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gcbtdon aanopoe
e alngasiuxgud ona acn.slsshne
nvounica lytisnrreovon
n,ni1 s l+ogssin 2ge
osmod lwprber
crhat aea dtaan iecipaeonmnl

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)

?nca laictsedic rkeab ksibcr
loegraarr neae i ouweu foglpp&n
iios irodsgojgd

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)

( ex








Barthes R (1989) The Rustle of Language. Berkley, CA: University of California Press.


Cassin B (2014) Dictionary of Untranslatables: A Philosophical Lexicon. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.


Crystal D (2003) Language Death. Cambridge, UK: University of Cambridge. 

Eco U (1997) The Search for the Perfect Language. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Blackwell.


Joyce J (1939) Finnegans Wake. London: Faber and Faber. 


Moro A (2016)  Impossible Languages. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.


Schieffelin B, Woolard K, and Kroskrity P (eds.) (1998) Language ideologies: Practice and Theory. Oxford University Press. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.


Williamson, SJ (2019) Translation. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

articles + essays + chapters


Bauman R and Briggs C. “Language philosophy as language ideology.” Kroskrity P (ed.) (2000) Regimes of Language. Albuquerque, NM: SAR Press. 139-204.


Benjamin W. “On Language as Such and on the Language of Man.” Chang B and Butchart G (eds.) (2012) Philosophy of Communication. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. 233-244.


Camnitzer L. “Art and Literacy.” e-flux 03 (2009): https://www.e-flux.com/journal/03/68519/art-and-literacy/.


Cassin B.  “More Than One Language.” e-flux 80 (March 2017): https://www.e-flux.com/journal/80/100018/more-than-one-language/.


Fasold R. “Societal multilingualism.” (1991) The Sociolinguistics of Society. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Blackwell. 1-31.


Gal S. “Contradictions of standard language in Europe: Implications for the study of practices and public” in Social Anthropology (2006:14), 163-181.


Goldin-Meadow S and Feldman H. “The development of language-like communication without a language model.” Science 197 (1977): 401-403.


Silverstein M. “Monoglot ‘Standard’ in America: Standardization and Metaphors of Linguistic Hegemony” (1996) The Matrix Of Language: Contemporary Linguistic Anthropology. Boulder, CO: Westview Press. 284-306.


Sobchack V. “16 ways to pronounce ‘potato’: Authority and authorship in Poto and Cabengo.” Journal of Film and Video xxxvi, no 4 (1984): 21-29.


Steyerl H. “The Language of Things.” Mousse 46 (2006): http://moussemagazine.it/hito-steyerl-2014/


Vickers R. “Mother Tongue.” Mousse 63 (2018): http://moussemagazine.it/mother-tongue-rose-vickers-2018/.


Woolard K.“Ideologies of Linguistic Authority: Authenticity, Anonymity, and Naturalism” (2016) Singular and Plural: Ideologies of Linguistic Authority in 21st Century Catalonia. Oxford, UK: Oxford Scholarship Online.

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