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Beyond the Mother Tongue – The Postmonolingual Condition - Fordham Scholarship Online
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Beyond the Mother Tongue: The Postmonolingual Condition

Yasemin Yildiz


This book is a study of the workings of a monolingual paradigm and of multilingual attempts to overcome it. It argues that monolingualism—the idea that having just one language is the norm—is a recent invention dating back only to late-eighteenth-century Europe, yet has become a dominant, if overlooked, structuring principle of modernity. According to this paradigm, individuals are imagined to be able to think and feel properly only in one language, their “mother tongue,” while multiple languages are seen as a threat to the cohesion of individuals and communities, institutions and disciplines. ... More

Keywords: Emine Sevgi Özdamar, Feridun Zaimoğlu, Franz Kafka, German Language, literature, monolingualism, mother tongue, multilingualism, Theodor W. Adorno, Yoko Tawada

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2011 Print ISBN-13: 9780823241309
Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: May 2012 DOI:10.5422/fordham/9780823241309.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Yasemin Yildiz, author
University of Illinois