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date: 07 March 2021

Abstract and Keywords

Money and language are intertwined. From Geoffrey Chaucer to Friedrich Nietzsche, William Langland, and Jacques Derrida, writers and thinkers invoke the language of money when talking about linguistic practice. The pervasive relationship between money and language is more than metaphorical. As a discipline, neoclassical economics is a language consisting of metaphors, foundational myths, and fictional underpinnings. In Symbolic Economies, Jean-Joseph Goux argues that money, language, and psychoanalysis are symbolic economies because they share a similar gendered investment in exchange and value. This article explores some of the links among money, gender, and language in the realm of value and its accompanying anxieties in the Middle Ages. It considers the idea among medieval writers that language and money are based on nature and analyzes William Langland’s Piers Plowman to highlight not only the instantiations among money, language, and gender but also the projection of social instability onto women.

Keywords: money, language, neoclassical economics, gender, Middle Ages, nature, William Langland, Piers Plowman, social instability, women

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