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Introduction

  • Vicente Lledó-Guillem
Chapter

Abstract

This chapter defines the topic of the book and the methodology followed in the analysis. Studying the political and linguistic relationship between Occitan and Catalan constitutes a new approach to the issue of how the Romance languages came into ideological and political existence from the thirteenth century onwards. The linguistic and political division of the Romance continuum that had existed until then was naturalized; thus it is important to analyze the historical context in which this division was constructed and later described as a natural process in which human will had apparently played a secondary role. Analysis of the linguistic and political history of Occitan and Catalan is particularly relevant because these languages had a quite different political history during the Middle Ages and the Early Modern Period, and had been described as undergoing an abrupt differentiation in the thirteenth century. Moreover, in the Catalan-speaking lands first, as in the rest of the Iberian Peninsula later on, there was an awareness that the linguistic separation responded to political circumstances and that Occitan had not represented a continuous political identity. On the one hand, this book explains how Catalan-speaking authors exploited the political neutrality of Occitan to exalt the Catalan-Aragonese monarchy during the Middle Ages. On the other hand, both Catalan-speaking and other Iberian authors relied upon this neutrality to construct the Spanish Empire during the Early Modern Period.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vicente Lledó-Guillem
    • 1
  1. 1.Romance Languages and LiteratureHofstra UniversityHempsteadUSA

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