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By Deborah Cameron

Feminism has continually known the significance of language in either idea and perform; the hot feminist scholarship of the final 20 years has made vast use of theories approximately language in makes an attempt to appreciate and remodel women's lives. Feminism and Linguistic thought is a serious advent to this evolving physique of labor. Accessibly written and newly revised to take account of modern advancements, its scope is large, encompassing paintings in linguistics, anthropology, literary and cultural concept, psychoanalysis and postmodern philosophy.

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Extra resources for Feminism and Linguistic Theory

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The linguist's primary goal is not to describe in minute detail the 'impure' behaviour of speakers, but to construct the 'pure' system which that behaviour is based on. DIFFERING APPROACHES There are many schools of post-Saussurean linguistic theory. Here I want to note three main traditions, differentiated primarily by their emphasis. First, there is the 'structuralist' tradition, in many ways Linguistic Theory: Frameworks and Approaches 23 faithful to Saussure, but now often outside mainstream linguistics, concerned with other cultural systems as much as with language.

In one sense, probably not: the rolling stock is probably different, and the engine might be a different engine. Perhaps the train is held up at Three Bridges on the first occasion, but not on the second. Yet on another leveL these differences are pretty much irrelevant. 45 from Victoria. In terms of the system - the timetable of British Rail's Network South - it is the same train each week. 45 from Victoria' and the particular physical pieces of the train. Every time I utter a word, hello, say, it is slightly different in phonetic detail: that is a question of parole.

You cannot observe the system directly, of course, only people's concrete usage: but you can infer it, and formulate it as a set of rules. Saussure made a distinction between langue (language, the abstract system) and parole (speech, actual and concrete). He explained the difference here with a little parable about a train, which I will adapt. 45 from Victoria to visit my sister in Brighton. Then, the next Saturday, I do the same thing. Is it the same train and the same journey I take each' time?

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