Kshetra and the nurturing of a plurilingual ethos

Family plurilingualism and coloniality


  • Lynn Mario Menezes de Souza University of São Paulo




decoloniality, family language policy, multilingualism, plurilingual ethos, southern approach


This article discusses a family’s plurilingualism from a southern and decolonial lens, looking at the role of language ideologies in its plurilingual practices. It focuses on the concept of space as kshetra and its accompanying plurilingual ethos, originating in the Asian origins of the family. The overarching claim is that by holding on to its legacy of a plurilingual ethos, the family has maintained its ever-changing plurilingualism over three generations by navigating a tension or duality between an out-group assimilation to the prevalent monolingualism that it encounters outside the home in its transcontinental migrations and an in-group maintenance of plurilingualism within the kshetra of the family. The article concludes that it appears to be the ethical attitude to linguistic and cultural heterogeneity, rather than the actual use or maintenance of a specific heritage language, that is of more value to transnational and transgenerational plurilingual families.

Author Biography

  • Lynn Mario Menezes de Souza, University of São Paulo

    Lynn Mario Menezes de Souza is Full Professor of English at the University of São Paulo. His recent publications include Glocal Languages and Critical Intercultural Awareness (Routledge, 2019, with M. Guilherme), De-universalizing the Decolonial (Gragoatá, 2021, with A. Duboc) and a chapter in A. Deumert and S. Makoni (eds), From Southern Theory to Decolonizing Sociolinguistics: Voices, Questions and Alternatives (Multilingual Matters, 2023).


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How to Cite

Menezes de Souza, L. M. (2024). Kshetra and the nurturing of a plurilingual ethos: Family plurilingualism and coloniality. Journal of Multilingual Theories and Practices, 4(2), 223-243. https://doi.org/10.1558/jmtp.26407