Linguistic incompetence: Giving an account of researching multilingually
Version of Record online: 6 NOV 2013
© 2013 The Authors. International Journal of Applied Linguistics published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
International Journal of Applied Linguistics
Special Issue: Researching Multilingually
Volume 23, Issue 3, pages 329–341, November 2013
How to Cite
Phipps, A. (2013), Linguistic incompetence: Giving an account of researching multilingually. International Journal of Applied Linguistics, 23: 329–341. doi: 10.1111/ijal.12042
- Issue online: 6 NOV 2013
- Version of Record online: 6 NOV 2013
- Manuscript Received: 23 JUN 2013
- Islamic University Gaza
- linguistic incompetence;
- researching multilingually;
- linguistic hospitality;
This paper considers the place of linguistic competence and incompetence in the context of researching multilingually. It offers a critique of the concept of competence and explores the performative dimensions of multilingual research and its narration, through the philosophy of Judith Butler, and in particular her study Giving an account of oneself. It explores aspects of risk, justice, narrative limit and a morality of multilingualism in emergent multilingual research frameworks. These theoretical dimensions are explored through consideration of ‘linguistically incompetent’ ethnographic work with refugees and asylum seekers, in contexts of hospitality and in life long learning research in the Gaza Strip, and of early attempts to learn new languages. The paper offers a prospect of a relational approach to researching multilingually and affirms the vulnerability at the heart of linguistic hospitality.