By Jean-Jacques Lecercle
The aim of this publication is to offer an actual desiring to the formulation: English is the language of imperialism. realizing that assertion comprises 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 e-book 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, old, fabric and political phenomenon. because there hasn't ever been a robust culture of wondering language in Marxism, the publication offers an summary of the query of Marxism in language (from Stalin’s pamphlet to Voloshinov's booklet, taking in an essay by means of Pasolini), and it seeks to build a couple of techniques for a Marxist philosophy of language.
The ebook belongs to the culture of Marxist critique of dominant ideologies. it may be rather worthy to those that, within the fields of language research, literature and communique stories, have made up our minds that language isn't simply an device of conversation.
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Additional info for A Marxist Philosophy of Language (Historical Materialism Book Series, Volume 12)
But on one condition: that the science thus deployed accounts for the phenomena. In the domain of language, this means: on condition that the 8 An extensional deﬁnition enumerates the elements concerned; an intensional deﬁnition supplies the rule of their collection. Critique of Linguistics • 23 theory of language thus constructed enables us to explain, even if abstractly and indirectly, the grammatical phenomena of natural languages. And, in this respect, there is, as I have suggested, an involution in the Chomskyan research programme.
The example Chomsky takes is reciprocal pronouns (‘each other’, ‘one another’). The rule of grammar governing the use of such pronouns is that they must have an antecedent in the plural. The problem is to ﬁnd the antecedent. In most instances, it is present in the same clause (Chomsky gives his examples in English, which for him has no consequences because he is describing an aspect of universal grammar): (5) The men recognised each other. ) But there are deﬁnitely complications, because the antecedent is not always in the same clause.
It would appear to have the ﬁxity sought by Chomsky. To see that this is an illusion, it sufﬁces to compare it with a similar construction, but with far more occurrences (4,700 per million words) – the reﬂexive construction (in English, pronouns ending in ‘-self’; French uses the pronoun se – il s’est regardé dans la glace [he looked at himself in the mirror] – or pronouns composed with même – il s’est blessé lui-même [he wounded himself]). The syntactical constraints on this construction likewise concern the determination of the pronoun’s antecedent.
A Marxist Philosophy of Language (Historical Materialism Book Series, Volume 12) by Jean-Jacques Lecercle