Encyclopedia of Women & Islamic Cultures

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Language: Use by Women: Ottoman Empire
(2,438 words)

In the Ottoman Empire (1299–1922), a multiethnic and multireligious society, women of different backgrounds had different voices with respect to the representation of gender in literature. What is known about this subject is confined to the use of language, concepts, imagery, and motifs in the poetry of Ottoman Muslim women (both heterodox and orthodox), predominantly in the tradition of classical divan (compilation of poems) literature.

A female-specific language did not exist in divan literature; the reason for this should be sought not so much in language constru…

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Toska, Zehra , “Language: Use by Women: Ottoman Empire”, in: Encyclopedia of Women & Islamic Cultures, General Editor Suad Joseph. Consulted online on 09 February 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1872-5309_ewic_EWICCOM_0607e>
First published online: 2009

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