From Brotherness to Otherness. Contemplations of Linguistic and Social Identity in Contemporary Slovenian Literature

    • IMG_5177
    • Presentation speakers
      • Mia Kumric, University of Tubingen, Germany


    The connection of the triad language, identity and integration is often made with the conclusion that one can adapt her/his social identity in order to integrate oneself in/assimilate to a specific majority group by acquiring a certain language, jargon, slang or uredialect. Language is considered to have primarily integrating qualities, while the dividing power of language when defining self/other; we/they etc. is often neglected. Slovenia, as a small state in which the parameters of identification have shifted from Yugoslav Socialism to the European Union in a very short time, offers space to a very specific discourse of self/other, not only for the majority population but also for the unofficial minorities – the (im)migrants who never left their country, but whose country disappeared around them. Issues of collective and individual identity, inclusive or exclusive language eventually end up reflected in literature, as they did in the novel Cefurji raus! By Goran Vojnovic (2008). The paper (which is a summarized version of the presenter’s M.A. Thesis) focuses on the analysis of performed linguistic identity in the novel Cefurji raus! and contrasts the generational differences of grown and constructed linguistic identification of the characters by dividing the novel into 5 motive groups, which at the same time are the instances of identification for the protagonist and narrator Marko: himself, family, father, friends and the cefurji. The analysis demonstrates how language in this novel is first and foremost used as a tool of exclusion and therefore enables individuals to form groups by deciding whom to identify with and include and whom to exclude and differ from. Furthermore the impact of claimed and manifested identity is shown through the narration of failed linguistic integration.