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Making Luxembourgish A Language

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Chapter Summary

The inter-war period was a key phase in the nation-building process. The introduction of universal suffrage in 1919 gave the state a democratic legitimacy that went beyond dynastic symbolism. The Luxembourgish language, spoken by beggars, labourers, clerks, ministers, maids, laundresses, ladies, allowed for the establishment of an imaginary collective of individuals that were equal within the nation state. It was in this context that the Luxembourgish language saw an important rise in esteemin marked contrast to the thirty years preceding the Great War. Ons Hmecht remained an important patriotic society between the wars, even if its membership was rather restricted. In geographical terms, its members continued to represent Luxembourgish society in only an imperfect fashion. The societys social composition attested to the clergys dominance within Ons Hmecht, which could explain the limited growth of the organisation: with priests accounting for 40% of its membership.

Keywords: Luxembourgish; Ons Hmecht ; universal suffrage



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