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In Babel's ShadowMultilingual Literatures, Monolingual States$
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Brian Lennon

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780816665013

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816665013.001.0001

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Language Memoir and Language Death

Language Memoir and Language Death

(p.123) 4 Language Memoir and Language Death
In Babel's Shadow

Brian Lennon

University of Minnesota Press

This chapter discusses the concept of language memoir and contrasts it with the concept of language death. Language memoir refers to the experience of acquiring other language, while language death refers to the decrease in linguistic competence of speakers in other languages. Language memoir is attained when people are drawn to the specific dimension of their linguistic experience. Language death occurs when a multilingual speaker loses skill in speaking other languages. The knowledge of one language may interfere with the correct production or understanding of another; thus the language memoirs of an individual may result in the death of other languages.

Keywords:   language memoir, language death, linguistic competence, linguistic experience, language

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