<span class="smallCaps">introduction</span>: Beyond the Mother Tongue?

Yeasemin Yildiz

in Beyond the Mother Tongue

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print December 2011 | ISBN: 9780823241309
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780823241347 | DOI:
introduction: Beyond the Mother Tongue?

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The introduction provides the historical and conceptual backdrop to the argument that monolingualism is a more recent phenomenon than multilingualism and elaborates on the notion of the “postmonolingual condition.” It charts the emergence of the monolingual paradigm in late-eighteenth-century Europe, with emphasis on the conceptual impact of the thought of Herder and Schleiermacher. The chapter also provides a brief history of the term “mother tongue” and discusses feminist, media theoretical, and psychoanalytic perspectives on this concept before offering a new reading of it as a “linguistic family romance.” It situates the present study in relationship to literary and linguistic scholarship on multilingualism, as well as in relationship to German, German-Jewish, and Turkish-German Studies. Through an analysis of the conceptual artwork Wordsearch: A Translinguistic Sculpture by artist Karin Sander, the chapter argues for the importance of a critical approach to multilingualism that takes the monolingual paradigm into account, even in an age of globalization and transnational flows.

Keywords: family romance; Friedrich Schleiermacher; German-Jewish; globalization; Johann Gottfried Herder; Karin Sander; monolingualism; mother tongue; multilingualism; Turkish-German

Chapter.  9699 words. 

Subjects: Literature

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