The concept of civilization in historic Brazilian linguistics

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Since the 19th century, Brazilian linguistics has been involved in the question of language relationships, both expressed and tacit. In this work we will analyze how this question presents itself in historical Brazilian linguistics by observing the concept of civilization and its relationships with the concept of culture. We analyze a period that goes from the end of the 19th century until the 1950s. Observing the relationships of the words in their authors’ texts, we analyze the meaning of words such as <i>civilization </i>and <i>culture</i>. We show how the concept of civilization, even though it may have acquired a plural signification, maintains its sense of universal value and functions as a justifying concept of the relationships among languages, projecting itself, in the interior of scientific thinking, as a “legitimated” substitute for colonization.


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