Being and Becoming Multilingual is a collection of personal narratives about growing up and inhabiting multiple languages and contexts. Written by a group of distinguished linguists and educators, this book offers nuanced insights into what they believe multilingualism is; how their professional lives have been deeply informed by their personal multilinguality; and the politics of language. These narratives recognise the centrality of the speaker in exploring the nature of language contact, providing real life accounts of language use in society and opening new vistas of understanding complex sociolinguistic phenomena in meaningful ways. While this volume provides novel theoretical insights into language acquisition and use, it is also a timely and relevant reminder of how dynamic human communication and linguistic awareness forge relationships that go beyond constructs and agendas.
Rajesh Sachdeva retired as Professor and Director of the Central Institute of Indian Languages (CIIL), Mysore. He has taught, researched and written extensively about multilingualism, sociolinguistic issues, bilingual education in tribal communities, literacy studies and language policy and planning.
Rama Kant Agnihotri retired as Professor and Head, Department of Linguistics at the University of Delhi and is currently working with Vidya Bhawan Society, Udaipur. He is interested in and has taught and written extensively about applied linguistics, morphology, sociolinguistics and research methods.
Foreword by Bernard Spolsky
A Word of Gratitude
Introduction: Rama Kant Agnihotri and Rajesh Sachdeva
1. Being Multilingual: Aditi Mukherjee
2. My Languages: Shreesh Chaudhary
3. A Personal Narrative of Multilingual Evolution: Robert Phillipson
4. Growing Up as a Multilinguist: Probal Dasgupta
5. The Growing Awareness of One’s Privileges: Tove Skutnabb-Kangas
6. A Life of Language Consciousness: E. Annamalai
7. I Write in Three Languages: G.N. Devy
8. How I Became a Multilingual: Kamal K. Sridhar
9. Living with Languages: My Tryst with Multilingualism: Ajit Mohanty
10. How I Became a Multilingual: And how it Shaped My Research: S.N. Sridhar
11. What is the Name of the Language You Speak?: Rajesh Kumar
12. On Being and Becoming a Multilingual: Reflections of Self in Society: Rajesh Sachdeva
13. Negotiating Multilinguality: Rama Kant Agnihotri
14. My Multilingula Self: Udaya Narayana Singh