armies, navies, dialects and languages

Joe Lo Bianco j.lobianco at
Thu Mar 11 23:49:12 UTC 2004

>Dear all

I had always thought that Friedrich Engels made this remark, about a
language being a dialect with an army and a navy behind it, in the middle
of the 19th century, during which time issues of national standard
languages were prominent as many new national states emerged in Europe.  It
seems like the kind of thing he would say, but i have no proof to this effect


Joseph Lo Bianco

Professor of Language and Literacy Education
LLAE, Faculty of Education
The University of Melbourne
3010 VIC   Australia

Tel:    03 8344 8346
Fax:    03 8344 8612
Mob: 0407 798 978
Email: j.lobianco at

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