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Is there a place for a nation in a linguist’s brain?

Keywords: linguistics, ethnos, nation state, Estonian


The article discusses whether a linguist’s attitude to language as an object of research may entail a valorising attitude to a language community, its past, present and future. Typical proportions and relations between the analytical and ethnic approaches to the language are broken down by periods of research of Estonian, language components and schools of linguistics. The functions of linguistics in a nation state are also pointed out.


Helle Metslang (b. 1950), PhD, University of Tartu, Professor of Modern Estonian Language,



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