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Encyclopedia > Native Tongue (novel)
Title Native Tongue
Author Suzette Haden Elgin
Country United States
Language English
Series Native Tongue
Genre(s) Science fiction novel
Publisher Feminist Press (reprint)
Released 1984
Media type Print (Hardback & Paperback)
Pages 320 pp
ISBN ISBN 1558612467
Followed by The Judas Rose

Native Tongue is the first novel in Suzette Haden Elgin's feminist science fiction series of the same name. The trilogy is centered in a future dystopian American society where the 19th Amendment has been repealed and women have been stripped of civil rights. A group of women, part of a world-wide group of linguists who facilitate human communication with alien races, create a new language for women as an act of resistance. The language, Làadan, was actually created by Elgin and instructional materials are available. Suzette Haden Elgin is an American science fiction author. ... The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ... Some notable science fiction novels, in alphabetical order by title: 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne 2001: A Space Odyssey by Arthur C. Clarke 334 by Thomas M. Disch An Age by Brian Aldiss The Andromeda Strain by Michael Crichton The Atrocity Exhibition by J.G. Ballard... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article may require cleanup. ... Suzette Haden Elgin is an American science fiction author. ... LeGuins Left Hand Of Darkness Feminist science fiction is a subgenre of science fiction that focuses on the examination of womens roles in society. ... A dystopia (or alternatively cacotopia) is a fictional society, usually portrayed as existing in a future time, when the conditions of life are extremely bad due to deprivation, oppression, or terror. ... Amendment XIX in the National Archives Amendment XIX (the Nineteenth Amendment) to the United States Constitution provides that neither the individual states of the United States nor its federal government may deny a citizen the right to vote because of the citizens sex. ... Image of a woman on the Pioneer plaque sent to outer space. ... Civil rights or positive rights are those legal rights retained by citizens and protected by the government. ... Linguistics is the scientific study of language, which can be theoretical or applied. ... Láadan is a constructed language created by Suzette Haden Elgin in 1982 to test the Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis for women, specifically to determine if Western natural languages were better suited for expressing the views of men than women. ...

Elgin has said about the book:

Native Tongue was a thought experiment, with a time limit of
ten years. My hypothesis was that if I constructed a
language designed specifically to provide a more adequate
mechanism for expressing women's perceptions, women would (a)
embrace it and begin using it, or (b) embrace the idea but not
the language, say "Elgin, you've got it all wrong!" and
construct some other "women's language" to replace it. The ten
years went by, and neither of those things happened; Láadan got
very little attention, even though SF3 actually published its
grammar and dictionary and I published a cassette tape to go with
it. Not once did any feminist magazine (or women's magazine) ask
me about the language or write a story about it.
The Klingon language, which is as "masculine" as you could
possibly get, has had a tremendous impact on popular
culture -- there's an institute, there's a journal, there
were bestselling grammars and cassettes, et cetera, et
cetera; nothing like that happened with Láadan. My
hypothesis therefore was proved invalid, and the conclusion I
draw from that is that in fact women (by which I mean women who
are literate in English, French, German, and Spanish, the
languages in which Native Tongue appeared) do not find
human languages inadequate for communication. [1]


  1. ^ Glatzer, Jenna (2007). Interview With Suzette Haden Elgin. Retrieved on 2007-03-20.

2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the Anno Domini (common) era. ... March 20 is the 79th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (80th in leap years). ...

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