Evicting the Speaking Subject: A Critique of Latvian Concepts of Language

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


This paper highlights some peculiarities of the nation-language conflation in Latvian linguistics and traces their evolution. Treating language as the perfect structure consolidating ideal speakers, linguists perceive native speakers as a homogenous community whose task is to reproduce the normative language structure. Speaking subjects are denied social agency, and divergence from the norm in communication is treated as an error. The paper argues that empirically observed language use can be explained by taking into account the pragmatic intentions of speaking subjects.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)447-463
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Baltic Studies
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2011


  • discourse
  • Latvian linguistics
  • subjectivity in language

Field of Science*

  • 6.2 Languages and Literature

Publication Type*

  • 1.1. Scientific article indexed in Web of Science and/or Scopus database


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