WP302 Multilinguals as Others in society & academia: Challenges of belonging under a monolingual habitus

Wiese, Alexiadou, Scarvaglieri & Schroeder


Public discourse in a range of countries has been reported to be characterised by Othering practices that support dichotomies between a national and monolingual “in-group” and multilingual speakers who are constructed as secondary citizens and often associated with special needs, even if they have grown up locally. Less in the focus of analysis is the fact that such patterns are also found in our field, and a closer look at linguistic publications reveals that certain patterns of Othering might be typical or even systemic, rather than exceptional. Exclusionary practices are evident in terminology that continues to reflect a narrow, monolingual view of (ethnic and) linguistic in-groups. Monolingual practices still tend to be canonised as defining the normal, unmarked case, and bilinguals are then assessed against this yardstick in terms of deviations. As a result, they can be erased as native speakers, have their language use analysed through a lens of potential errors and problems, or be excluded from the speaker pool for linguistic analysis. We present examples from different linguistic subdisciplines and discuss language-ideological implications and possible effects on research perspectives and agendas.