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Communication Dans Un Congrès Année : 2017

Language ideologies and feminist linguistic reforms

Ann Coady


Changes in gender relations over the past few decades have affected language use, notably the creation of new titles such as Ms or Mx, the use of gender-neutral job titles such as firefighter, or the use of singular they. This presentation aims to the underlying ideologies that are used both in support of, and against these types of politically responsive linguistic reforms, which is essential in understanding their acceptance or rejection. Indeed, very little research has specifically focused on sexism as an endogenous part of the text, and how it is defined and debated in the media. In order to address this issue, articles from a variety of British newspapers from 2000 to 2016 that deal explicitly with gender-related linguistic initiatives were analysed. The articles themselves, as well as how the public responded in the comments section, were analysed using a corpus linguistics approach, in conjunction with a feminist critical discourse analysis. Collocations, concordances, and semantic preferences of the corpus were examined in order to uncover what kinds of discourses and ideologies, regarding gender as well as language, underpin people’s opinions on gender-related linguistic reforms. Debates about language are excellent linguistic-ethnographic targets as not only do they highlight the question of language authority i.e. who has the right to promote, or eliminate certain terms, but they also belong to a 'double discourse' in which both ideologies of language as well as gender ideologies are debated. Debates on feminist linguistic initiatives are thus seen as a site of struggle over both language, and gender identity.
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Dates et versions

hal-04012803 , version 1 (03-03-2023)


  • HAL Id : hal-04012803 , version 1


Ann Coady. Language ideologies and feminist linguistic reforms. iMean5, University of the West of England, Apr 2017, Bristol, United Kingdom. ⟨hal-04012803⟩


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