Centripetal and centrifugal forces in the sociolinguistic configuration of the Iberian Peninsula

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The rise of Castilian-Romance to a national and a standard language status in Spain and its relationship with other languages and its own varieties in the territory have been heavily studied. A close examination of the literature, however, reveals such problems as diachronic segmentation and a subtle polarization into “pro-Castilianist” and “anti-Castilianist” camps; hence the need for a relatively neutral approach. The present study examines the historical sociolinguistic situation in Spain by filtering a number of pertinent facts through classic macro-sociolinguistic (Garvin & Mathiot 1953; Haugen 1966) and socio-political (Fishman 1968, 1972) theoretical parameters. It draws conclusions that point to a more objective understanding of the present-day coexistence of a standard ideology with the practice of multilingualism in Spain.


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