LINGUIST List 21.3141

Mon Aug 02 2010

Books: Historical Linguistics/History of Linguistics: Bonfiglio

Editor for this issue: Maria Moreno-Rollins <>

        1.    Julia Ulrich, Mother Tongues and Nations: Bonfiglio

Message 1: Mother Tongues and Nations: Bonfiglio
Date: 30-Jul-2010
From: Julia Ulrich <>
Subject: Mother Tongues and Nations: Bonfiglio
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Title: Mother Tongues and Nations Subtitle: The Invention of the Native Speaker Series Title: Trends in Linguistics. Studies and Monographs Published: 2010 Publisher: De Gruyter Mouton

Book URL:

Author: Thomas Paul Bonfiglio Electronic: ISBN: 9781934078266 Pages: 244 Price: Europe EURO 89.95
Hardback: ISBN: 9781934078259 Pages: 244 Price: Europe EURO 89.95

This monograph examines the ideological legacy of the the apparentlyinnocent kinship metaphors of "mother tongue" and "native speaker" byhistoricizing their linguistic development. It shows how the early nationstates constructed the ideology of ethnolinguistic nationalism, a compositeof national language, identity, geography, and race. This ideology inventedmyths of congenital communities that configured the national language in asymbiotic matrix between body and physical environment and as the ethnicand corporeal ownership of national identity and local organic nature.These ethno-nationalist gestures informed the philology of the early modernera and generated arboreal and genealogical models of language, culminatingmost divisively in the race conscious discourse of the Indo-Europeanhypothesis of the 19th century. The philosophical theories of organicismalso contributed to these ideologies. The fundamentally nationalistconflation of race and language was and is the catalyst for subsequentpermutations of ethnolinguistic discrimination, which continue today.Scholarship should scrutinize the tendency to overextend biologicalmetaphors in the study of language, as these can encourage, howeversurreptitiously, genetic and racial impressions of language.

Linguistic Field(s): Historical Linguistics                             History of Linguistics Language Family(ies): Indo-European
Written In: English (eng )

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