De llengües, mites i emocions al xix català: el mite de la llengua del cor? / Language, myths and emotions in nineteenth Catalan: The myth of the language of the heart?
At the beginning of the nineteenth century very few reasons remained to support the claim that the Catalan language would play a significant role in the future of Catalonia. The opinion was that, if the teaching of Spanish was both good and well established, the Catalans would give up their own language without any problems. However, one hundred years later, at the beginning of the twentieth century, different factors have emerged that have refuelled the debate in favour of Catalan. It is generally claimed that cultural links between languages and nations were established during the Romantic period. Indeed, language became the source of nationhood. Nevertheless, Romanticism not only raised the collective cultural dimension of languages, but also legitimized the emotional links between individuals and their own language. Thus, Catalan as a mother tongue achieves a new value and significance: it becomes the language of the heart and soul, the language of sincerity and authenticity.