1st Edition

Language, Nations, and Multilingualism Questioning the Herderian Ideal

Edited By Ying-Ying Tan, Pritipuspa Mishra Copyright 2021
    190 Pages
    by Routledge

    190 Pages
    by Routledge

    Language, Nations, and Multilingualism explores the legacy of Herder’s ideas about the relationship between language and nationalism in the post-colonial world. Focusing on how anti-colonial and post-colonial nations reconcile their myriad multilingualisms with the Herderian model of one language-one nation, it shows how Herder’s model is both attractive and problematic for such nations.

    Why then does the Herderian model have such valency? How has the Herderian ideal of one nation-one language continued to survive beneath the uncomfortable resolution struck by new multilingual nations as they create fictions of a singular national mother tongue? To what extent is Herder still relevant in our contemporary world? How have different nations negotiated the Herderian ideal in different ways? What does the way in which multilingual post-colonial nations deal with this crisis tell us about a possible alternative framework for understanding the relationship between language and nation?

    By approaching this investigation from diverse archives across Asia, Africa, Europe, Latin America, and the Caribbean, Language, Nations, and Multilingualism proposes answers to the aforementioned questions from a global perspective that takes into account the specificities of a range of colonial experiences and political regimes. And by extending the discussion backwards in time to offer a more historical reading of the making of modern nations, it allows us to see how multilingualism has always disrupted constructions of monoglot nations.

    1. Questioning the Herderian ideal

    Pritipuspa Mishra and Ying-Ying Tan

    2. Herder: blessing or curse for linguistic justice? A contemporary assessment

    Helder De Schutter

    3. Rethinking the principle of linguistic homogeneity in the age of superdiversity

    Stephen May

    4. From cultural difference to monoglossia: Herder’s language trap

    Tony Crowley

    5. Multilingualism in the United States: the long history of official translations

    Rosina Lozano

    6. A noble dream?: Hindustani and Indian nationalism in the early twentieth century

    Pritipuspa Mishra

    7. No laughing matter: learning to speak the "common language" in 1950s China

    Janet Y. Chen

    8. Nationalism, multilingualism, and language planning in post-colonial Africa

    Nkonko Kamwangamalu

    9. Language and national consciousness in the post-colonial Caribbean

    Andrew M. Daily

    10. The myth of multilingualism in Singapore

    Ying-Ying Tan


    Ying-Ying Tan is Associate Professor of Linguistics and Multilingual Studies at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.

    Pritipuspa Mishra is Associate Professor in the Department of History at the University of Southampton, the United Kingdom.