Article published in:Constructing Languages: Norms, myths and emotions
Edited by Francesc Feliu and Josep Maria Nadal
[IVITRA Research in Linguistics and Literature 13] 2016
► pp. 179–198
Le mythe de la langue mère / The myth of the mother tongue
Our linguistic history is full of myths. There is the myth of the national language, the one of a particular genius of each language. Insofar as national languages are artifacts built by centuries of language policy and by the careful equipping of the major culture’s languages through language instruments that are (among others) translation manuals, dictionaries and grammars, we can assume that the idea of a “language” isotopic and regular before any human intervention is also a myth. In what follows, I shall endeavor to unravel a particular myth; that of the original mother tongue of mankind. This myth has one very special feature: it was created by the scientific community and has resurfaced again after seemingly having had its fate sealed.
Published online: 25 August 2016
2006 “Les embarras de l’origine des langues”, Marges linguistiques 11: 1–31 (http://www.revue-texto.net).
Auroux, Sylvain et Anne Boës
Bengtson, John D. et Merrit Ruhlen
Boë, Louis-Jean, et al.
Court de Gébelin, Antoine
Denina, Abbé C.
Greenberg, Joseph H.
Harnard, Stevan R., Horst D. Setklish, Jane Lancaster
Koerner, E.F. Konrad
Lanjuinais, Comte de
Lamberterie, Charles de
Lehmann, Winfred Philipp
Linderman, Fredrik Otto
Müller, Friedrich Max
Ringe (JR), Donald A.