Lived languages: ordinary collections and multilingual repertoires

Ros i Sole, Cristina. 2022. Lived languages: ordinary collections and multilingual repertoires. International Journal of Multilingualism, 19(4), pp. 647-663. ISSN 1479-0718 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

Until recently, the role of material culture in language has been little studied or seen as the context where language use is situated (Aronin et al., 2018). This article looks at the materiality of language in a new light by arguing that everyday objects such as
kitchen utensils and wardrobes can be seen as deliberate and conscious collections that are entangled with speakers’ multilingual repertoires, subjectivities and embodied agencies. Clothes stored away in one’s wardrobe, or ordinary kitchen utensils reveal themselves as the site where multilinguals’ complex biographies and ‘jigsaw repertoires’ (Blommaert & Backus, 2013) can be traced and made sense of. Such a view of language sees the construction of subjectivities as both situated and relational. Situated because subjectivities are firmly anchored in embodied chronotopic continuums (Busch, 2017), relational because they align to a post-human approach to subjectivity (Pennycook, 2018) that conceives it as the confederation of different types of human and post-human agencies. Drawing on a study of 6 personal collections of ordinary objects, this paper investigates to what extent personal collections can be read as a ‘laboratory’ for multilingual practices, where multilingual agencies are played out in relation to time–space coordinates and the materiality of the self.

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new materialism, subjectivity, lived, multilingualism, post-humanism, repertoires

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Educational Studies


11 July 2020Accepted
6 August 2020Published Online

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Date Deposited:

20 Aug 2020 10:18

Last Modified:

24 Nov 2022 13:49

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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