Download e-book for iPad: Language and Masculinity by Sally Johnson, Ulrike Hanna Meinhof

By Sally Johnson, Ulrike Hanna Meinhof

ISBN-10: 0631197680

ISBN-13: 9780631197683

Feminist linguistics has come of age. but, in additional than 20 years of analysis, male talking styles have principally been taken with no consideration. this is often the 1st huge account of men's language - of male methods of talking and of language within the development of masculinity.

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Example text

Many people will never employ words of this type, and most others will only use them in a restricted set of situations. For those who do use taboo words, however, 'breaking the rules' may have connotations of strength or free­ dom which they find desirable. Generally, the type of word that is tabooed in a particular language will be a good reflection of at least part of the system of values and beliefs of the society in question. In some com­ munities, word-magic plays an important part in religion, and certain words regarded as powerful will be used in spells and incantations.

In the case of bilingual individuals, this can even take place across languages, apparently. American Indian girl speakers of Nootka have been reported by teachers to be entirely unwilling to use the English word such because of the close phonetic resemblance it bears to the Nootka word for vagina. Similarly, Thai students in England are said to avoid the use of Thai words such as [kha:n] 'to crush' when speaking Thai in the presence of English speakers, in the belief that this could cause offence.

The second three examples show that there is more similarity within social than geographical groups - social dis­ tance is more differentiating than geographical distance. In the class societies of the English-speaking world the social situation is much more fluid, and the linguistic situation is therefore rather more complex, at least in certain respects. Social classes are not clearly defined or labelled entities but simply aggregates of people with similar social and economic character­ istics; and social mobility - movement up or down the social hierarchy - is perfectly possible.

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Language and Masculinity by Sally Johnson, Ulrike Hanna Meinhof

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