Language makes a people. Or, at least, for centuries that has been seen as the case. European nationalists have consciously employed language as a tool and a means for creating a national identity for centuries. They believed that within a nation a common religion or common customs did not matter so much in defining them as a people as having a common language. While certainly flaws can be found with this definition, it does make some sense. How can people be said to belong to the same group if they cannot communicate with each other? Likewise, having a separate language from the whole, even if they consider themselves at least in some ways a part of the whole, will still form a sense of us and them, an identity separate from the larger society.1
Thomas, Abby, "Modern Italy's Changing Language and Its Role in Nationalism" (2015). History Class Publications. 31.