This brief self-narrative juxtaposes philosophical and psychoanalytic theories of language and trauma with descriptions of the author’s experiences as: a child and adolescent migrant, a fragmentary language learner, and a postsecondary language educator. It studies the short and long-term effects of having one’s language of identification undervalued by political tensions, and examines what it means for the ego to (re)construct its identity following a language-related emotional crisis. The author defines her libidinal attachments to her introjected tongues and discusses how her present state of being within uneven languages were carved by the memory of her experiences as a child and an adolescent migrant. Similar to Jacques Derrida’s (1996) description of “disorders of identity”, Carrá-Salsberg blends theory with her recollections of lived occurrences to conceptualize the way in which the inscription of early traumatic occurrences within languages ground subjects’ life-long responses and attitude towards their acquired tongues.
Original published: Language and Psychoanalysis, Volume 5, Issue 1, pp. 4-13 Link