This paper explores the possibility of adopting a conception of language as something primarily composed of discrete units, put together according to a series of compositional rules, based on the comparative analysis of three different approaches. Firstly, it considers Schopenhauer’s interpretation of language as the « telegraph of thought », essentially composed of discrete parts corresponding to concepts, and consequently unable to reach the allegedly noumenic bottom of the world that is supposed to be foreign to any kind of individualization. Secondly, the paper focuses on William James’ ambivalent observations on language in his The Principles of Psychology. Basically, radicalizing William Gavin’s interpretation, the author argues that James’ criticism is directed at our habit of conceiving language as essentially composed of names ; on the contrary in the chapter on the stream of thought, James provides many suggestions on the capacity of language to express the transitive parts of thinking, while also arguing that names involve an indistinct fringe of other words. Finally, the paper considers the recently debated hypothesis that language and music co-evolved for a long period in the pre-history of Homo sapiens, by drawing upon common prosodic and affective resources. This hypothesis seems to support an anti-dichotomic approach, insofar as it considers continuity and discreteness to be different phases of linguistic practices.
Dreon, Roberta (Corresponding)
|Titolo:||Il discreto e il continuo nel linguaggio|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2019|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||2.1 Articolo su rivista |
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