chapter  4
“I Always Wanted to Marry a Cowboy”: Bilingual Couples, Language,and Desire: Ingrid Piller
ByDesire Ingrid Piller
Pages 18

This chapter investigates various forms of desire that are intermeshed with the desire for another language, a phenomenon I described as “language desire” in Piller (2002a). In particular, I am concerned with two distinct forms of desire-romantic desire for a partner from a different language background than one’s own native language and, once such a relationship has been established, a desire to raise one’s children bilingually. Unrelated as these two forms of desire may seem at first glance, they are often inextricably linked in the lives of linguistic border crossers by marriage. I will draw on data from the semiprivate conversations of English-and Germanspeaking bilingual couples, as well as the representations of bilingual couples in the media. Such public discourses are often drawn upon in private discourses and help to structure desire.