This paper provides a linguistic analysis of depictions of female characters in selected West African fiction with a view to illustrating the role language plays in overtly and covertly conveying sexist language and ideology. Unequal representation of the genders by male and female writers is noted. Sexist language appears to be more frequently employed in female writers' works, while a covert chauvinistic ideology is more evident in male writers' works. Asymmetries in equivalent gender-specific terms and other linguistic devices are demonstrably revealing of societal gender inequities that tend to favor males. Whether innocent or purposeful, these devices play a vital role in creating perspective. As demonstrated, West African females are simultaneously demeaned and celebrated in the literature.


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pp. 113-138
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