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Metaphors of Change in the Language of Nineteenth-Century Fiction – Scott, Gaskell, and Kingsley - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Metaphors of Change in the Language of Nineteenth-Century Fiction: Scott, Gaskell, and Kingsley

Megan Perigoe Stitt


From the beginning of the 19th century, the emerging study of language shared with geology certain metaphors — co-existing but mutually incompatible — to describe theories of change. The Tower of Babel, Rise and Fall, Line and Branch were ideas that fed both disciplines; and linguistic study sometimes drew its imagery directly from geology, comparing varieties of language to fossils marking layers of development. At the same time, tension arose between the concept of language as a fixed sign and the wish to endorse it as a tool for change, an unpredictable maker of history. This book looks in ... More

Keywords: 19th century, language, geology, metaphors, theories of change

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 1998 Print ISBN-13: 9780198184423
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198184423.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Megan Perigoe Stitt, author
McGill University, Montreal