Mikhail Bakhtin

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What were Bakhtin's main concerns regarding language and how does he treat language?

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Bakhtin believed that language should be studied for its dynamic, real life, elements of speech and social relations. He did not think, as some structuralists did, that language is an abstract system because such thinking ignored language as a living, subjective, system of fluxing social relations. 

Bakhtin used the term "heteroglossia" ("hetero" meaning "different" and glossa meaning languages) to describe how language is an ever changing complex of social dialects, class dialects, jargon, fads, and intertextual references. Bakhtin concluded that the novel is the best genre to showcase the heteroglossia of language because the novel includes more elements of everyday speech and thereby, more dialects, and a greater range of social, class, and cultural languages. Bakhtin believed that poetry can showcase heteroglossia but that its limitations to poetic diction limit its emphasis on different languages and...

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