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Modern Literature Commons

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2010

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Mother Tongues And Nations: The Invention Of The Native Speaker, Thomas Paul Bonfiglio Jan 2010

Mother Tongues And Nations: The Invention Of The Native Speaker, Thomas Paul Bonfiglio

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This monograph examines the ideological legacy of the the apparently innocent kinship metaphors of “mother tongue” and “native speaker” by historicizing their linguistic development. It shows how the early nation states constructed the ideology of ethnolinguistic nationalism, a composite of national language, identity, geography, and race. This ideology invented myths of congenital communities that configured the national language in a symbiotic matrix between body and physical environment and as the ethnic and corporeal ownership of national identity and local organic nature. These ethno-nationalist gestures informed the philology of the early modern era and generated arboreal and genealogical models of language ...