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michelle.lee's picture

A Look into Language

When someone mentioned in class that language was a feminist issue, I was so curious as to how.  Beyond perhaps certain words ending in "man," I couldn't think of a way that language could be sexist.  "'The english language is sexist in so far as it relegates women to a secondary and inferior lace in society'" (Spender 15).  Language is the way that you communicate with others and express yourself, if that is inherently male, then how are women expected to express themselves?   As we saw in The Book of Salt, it was difficult for Bìhn to progress further in his community because of the language barrier.   He doesn't have the tools to gain social capital. He lacks the ability to speak in a certain way that will gain him a higher position in life.  


ewippermann's picture

A Ubiquitous Universal Grammar

Neurocognitive linguistics offers an approach to linguistics which focuses on identifying the cognitive processes by which the brain acquires and uses language, the operations that underlie the language function, and the physical structures in the brain that account for language. Language acquisition represents the immense difficulties linguists have in explaining and proving assertions from the scarce linguistic data available today. Every cognitively normal child is able to, and if exposed to other speakers definitely will, develop and learn a language natively. This is because language is not a learned skill, but an instinct.

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