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Bakhtin on Language (Ponzio, 1990)

Monday, July 14th, 2008 @ 2:43 pm
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In a book chapter: Ponzio, A. (1990) Bachtinian Alterity and the Search of Identity in Europe Today (p. 217-227), in Robert F. Barsky and Michael Holquist (Eds) Bakhtin and Otherness. Social Discourse, Vol 3 (1&2), I read some interesting quotes about language that relate to my bilingual identity as therapist, researcher and writer and that of some of my participants. Here are some i may use in my thesis:Ponzio states that in Bakhtinian thought:

“the space in which a language flourishes is an interlinguistic space, and the capacity of expression and adaptation of that language to communication is directly proportional to the quantity of contacts with other languages. The very self-awareness of a language, its meta-linguistic capacity […] through to the objectivation of language as practised by the literary writer – depends upon the possibility of using another language acting as that language’s interpretant. As Bakhtin says, a language can only see itself through the eyes of another language…….National language is made of different ways of speaking (relevant to social group, profession, job), of different technical specialised languages, to the point that we speak of the internal plurilingualism of a national language in addition to the external plurilingualism determined by the relation with other languages” (p. 224)

“Concerning cultural identity, Bakhtin has shown that diverse ways of living and worldviews may co-exist dialectically within the same culture. Depending on the development of historical situations, one form may only partially dominate over others” (p. 224) – interesting to consider that in relation to Greek culture (victim-hero binary position)

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