ERIC Number: ED438573
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1999-May-20
The Utterance as Speech Genre in Mikhail Bakhtin's Philosophy of Language.
McCord, Michael A.
This paper focuses on one of the central concepts of Mikhail Bakhtin's philosophy of language: his theory of the utterance as speech genre. Before exploring speech genres, the paper discusses Bakhtin's ideas concerning language--both language as a general system, and the use of language as particular speech communication. The paper considers Bakhtin's work as an extreme reaction against Ferdinand de Saussure's distinction between "langue" and "parole" (still popular in many language skills and rhetorical technique textbooks). It also discusses the three factors Bakhtin lists as integral in any complete and final utterance: (1) referential and semantic exhaustiveness of the theme; (2) the speaker's motivation and plan; and (3) typical or generic (culturally understood) forms of finalization. The paper concludes that although Bakhtin's theories present problems, he shows amazing insight into the uses of language and speech genres. (NKA)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A