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Gender and Language

Towards a Feminist Pragmatics

Christine Christie

Paperback (Printed to Order)

Gender and Language introduces an approach to the study of language use that explores the relationship between meaning generation and gender. Aimed at an interdisciplinary audience the book is both an accessible introductory text for students and an original contribution to current academic debates in feminism, gender theory, discourse analysis and linguistics.

Christine Christie offers a systematic introduction to pragmatic approaches such as relevance theory, speech act theory and politeness theory. Each pragmatic approach is carefully explained and illustrated using practical examples that show how pragmatics can inform feminist analyses of naturally occurring language use across a range of contexts, including news texts, informal conversation, institutional dialogue and political discourse.

Gender and Language demonstrates how the application of pragmatic concepts - such as entailment, presupposition, implicature and textual coherence - provides insights into the way that gender is implicated in meaning generation, and the way that language functions generally in relation to its socio-culturally situated users. The book also shows how the insights offered by pragmatic analyses can inform debates surrounding the linguistic construction of gender.

  • Key Features
  • The first pragmatic approach to the study of gender and language use
  • Interdisciplinary in scope
  • Accessibly written with basic concepts clearly explained
  • Practical examples to illustrate each pragmatic theory


1. Introduction
2. Feminist accounts of gender and language use
3. Language use and the generation of meaning
4. Language and performativity
5. Gricean pragmatics
6. Post-Gricean pragmatics: Politeness Theory and Relevance Theory
7. Conclusion.

About the Author

Christine Christie is a tutor in the Department of English and Drama at Loughborough University.


The book is both an original contribution to current academic debates in feminism, discourse analysis and linguistics, and an accessible introductory text for students.
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