WSTC28 W8.docx

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Women's and Gender Studies
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Atiqa Hachimi

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WSTC28 W8 - Language changes over time - We can study change in language by looking at o Look at age – compare the speech of younger and older people - What kind of language change goes Lavov (sp?) talk about? o Natural language change o Interventionist language change  Feminists are more interested in this  Why shouldn’t we wait til language changes itself? Why should we have intervention language, like Mrs. Ms.? Does it interventionist change make a difference? (a kind of essay question) Conscious and interventionist language change - Natural o Just how it happens - Interventionist o Sexuality – derogatory terms into more reclaimed term  i.e. gay  queer o Racist language  Change to what is politically correct o Feminist language change is a little different - Verbal hygiene Gender and conscious/interventionist language change - Feminist critique of language - Creation of alternative language items - Generic key changes to he/she  they - Do you think there is connection between neutral language and sexist language? o Chinese has no sexual distinction in speaking. But do you think Chinese culture is less sexist? No. Challenges to sexist language - Does it make a difference? o Do people actually abide by it? o Don’t use this word that refers to womean dand minorieis in certain way… etc. - The law of unintended consequences Later feminist challenges - Even gender neutral terms can be sexist - Meaning is radically contextual o No matter what you say it depends on context
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