Dimensions of Language

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Course Objective

This module will take students through the key theoretical formulations on the nature of language, signification and communication with a view to studying language in/of literature and other forms of cultural production. It will engage with the various dimensions of language including, language use in everyday life, language contact and change, speech registers, vernaculars, standardization, and the limit of language.

Course Content

The course will provide a brief overview of the important contributions to the study of language, its origins, diversity, and its metaphysical, historical and political dimensions in order to attend to the multiple levels at which literature plays with and transforms language on the one hand, and is conditioned by on the other. A range of readings will be used to focus on: the relation between language use and a particular historical and social situation, and the work of literature in defining this relation; the politics of language with respect to state, religion, nation, gender and caste; subjectivity in language; metaphor and metonymy, literary stylistics and rhetoric; agrammaticality.
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