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In 1978, Jean-Pierre Gorin followed a pair of identical twins in San Diego. The twins, Grace and Ginny Kennedy, had developed their own private language, an idioglossia.
Idio (personal) - glōssa (tongue) are idiosyncratic languages most often developed by young children, specifically twins. Idioglossia-inclined children are often exposed to multiple languages, as was the case with Grace and Ginny whose father Tom spoke English while their mother and grandmother spoke German. Considering Gorin’s own subjectivity as a native French-speaker in the U.S, Poto and Cabengo traces how language alienates and engulfs the girls.
IDIOGLOSSIA looks at the secrets and codes of language(s).
Can language develop outside of ‘state, institutional, and ideological’ Power? (1)
Can movement across languages combat the conflict that emerges from difference? (2)
Can language be assessed without definition or translation? (3)
1. “In contemporary societies, the simplest division of languages bears on their relation to Power. There are languages which are articulated, which develop, and which are marked in the light (or the shadow) of Power, of its many state, institutional, ideological machineries; I shall call these encratic languages or discourses. And facing them, there are languages which are elaborated, which feel their way, and which are themselves outside of Power and/or against Power; I shall call these acratic languages or discourses.” (The War of Languages, Roland Barthes)
2. What does it really mean to know several languages? Perhaps having more than one string to one’s bow. Several languages are several worlds, several ways to open oneself to the world.” (“More Than One Language”, Barbara Cassin)
3. “Fümms bö wö tää zää Uu,
Kwii Ee.” (Ursonate, Kurt Schwitters)
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articles + essays + chapters
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