From Languaging to Linguistic Meaning

Bottineau Didier
Language of the article : French
DOI: 10.3406/intel.2017.1858
Product variations: 


Paper format

to download freely

Enactive cognition rejects the notion of representation as an explanatory principle of cognitive activity. This immediately poses a problem for the study of human language, which is usually understood as the study of the relationships between symbolic forms, individual thought and a world of local perception and general knowledge. This study explores how the notion of linguistic meaning can be revised within the enactive paradigm and without presupposing the notions of world and thought as autonomous material and spiritual entities without a genesis of their own. It begins with languaging as energeia and embodied, interactive and situated activity, and details its contribution to the constitution of the experience of ordinary life as a production of meaning and empirical world, with or without the help of actual speech. It clarifies the difference between the analysis of language by linguistics, which views it as formal systems and objects, and the enactive approach, which considers it as an embodied and situated process. It proposes that because of this grounding, linguistic meaning must be viewed as an emerging and distinct phenomenon, which can be either merged with the immediate situation by its pragmatic role, or distinguished from it as an autonomous semantic creation; and it introduces a typology of classes of linguistic meaning according to their degree of relative inscription or autonomy and how speaking subjects reflect upon it. It specifies how certain linguistic components of speech and discourse (syntax, prosody, lexicon, grammatical morphs), redefined as processes, participate in the constitution of meaning, and sketches out perspectives in linguistic typology. The conclusion elucidates the meaning of languaging as a vector of co-evolution linking the species to its environment through language, languages and discourse.

Pour citer cet article :

Bottineau Didier (2017/2). From Languaging to Linguistic Meaning. In Bottineau Didier & Grégoire Michael (Eds), Language and enaction: embodiment, environment, experience, learning, Intellectica, 68, (pp.19-68), DOI: 10.3406/intel.2017.1858.