Chapter 11: Encountering everyday linguistic diversity in public space in Antwerp
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Language and linguistic diversity are important urban sounds that have great meaning to individuals. Individuals do not only maintain ideas about what languages to expect where, but languages are also felt through the body as everyday encounters with specific languages might spark different emotions – e.g. fear, excitement, anger, nostalgia. It is through the study of these everyday encounters with languages that we learn how individuals uphold ideas about places and languages, as well as about how we construct and renegotiate our own identities in those places – individuals have different linguistic skills and may consciously play with them in order to be included or excluded from the places they are in. The experience of migration, and mobility through different cities more broadly, I argue, is first and foremost a linguistic experience. It allows us to open up new ways of thinking about certain places, but also new ways of reassessing our own identity and linguistic skills.

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