Talbot J. Taylor
Although what language users in different cultures say about their own language has long been recognized as of potential interest, its theoretical importance to the study of language has typically been thought to be no more than peripheral. "Theorizing Language" is the first book to place the reflexive character of language at the very centre both of its empirical study and of its theoretical explanation. Language can only be explained as a cultural product of the reflexive application of its own creative powers to construct, regulate, and give conceptual form to objects of understanding. Language is itself, first and foremost, an object of cultural understanding. Theoretical analyses of language which have neglected its reflexive character, or simply taken its effects for granted, merely impose their own artificial structures on their analytical object. The first part of this book discusses the consequences of neglecting this reflexive character for the technical concepts and methods which are used in analysing different types of communicational phenomena. In the second part, normativity - a crucial aspect of language's reflexive nature - is examined. The book's third and final part focuses on particular issues in the history of linguistic thought which bear witness to the rhetoric of language theorizing as a reflexive form of inquiry.
With contributions of Simone Bonnafous, Françoise Gadet, Paul Henry, Alain Lecomte, Jacqueline Léon, Denise Maldidier, Jean-Marie Marandin and Michel Plon
This volume offers the long-awaited overview of the work of the French philosopher and discourse analyst Michel Pêcheux, who was the leading figure in French discourse analysis until his death in 1983. The volume presents the first English publication of the work of Pêcheux and his coworkers on automatic discourse analysis. It is presented with extensive annotations and introductions, written by former colleagues such as Françoise Gadet, Paul Henry and Denise Maldidier. Outside France, French discourse analysis is almost exclusively known as the form of philosophical discourse presented by such authors as Michel Foucault and Jacques Derrida. The contemporary empirical forms of French discourse analysis have not reached a wider public to the degree they deserve. Through its combination of original texts, annotations, and several introductory texts, this volume facilitates an evaluation of both results and weaknesses of French discourse analysis in general and of the work of Michel Pêcheux and his coworkers in particular.