Context Counts

Context Counts : Papers on Language, Gender, and Power

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Context Counts assembles, for the first time, the work of pre-eminent linguist Robin Tolmach Lakoff. A career that spans some forty years, Lakoff remains one of the most influential linguists of the 20th-century. The early papers show the genesis of Lakoff's inquiry into the relationship of language and social power, ideas later codified in the groundbreaking Language and Woman's Place and Talking Power. The late papers reflect her continued exposition of power dynamnics beyond gender that are established and represented in language. This volume offers a retrospective analysis of Lakoff's work, with each paper preceded by an introduction from a prominent linguist in the field, including both contemporaries and students of Lakoff's work, and further, Lakoff's own conversation with these responses. This engaging and, at times, moving reevaluation pays homage to Lakoff's far-reaching influence upon linguistics, while also serving as an unusual form of autobiography revealing the decades' long evolution of a scholary career.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 424 pages
  • 163 x 234 x 26mm | 586g
  • Oxford University Press
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0195119894
  • 9780195119893

About Robin Tolmach Lakoff

Robin Lakoff is is a professor of Linguistics at the University of California, Berkeley. Her 1975 book Language and Woman's Place is often credited with establishing language and gender as an object of study in linguistics and other disciplines.

Laurel Sutton is a linguist and branding expert living in the San Francisco Bay Area. After earning her Master's in Linguistics from UC Berkeley, she went on to co-found Catchword, a top-tier naming company. Her linguistic expertise is in phonetics and sociolinguistics.
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Review quote

"Robin Lakoff's work is inspirational. Just read her captivating, reflective Afterword to understand why. Using a distinctive personal and often passionate voice from her earliest articles in the 1970s, she has consistently enriched and deepened linguistic analysis with insightful social and political perspectives when many were heading in a very different direction. Her perceptive analyses of the interaction of gender and power in particular have been a consistent theme throughout. I was lucky enough to be one of those who heard her voice and loved her writing from the first, and I have continued to do so through to the present, an exciting intellectual and socio-political journey which is reflected very satisfyingly in this "attractive, substantial and tasty" linguistic treasury of her work."--Janet Holmes, Emeritus Professor of Linguistics, Victoria University of Wellington"This book finally allows insight into the amazing intellectual trajectory of Robin Lakoff by covering the huge range of her work across so many relevant fields of Linguistics, Pragmatics, Feminist Linguistics, and Sociolinguistics. The selected papers manifest the enormous range of expertise and knowledge acquired over many years. Robin Lakoff's innovative and dedicated scholarship will continue to inspire students and academics alike. A must-read!"--Ruth Wodak, Emeritus Professor, Distinguished Professor and Chair in Discourse Studies, Lancaster University/University Vienna"Robin Lakoff is brilliant. In this breathtaking body of work spanning several decades, she demonstrates the analytical power of the social scientist and the interpretive strength of the humanist brought together to provide insight after insight into how language works and how it shapes and takes shape from the human experience. If you are in any way interested in modern linguistics - in the intersection of language theory and language use - and in how to view the world through a lens that embraces women as well as men - this is a must read."--Janet L. Holmgren, President Emerita, Mills College and former Susan Mills Professor of English; Author (Janet Holmgren McKay) of Narration and Discourse in American Realistic Fiction (1982) and co-author with Spencer Cosmos of The Story of English (1986)."This collection provides a window into the brilliant mind of Robin Tolmach Lakoff, one of the most important linguists of our current era. The articles reprinted here, each revolutionary in its own right, are as bold and relevant now as they were at the time of their first publishing. These are elegant essays, crafted by a scholar and public intellectual who has transformed our understanding of semantic, pragmatic, and sociopolitical meaning."--Kira Hall, Associate Professor of Linguistics and Anthropology, University of Colorado
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