By Jean-Jacques Lecercle

ISBN-10: 9004147519

ISBN-13: 9789004147515

The aim of this booklet is to provide an actual aspiring to the formulation: English is the language of imperialism. knowing that assertion contains a critique of the dominant perspectives of language, either within the box of linguistics (the e-book has a bankruptcy criticising Chomsky’s study programme) and of the philosophy of language (the booklet has a bankruptcy assessing Habermas’s philosophy of communicative action).

The ebook goals at developing a Marxist philosophy of language, embodying a view of language as a social, old, fabric and political phenomenon. considering there hasn't ever been a robust culture of brooding about language in Marxism, the booklet presents an summary of the query of Marxism in language (from Stalin’s pamphlet to Voloshinov's publication, taking in an essay via Pasolini), and it seeks to build a few techniques for a Marxist philosophy of language.
The booklet belongs to the culture of Marxist critique of dominant ideologies. it's going to be fairly precious to those that, within the fields of language examine, literature and communique reviews, have made up our minds that language isn't in basic terms an tool of verbal exchange.

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Additional info for A Marxist Philosophy of Language (Historical Materialism Book Series, Volume 12)

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Chomsky’s claim is that what is fixed is not the concept ‘house’ itself, but a considerably more abstract concept of ‘container’, which serves as a superordinate for the names of all possible containers. And he will indicate the vagueness of this abstraction by specifying that the container is typically seen from the outside, as shown by the contrast between my initial utterance and the following one: (2) He painted his cave in red ochre. But this is a perceptual, not a linguistic, contrast: certain container objects are typically or primarily perceived from the outside, others from the inside.

It might be thought that my critique involves a misunderstanding. Chomsky and I are not referring to the same thing. He is talking about an object constructed by science – the I-language – whereas I am referring to a social human practice. I am describing phenomena; he is furnishing their most abstract structures. I am writing an ode to the setting sun; he is an astronomer. 12 See Lakoff and Johnson 1980. Critique of Linguistics • 27 However, this is not exactly true. For Chomsky naturally constructs his Ilanguage on the basis of phenomena that interest me.

But as the construction occurs frequently, it does not take long to come across counter-examples, which are perfectly intelligible and are not experienced by native speakers as solecisms. Here is one drawn from a detective novel. The station-master is trying to calm an irate customer who claims that the porter has insulted him and that this is bad for his heart: (18) If you’ve got a bad heart, I should calm yourself, Sir. This sentence seems to be the grammatically unwarranted combination of two sentences that conform to the rules: (19) If you’ve got a bad heart, you should calm yourself, Sir.

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A Marxist Philosophy of Language (Historical Materialism Book Series, Volume 12) by Jean-Jacques Lecercle


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