Arnold idealizing the Celt was charming, spiritual, sentimental, sensuous other. But at the same
time, he’s not arguing directly for suppression of Celtic, but on the contrary he sees it necessary to
incorporate “Celticness” into more fully realized society.
England was the subsuming political power, different idea of ethnicity as something that can exist
within a political structure.
No evidence of dialect in written Irish, although there was certainly evidence of dialect in the
languages being spoken
Elaborate genealogical scheme that starts out with only certain dominant lineages being related to
one another, and as time goes on, attaching different lineages. No political oneness, though!
In Wales and Scotland, Wales had great pride, common shared language, earliest literature from
earliest time. Means “people of the same country” but what unites them is comry (the languge).
Possibility of ethnicity existing not only within the political entity of the nation state, but ethnicity as
overrunning borders of nation state and spreading in a self conscious way through several political
entities. Applies to Celtic speaking peoples in antiquity and in medieval period at least.
Ethnicity didn’t translate into political statehood. Medieval thinkers often drew conclusions from race
Comparative linguistics, which gave us the idea of Celticity to begin with, gave us the idea that a
nation, including the ones just coming into being in the 19 century as political entities (Italy and
Germany) it was partially historical linguistics that created the idea that a nation should have a
national language, and that that language should be imposed on everyone within the nation.
France attempt to define French language going back to 17 century. Attempt to just kind of ignore
the fact that people in France speak languages other than French. And not just talking about
immigrants – includes Provencal, Breton, minority languages in France.
This is one of the things that Sanders Lewis in his lecture in 1962 The Theme of the Language
points to this about Matthew Arnold. If England and Wales are one united kingdom, then the
existence of the Welsh language is a political stumbling block, reminder of a different state of
affairs, dangerous to the union.
Welsh Language in Wales
Acts of Union 1536 and 1543
“The People of the same dominion have and do daily use a speche nothing like ne consonaunt to
the natural other tonge used within this realme”
Defined English as the language that was natural to the kingdom that, at that point, included
England and Wales
So, only English used in law and administration. No Welshmen who didn’t speak English could hold
any office in the government. Welsh is sort of moved in the direction of being a language of rural
peasants, working class.
Anyone with social and economic aspirations send children to English schools