vicente Lledó-Guillem is Professor of Spanish and Catalan at Hofstra University, New York. His primary field of research is the political, ideological, and cultural history of the Spanish and Catalan languages. He is the author of Literatura o imperio: la construcción de las lenguas castellana y catalana en la España renacentista (2008).

Bibliographic information


“I find Lledó-Guillem‘s monograph to be brilliant, innovative, and groundbreaking. … this book is a must-have to both students and scholars in Medieval and Early Modern political, cultural, and intellectual history, European studies, Romance languages, historical sociolinguistics, and linguistic anthropology. It is a work that will be referenced and cited for years to come.” (Josef Fioretta, Scripta, Issue 11, June, 2018)