Questions on "Language and Violence" Submitted for Past LBST Comprehensive Exams



Question 1

In "Language and Violence," the thesis was presented that language is inseparable from the distribution of power in society.  Whether addressing subtle, abusive or grievous forms of linguistic violence, issues of power are involved.  Select one of these types of linguistic violence and answer the following question.

"How does this type of linguistic violence illustrate the unequal distribution of power in society, and in what ways can the exposure of this type of linguistic violence contribute to a liberal studies education?"
 

Question 2

In "Language and Violence," the issue of official languages was addressed.  Whether legally sanctioned, a specific form of speech generally receives legitimacy within a society.  Select an example of a non-official form of speech, such as Spanish or Ebonics in the United States, and answer the following question.

"In what ways can speakers of a non-official form of speech be viewed as victims of linguistic alienation, and how can strategies for linguistic emancipation for these groups be viewed as contributing to a liberal studies education?"
 

Question 3

In "Language and Violence," a continuum of linguistic violence was presented that ranged from subtle forms through abusive forms to grievous forms.  In each of these three main areas, numerous specific examples were examined.  Select one of these specific examples and answer the following question concerning it.

"How does this example illustrate one of the types of linguistic violence and the manner in which an identifiable group can be hurt or harmed by language, and in what ways can consideration of this example of linguistic violence contribute to a liberal studies education?"
 

Question 4

In "Language and Violence," the debate between linguistic determinists and their critics permeated discussion of the types of linguistic violence.  For each type, some theorists see limited prospects for reducing linguistic violence and others propose specific strategies to reduce it.  Select one of the essays covered in which this issue was given extensive treatment and answer the following question.

"How and with what success does the author characterize the likelihood that this form of linguistic violence can be reduced, and in what ways does consideration of this debated topic with linguistic theory contribute to a liberal studies education?"