Relational Eco linguistics and Speculative Fabulations

Research Journal Of English (RJOE) 7 (Special Issue-2):103-116 (2022)
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With rising portmanteaux such as Ecosophy and ecolinguistics, a significant trend that aims to blend ecology with multiple disciplines continues to be on the ascent since the last century. The recent challenge to the anthropocentric worldview is a crucial motivation for such blends. With the upheaval of "genetic information," the information system that formerly bolstered and maintained anthropocentrism is now challenging its tenets. The term eco refers to the critical relationships between humans and nonhumans, between microscopic and macroscopic worlds. Ecolinguistics studies the relation between eco and how we communicate about ecological entities and processes. Many studies have revealed how language and communication influence the environment and its nonhuman inhabitants. Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA henceforth), for instance, has exposed the role of language in reducing and promoting racism, social inequalities, and sexism. In a larger framework, Ecosophy provides intellectual and empirical insights that can give succinct access to unmuted communications in a more-than-human world by participating in more-than-mammal philosophies of survival, living, and dying. The paper will explore Dona Haraway's notion of SF (an abbreviation for speculative fabulations, string figures, speculative philosophy, and situated feminism) and Gregory Bateson's relational thesis of "double descriptions" to unite 'eco' and 'language' with each other. This will be done by suggesting alternative ways of approaching CDA and possible linguistic renovations (for instance, Prof. S. Veeramani’s notion of relexifying terms to promote environmental sensitivity and awareness).

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Rahul D. Gautam
University of Delhi


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