Diacronia 12, December 27, 2020, art. A169 (p. 1–7)

The Romanian language in Habsburg Bukovina from the institutionalized bilingualism perspective

Ana-Maria Prisacaru


“A. Philippide” Institute of Romanian Philology, Str. Th. Codrescu 2, 700481 Iași, Romania


Received September 28, 2020
Accepted October 16, 2020
Published December 27, 2020

Key words

the Habsburg Empire


From the perspective of the power relationships manifested in a territory under foreign occupation, institutionalized bilingualism involves the differentiation between the languages coming into contact and their hierarchization according to the communicative functions they are to fulfill within the new state organization governed by a sovereign authority. A linguistic phenomenon that proves to be unbalanced as far as the interfering languages are concerned, this type of bilingualism imposed the German language in Habsburg Bukovina as the only language used in the “administrative structures of the country”, officially declared as such in Northern Moldavia in 1784. The fact that the communication functions of the Romanian language were almost exclusively limited to the colloquial register is the result of an intense policy of linguistic “leveling” (Ausgleichspolitik), implemented by the Court of Vienna in all its imperial provinces in order to reduce national specificity by means of imposing the use of the German language. The cohesion and uniformity of all Habsburg territories was only possible through the reformation, according to the Josephine principles, of the institutions responsible with the preservation of the national identity of the subjugated nations. In Bukovina, the juridical-administrative, church and school sectors were targeted, being affected by the Germanization process especially after the North of Moldavia was incorporated into the Kingdom of Galicia and Lodomeria.


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    Text:Prisacaru, A. (2020). The Romanian language in Habsburg Bukovina from the institutionalized bilingualism perspective, Diacronia 12 (December 27), A169 (1–7),
     author = {Ana-Maria Prisacaru},
     title = {The Romanian language in Habsburg Bukovina from the institutionalized bilingualism perspective},
     journal = {Diacronia},
     ISSN = {2393-1140},
     year = {2020},
     month = {December},
     number = {12},
     eid = {A169},
     doi = {},
     pages = "(1–7)",
     url = {}


© 2020 The Authors. Publishing rights belong to the Journal. The article is freely accessible under the terms and conditions of the CC-BY Open Access licence.

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