Devotion to the Native Tongue (A Short Story on the Linguistic Nationalism in Lithuania)

Giedrius Tamaševičius (Institute of Lithuanian Language, Vilnius)

“Modern Lithuania emerged from philology and language” – the validity of these words by Czeslaw Miłosz from his book In Search of a Homeland is newly confirmed by the discussions about the threats against the destiny of Lithuanian language and the future of the nation. The historical period described by Milosz (the end of the 19th  century and the beginning of the 20th century) is still a kind of ‘dreamtime’ not only for Lithuanian nationalism, but also for the language ideology – this is the time when Lithuanian standard variety was born. The aim of this paper is to follow the development of the ideology of the linguistic nationalism during the 20th century up to this day. Particular attention will be given to the Soviet period, when the fight for the culture of language officially was declared as both a tool for constructing the Communist society and a weapon for strengthening the Lithuanian nation.

Keyword: Tamasevicius

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