Before the modern nation-state became a stable, widespread phenomenon throughout northern Europe, multilingualism – the use of multiple languages in one geographical area – was common throughout the region. From the interdisciplinary interpretations of the functions of multilingualism in identitybuilding in the period, valuable lessons for understanding today's cosmopolitan societies can be drawn.
Languages and Culture in History
The book is part of the series 'Languages and Culture in History'. This series studies the role foreign languages have played in the creation of the linguistic and cultural heritage of Europe, both western and eastern, and at the individual, community, national or transnational level. At the heart of this series is the historical evolution of linguistic and cultural policies, internal as well as external, and their relationship with linguistic and cultural identities. The series takes an interdisciplinary approach to a variety of historical issues: the diffusion, the supply and the demand for foreign languages, the history of pedagogical practices, the historical relationship between languages in a given cultural context, the public and private use of foreign languages – in short, every way foreign languages intersect with local languages in the cultural realm.