Accessible Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter Mouton 2021

1 Speaking

Nicolas Bencherki

Abstract

While speaking is often contrasted with writing, this chapter considers that ambiguity between the two modalities confers to speaking its ability to affect organizing. The chapter conceptually discusses how these modalities have been distinguished, including by considering speaking as a human prerogative and writing as a derivative, and suggests that such distinctions are hard to justify. The chapter calls for greater attention to the performative power of speaking and to the emancipatory facet of talk, and suggests that closer attention to how people speak would reveal how they constitute a shared world. After questioning whether distinguishing talk and text is useful, the chapter shows that the two are in fact blended, especially when viewing speaking as situated action, when paying attention to conversational dynamics or when exploring its performative dimension, which leads to recognizing its critical implications in terms of giving a voice to all in constituting a collectivity.

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