Linguistic innovation in feminist utopian fiction

Deirdre Burton


In this paper I shall be discussing some recent feminist
utopian novels and some of the more interesting implications and questions we might draw from a close study of the linguistic innovations in them. Consistently, we find that defamiliarisation of the language of the idealised world is a recurrent characteristic. I shall begin by describing four of these texts to you, in general. I shall go on to map out the types of defamiliarisation they offer the reader, linking this with the Sapir -Whorl hypothesis which asserts, in its strongest form, a determining connection between a culture's language, its thought and its reality. The implications and questions I want to draw from these comparisons are two-fold. The first is socio -linguistic and concerns real life issues of whether linguistic change is a necessary part of conceptual change.


English Language; English


Copyright (c) 1985 Deirdre Burton

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