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L' imaginaire du mot "slave" dans les langues française et allemande, entre dictionnaires et romans

Abstract : This analysis of the link between a name, a language and an identity is based on a study of the history of the word Slav in the French and German languages. The ideological and political stakes resulting from the act of nomination, with regards to the construction of the identity of a linguistic community, are particularly blatant when it comes to the word Slav. This study sheds light on the increasingly violent relations between the “nations” and the “races” of Europe in the wake of the 20th century. The interweaving of the words “Slav” and “Slave” are part of a representation of “slavic being” which is haunted by the motif of inflicted or willingly accepted servitude. Similar though they may be, the stereotypes and wandering images linked to the word vary from one language to the other. Exotic excessiveness in the literary French corpus stands out against reluctance or even inner repression in the German corpus. This paves the way to a threefold study of the “Slavic language” in novels based on the “primitivity” of a language close to its roots, the desire for a foreign language and the politicization of the language, the very weapon of the rebellious Slavic slave. Within the history of language and bearing in mind how a language shapes the relation to otherness, this “account of the Slavic figure” reveals an aspect of the history of nationalist tensions in Europe which broke out during World War One. The “Slavic other” appears to be one the distinctive figures of the “inner other”, whose lack of stigma leads to the overinvestment of the language as a sign of difference.
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Submitted on : Thursday, July 9, 2020 - 5:05:16 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, October 14, 2021 - 1:10:10 PM


  • HAL Id : hal-02895462, version 1



Cécile Gauthier. L' imaginaire du mot "slave" dans les langues française et allemande, entre dictionnaires et romans. Paris : Editions Pétra, pp.521, 2015, Sociétés et cultures postsoviétiques en mouvement, 978-2-84743-076-9. ⟨hal-02895462⟩



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