NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ885197
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004
Pages: 20
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 64
ISSN: ISSN-0143-4632
Bilingualism and Emotion in the Autobiographical Works of Nancy Huston
Kinginger, Celeste
Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, v25 n2-3 p159-178 2004
Research on the links between bilingualism and emotion suggests that when a second language is learned postpuberty or in adulthood, the two languages of an individual may differ in their emotional impact. The works of bilingual writer Nancy Huston offer unique insight into the process of ascribing differential emotional value to first and second languages. In her autobiographical writing, Huston explores the process of being and becoming bilingual in French and English, detailing the evolving emotional impact of her two languages across the narrative of her life. While she pointedly attributes her development as a writer to the learning of French, her language of distance and detachment, she also retains and deliberately cultivates strong emotional ties to English, her first language, and in fact, to the creative distance between languages. This paper examines Huston's reflections on bilingualism and emotions as discursive constructions, illuminating the process of electing a new emotional life through a foreign language. Analysis of Huston's writings suggests that the nuances of this personal story do not necessarily fit neatly into extant categories of "motivation" and "investment", but must be subject to a socioculturally and sociohistorically situated analysis.
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A