The Language of Borders

Reference work entry


Limits and edges of human experience, power, and control have been expressed in language from the time of earliest writing, and likely before then in the spoken words of ordering and bordering space and territory among people. Our brief discussion of the language of borders is not a comprehensive examination of the topic, but an invitation to evaluate how we speak and write about borders that are increasingly a part of our world. This chapter conveys our view of components and processes which help to understand how language of borders emerged, where border vocabularies are headed, and why this matters as we attempt to comprehend how to accommodate global diversity and population in a finite, changing global environment. To accomplish this, we explore the imaginary of border conceptions and social construction of border words, address the expanding border lexicon, examine the expression of meaning of borders, and assess the efficacy of the language of borders in a world at once more bounded and more” “borderless.”


Border imaginaries, lexicon, and meaning Speaking and writing borders Binaries and parallels Walls and barriers 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Carleton UniversityOttawaCanada
  2. 2.University of Eastern FinlandJoensuuFinland
  3. 3.University of ReginaReginaCanada

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