When Sex talks. Evidence from the "Coruña Corpus of English Scientific Writing" (Isabel Moskowich)
Isabel Moskowich When Sex talks. Evidence from the Coruña Corpus of English Scientiﬁc Writing1 1. Introduction The relation of language to its function has been a central concern not only for the many functionalist schools of linguistics but also in areas such as sociolinguistics and pragmatics. Function here is undoubtedly social in nature, in that the very essence of language is in the communi- cation between human beings. In this sense, pragmatics may be said to constitute a further step in the study of how context inﬂuences the ways in which speakers use and interpret language (Mey 2001). As a natural consequence of this social and pragmatic function, language is never devoid of those shades of meaning that frequently have their origin out- side the linguistic system proper, shades of meanings which indeed are of especial interest in pragmatics. Since the publication of Robin Lakoff’s Language and women’s place (1975) there has been a tendency to view the linguistic relationship between men and women in society as wholly asymmetrical in terms of power, with both men’s dominance and women’s subordinate roles pre- served through linguistic behaviour (Lakoff 2003). However, whereas one may think that when dealing with language and gender the focus would be on the differences between linguistic habits of men and women, the ﬁeld of study has in fact undergone a theoretical shift towards diver- sity in gender identity (Cameron 2005: 482), with language being one of the prime manifestations of such identity. Diversity or...
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