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Language and Violence  

Robin Conley Riner

Theorizations of language and violence have a long history of coarticulation. Those theorizing violence have looked to language to make sense of it, and scholars of language have recognized a violence inherent in its structure and use. Anthropologists have used ethnography to explore differing experiences of violence, with a focus on everyday violence. Such work has uncovered the ways in which language can facilitate, justify, construct, normalize, and resist experiences of violence. Linguistic anthropologists, in particular, have articulated the discursive nature of structural violence, speech acts as forms of violence, and language policies and forms of language classification as violent practices.