Seeing language: Bulgarian linguistic maps in the second half of the twentieth century
This article analyses the formation, elaboration and dissemination of the concept of the unitary Bulgarian linguistic space. It postulates that the borders of Bulgarian dialects, as conceived by Bulgarian linguists, transcend current political divisions and reach deep into the territory of neighbouring states such as Macedonia, Yugoslavia (Serbia), Greece, Turkey and Romania. The changing representations of language have been traced through a series of linguistic maps and atlases produced by Bulgarian experts in dialectology during the second half of the twentieth century but especially after the 1960s. The cartographic products of Bulgarian linguists served as containers and expressions of a renascent nationalist ideology which was steadily taking shape in Bulgaria during the last four decades.
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