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The corporeal meaning of language: A semiotic approach to musical glossolalia

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From the journal Semiotica


A number of studies have investigated glossolalia from different points of view, dealing with its various occurrences in the religious, psychopathological, and – more recently – also poetic and musical domains. The impossibility of fully understanding such a phenomenon through a purely linguistic approach has then increasingly emerged, pointing out the need to adopt a broader perspective. However, no extensive research has been developed on musical glossolalia – and especially on its non-religious forms – from such a point of view. The present paper aims precisely at filling this gap: philosophical discussion of existing literature and the semiotic analysis of particularly relevant case studies of glossolalia in the musical domain help us shed new light on the functioning mechanisms of such a phenomenon, hence suggesting effective tools for understanding how it acquires meaning and produces sense.


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Published Online: 2018-12-19
Published in Print: 2019-07-26

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