The Czech-Speaking Lands, their peoples and contact communities: titles, names and ethnonyms
AbstractThis article provides a detailed overview of the official and unofficial names applied to the Czech-speaking lands, their peoples and their language(s), and of the terms used by Czechs for contact communities and their territories. Particular attention is paid to the ethnolinguistic and semantic implications of the descriptors employed, and to the debates which they have stimulated. It is argued that the Czech lexicon continues to reflect traditional, relatively prescriptive perceptions of belonging, based on historical territorial claims and shared linguistic and cultural norms, which have symbolically marginalized outsiders and reinforced Czech solidarity. While erstwhile enmities have now largely given way to cooperative coexistence, critical attitudes to ‘problematic’ foreigners prevail, as confirmed, inter alia, by opinion surveys, and as exemplified by new pejorative designations for non-Western immigrants.
JournalThe Slavonic and East European Review
SponsorsUniversity of Wolverhampton
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