An Interdisciplinary Study of the Rule of Trauma and Early Host-Foreign Language Immersions in Significant Language Learning and Translingual Identity Formations
Salsberg, Maria Fernanda
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Through the reading of various self-narratives that focus on adults looking back at their memories of host/foreign language learning during the periods of childhood and adolescence, this interdisciplinary dissertation studies language as a collective and individual transformational phenomenon. Drawing from my own experiences as a foreign language learner and second language educator, and from discussions of psychoanalytic views on migration and language learning, my thesis looks at language beginnings as influencing the initial and ongoing development of the speaking subject. I research the manner in which translingual narratives, as literary discursive constructs, testify to writers’ attempts at symbolizing their realities within the continuum of constructed, deconstructed and reconstructed identities. By examining writers’ primary processes through descriptions of dreams, narrated breaks in language, slips of pen and excesses in discourse, my work studies the ego’s attachment to language and focuses on the manner in which host-foreign language immersions, as socio-emotional occurrences may interact with and respond to individuals’ known and seemingly forgotten experiences. Aside from paying close attention to the affective and social authority that resides within all internalized languages, my work zeros in on the concept of early forced versus chosen socio-cultural and linguistic relocations. I look at how host/foreign immersions and significant language learning equate to emotional trauma, and into the manner in which such trauma often becomes synthesized as a benign occurrence, enabling individuals to transform and redefine their lives within the natural dynamics of aggression that exist within subjects’ third space.