The curious multilingual prehistory of French and German monolingualism

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In 842, Louis the German (of the eastern Franks) and his younger brother, Charles the Bald (of the western Franks) performed the Strasbourg oaths of loyalty to one another-each in the vernacular associated with the other and his followers. In the language-based disciplines of French and German, these oaths stand at the beginning of a history that has obscured the multilingual situation from which it emerged. This essay revisits that prehistory, uncovering biases in current terminology and offering alternatives. The essay concludes with a discussion of early modern reception, suggesting a different narrative for the history of monolingualism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)465-485
Number of pages21
JournalGerman Studies Review
Issue number3
StatePublished - Oct 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cultural Studies
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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