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Mikhail Bakhtin & The Problem of Speech Genres

"Language enters life through concrete utterances and life enters through concrete utterances as well"

Marcia Bilbo

on 16 October 2012

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Transcript of Mikhail Bakhtin & The Problem of Speech Genres

"Language enters life through concrete utterances and life enters through concrete utterances as well" The Problem with Speech Genres The Problem of the Speech Genres Problem with Grammar Basically is that it was generally ignore in the study of linguistics. Bakhtin argued that speech genres are the link between language and life and ignoring the nature of utterances distorts the historicity of research and weakens the link between language and life.

Problem with Linguistic Styles Problem: Language styles are just generic styles for certain spheres of human activity and communication

Solution: Bakhtin calls for a move from a simple description of styles to a historical explanation of changes by developing a special history of speech genres that reflects all the changes that occur in social life.
Problem: Grammar differs from style

Solution: a profound understanding of the nature of the utterance and the particular features of speech genres will show how grammar can't be studied without stylistic observation. Language and speech genres or utterances enter our experiences and consciousness together and in close connection with each other. We are given speech genres the same way we are given our native language: through experience

A study of utterances as a real unit of speech communication will make it possible to understand more correctly the nature of language units as more than a system of words and sentences.

Problem with Speech Communion Problem: Language is regarded from the speaker's standpoint as if there were only one speaker who does not have any necessary relation to other participants in communication

Solution: Any understanding of live speech is inherently responsive and the listener is actively responding through understanding that leads them to agree, disagree, alter or apply the information being heard.
Problem with Speech Communion Rhetoric and Speech Genres In rhetoric, the speaker demonstrates the conventional flow of communication and primary speech genres. The speaker raises questions, responds, raises objections, and so on.

Problem: Linguistics has not transformed the word speech into a definite term with clear-cut semantic boundaries. The terminology of our speech is imprecise and confusing.

Solution: Research into the problem of the utterance, speech genres, and communication can help to clear up the ambiguity. Difference Between the Utterance and the Sentence Sentences as a unit of language differ from utterances in that we don't exchange sentences or words. We exchange utterances constructed from language units like words, sentences, and phrases.

Speech genres are more flexible than language genres and are not created but given to the speaker. Sentences are basically used to properly express what we wish to say.

Sentences do not belong to us and only function as a part of an utterance. The audience acts as a responsive listener that understands the information and responds to it through a response or behavior.
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