A Marxist Philosophy of Language (Historical Materialism by Jean-Jacques Lecercle

By Jean-Jacques Lecercle

The aim of this publication is to provide an exact intending to the formulation: English is the language of imperialism. realizing that assertion includes a critique of the dominant perspectives of language, either within the box of linguistics (the booklet has a bankruptcy criticising Chomsky’s examine programme) and of the philosophy of language (the ebook has a bankruptcy assessing Habermas’s philosophy of communicative action).

The publication goals at developing a Marxist philosophy of language, embodying a view of language as a social, ancient, fabric and political phenomenon. for the reason that there hasn't ever been a robust culture of pondering language in Marxism, the ebook presents an summary of the query of Marxism in language (from Stalin’s pamphlet to Voloshinov's ebook, taking in an essay by means of Pasolini), and it seeks to build a couple of thoughts for a Marxist philosophy of language.
The publication belongs to the culture of Marxist critique of dominant ideologies. it may be rather beneficial to people who, within the fields of language learn, literature and verbal exchange reviews, have made up our minds that language isn't purely an software of communique.

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Extra resources for A Marxist Philosophy of Language (Historical Materialism Book Series, Volume 12)

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In one and the same sentence, he gives the customer some friendly advice, which is a disguised reprimand, and pretends to put himself in the customer’s shoes, to adopt his viewpoint. The sentence is the happy result of a polyphony, a mixture of voices and viewpoints. Chomsky would reply that this counter-example uses the rules more than it infringes them. Or, rather, at the very moment when it infringes them, it acknowledges them as rules. But rules that can be exploited for expressive Critique of Linguistics • 33 purposes (as are all the rules of grammar) are not really the same thing as the linguistic translation of information inscribed in the genes or neuronal circuits: if the rule can be exploited, is made to be exploited, then it is a conventional rule [thesei], rather than a natural law [phusei], and it is difficult to conceive an innate property that anticipates the ways in which it will be exploited (which, by definition, are diverse and innumerable).

The student can be expected to know them without instruction’: as this construction is rare, and elevated in register, we are always dealing with a population of highly educated speakers. As for my francophone students, they commit every imaginable error in these constructions: the principles are not as universal as all that (and yet the French language also possesses reciprocal pronouns). Finally, ‘the principles . . belong to “universal grammar”’: this fixity is doubtful, since the construction has a history and, given that the detail of the 13 Chomsky 1987, p.

I begin with an actual error drawn from work by a student on an English degree: (10) In Gogol’s ‘The Picture’, the character’s dreams are embedded one within each other. The grammar that I try to teach my students stipulates that you should write: ‘one within the other’. We can see the source of the error: the student is illicitly combining two reciprocal constructions – ‘they looked at each other’ and ‘each looked at the other’. Chomsky only considers the latter and ignores the former. It is easy to see why: they do not have the same syntax.

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