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Inhabiting Language, Constructing Language / Habiter la langue, construire la langue

by Rémi Digonnet (Volume editor)
Edited Collection 222 Pages
Series: GRAMM-R, Volume 41

Summary

The juxtaposition of habitat, a product of architecture, and speech, a product of language, enables us to envisage a dual orientation for what could be called "architexture". The architectural text focuses on the analysis of architects’ discourse, architectural metaphors or spatial markers and prepositions. Textual architecture, meanwhile, explores composition, syntactic ordering, text structure or "construction" grammars. Through verbalisation or spatialization, through verbal or architectural communication, the speaker and the architect are subjected to numerous constraints despite a certain freedom of speech and freedom of construction. Both this constructed speech and this spoken construction summon the architect-speaker to his or her language domus. It is this dual position that the articles in this collection aim to occupy.
 
La mise en regard de l’habitat, produit de l’architecture, et du discours, produit de la langue, permet d’envisager une double orientation de ce que l’on pourrait nommer l’« architexture ». Le texte de l’architecture traite de l’analyse de discours d’architectes, de métaphores architecturales ou de marqueurs spatiaux et prépositions spatiales, tandis que l’architecture du texte investit la composition, l’agencement syntaxique, la structure d’un texte ou encore les grammaires dites « de construction ». D’une mise en discours ou en espace, à travers une communication verbale ou architecturale, l’énonciateur et l’architecte sont soumis à de nombreuses contraintes en dépit d’une liberté de parole et de construction. Cette parole construite autant que cette construction parlée convoquent l’énonciateur-architecte dans sa domus langagière. C’est cette double posture qui fait l’objet des contributions de cet ouvrage collectif.

Table Of Content

  • Cover
  • Title
  • Copyright
  • About the editor
  • About the book
  • This eBook can be cited
  • Table of Contents
  • English Introduction
  • French Introduction
  • Part I: Constructing Language
  • Nation-building through Metaphor (Zoltán Kövecses)
  • Inhabiting Metaphorical Space. The Role of Prepositions in John Keats’s Conceptual Metaphors for Emotion (Katrina Brannon)
  • How did we Get “Upstairs”? Constructionalization in Adverb Formation and Other Issues (Andrew McMichael)
  • The Language of Space. A Linguistic Space? (Aurélie Barnabé)
  • Part II: Inhabiting Language
  • Dwelling in Language. The World and the Speaking Subject (Stephen A. Noble)
  • “Instead ay a view ay the castle, she’s goat a view ay the gasworks”. Language and Representation of the City in the Trainspotting Trilogy (Mathilde Pinson)
  • The Language of the Architect. Le Corbusier’s “Archilect” (Rémi Digonnet)
  • L’approche spatiale de l’architecture chez Nikolaus Pevsner (Anne Béchard-Léauté)
  • Un habitat collectif pour la langue. Écolinguistique, codification et aménagement linguistique (Christian Lagarde)
  • English Conclusion
  • French Conclusion
  • Index of Notions
  • Index of Authors
  • About the Authors
  • Notice sur les auteurs
  • Series index

Rémi Digonnet (ed.)

Inhabiting Language,
Constructing Language

Habiter la langue,
construire la langue

About the editor

Rémi Digonnet est maître de conférences en linguistique anglaise à l’université de Saint-Étienne. Ses recherches centrées sur l’analyse du discours et les divers procédés lexicogéniques concernent le domaine sensoriel. Il est l’auteur de Métaphore et olfaction : une approche cognitive, paru en 2016.

About the book

The juxtaposition of habitat, a product of architecture, and speech, a product of language, enables us to envisage a dual orientation for what could be called “architexture”. The architectural text focuses on the analysis of architects’ discourse, architectural metaphors or spatial markers and prepositions. Textual architecture, meanwhile, explores composition, syntactic ordering, text structure or “construction” grammars. Through verbalisation or spatialisation, through verbal or architectural communication, the speaker and the architect are subjected to numerous constraints despite a certain freedom of speech and freedom of construction. Both this constructed speech and this spoken construction summon the architect-speaker to his or her language domus. It is this dual position that the articles in this collection aim to occupy.

La mise en regard de l’habitat, produit de l’architecture, et du discours, produit de la langue, permet d’envisager une double orientation de ce que l’on pourrait nommer l’« architexture ». Le texte de l’architecture traite de l’analyse de discours d’architectes, de métaphores architecturales ou de marqueurs spatiaux et prépositions spatiales, tandis que l’architecture du texte investit la composition, l’agencement syntaxique, la structure d’un texte ou encore les grammaires dites « de construction ». D’une mise en discours ou en espace, à travers une communication verbale ou architecturale, l’énonciateur et l’architecte sont soumis à de nombreuses contraintes en dépit d’une liberté de parole et de construction. Cette parole construite autant que cette construction parlée convoquent l’énonciateur-architecte dans sa domus langagière. C’est cette double posture qui fait l’objet des contributions de cet ouvrage collectif.

This eBook can be cited

This edition of the eBook can be cited. To enable this we have marked the start and end of a page. In cases where a word straddles a page break, the marker is placed inside the word at exactly the same position as in the physical book. This means that occasionally a word might be bifurcated by this marker.

English Introduction

The House of Language

Language can be perceived as a habitat, a more or less enclosed space (idiolect, jargon), a more or less open and permeable terrain (plurilingualism, neology) in which and by which humankind inhabits, lives and evolves. Just like the dwelling which protects yet sometimes imprisons, familiar language reassures and ostracises at one and the same time. Language, which can be assimilated to a dwelling, an abode or even a roof over ones head, represents a refuge for mankind while allowing cohabitation, the coexistence of communities and exchange. Between the open and the closed, language and architecture aim at a balanced exchange between speaking subjects and living subjects. The juxtaposition of habitat, a product of architecture, and speech, a product of language, enables the perception of a double orientation of what could be called “architexture”, i.e. urbanistic discourse analysis on the one hand, and the exploration of the architecture of language, on the other hand. The architectural text can focus on various domains such as the analysis of specific corpora (founding texts, architects speeches, urbanistic theories), lexical analysis (urbanistic terminology, architectural metaphors) or grammar (spatial markers and prepositions). The textual architecture can explore syntactic ordering, composition, text structure or “construction” grammars. Creation and recycling principles, notions which apply equally to architecture and linguistics, can also partake of speech construction. Through verbalisation or spatialisation, through verbal or architectural communication, the speaker and the architect are subjected to numerous constraints (language, technique) despite a certain freedom of speech and freedom of construction. Both this constructed speech and this spoken construction summon the architect-speaker to his or her language domus.

Architectural Mythologies

Various characteristics permit one to distinguish between inhabiting and constructing. Dwelling often corresponds to a static event, whose key element remains horizontality. Inwardly-oriented, dwelling means protection. Conversely, constructing evokes a fundamentally dynamic event with verticality as key element. The construction work, often external, can be perceived as dangerous. Two poles can then be sketched,←11 | 12→ even if some characteristics, apparently belonging to one or the other are in fact interchangeable. At first sight, inhabitation appears as a life-long event when construction must remain ephemeral. Yet, inhabiting can be reduced to a few days (homeless welcoming centre) when construction can last for years (Gaudis Sagrada Familia) or even centuries (cathedrals). Likewise, if inhabitation is commonly viewed as a solitary place and construction as a collective work, what can be said about the community dwelling of the housing units designed by Le Corbusier or about the building of ones own shelter? The question is not to try to distinguish the inhabitation from the construction anymore but rather to observe the interactions between both concepts: a construction to dwell in or dwelling first, then constructing? In some cases, the builder and the dweller are the same, when ones own shelter is built to live in (prehistoric man); in some other cases, the builder is not the dweller, when architects and engineers build for the whole community (modern man). Often, the human being builds to dwell in, yet, there are cases when inhabitation precedes construction. Over time, from an impermanent dwelling, a construction can emerge (favelas) for the dweller who becomes the builder. Whats more, history has often proven that the inhabitant, viewed as occupier, has had a dwelling built by the indigenous people (colonisation). As builder then dweller, builder non-dweller, dweller then builder or dweller non-builder, the human being is defined by their immediate environment, their habitat.

However, the human being is not only an inhabiting subject but also a speaking subject. For the adult, and for the newborn, the language is first built before being inhabited. Learning a language means constructing it, the practice of it rather means inhabiting it. The construction of a language is a necessity to live in it, yet paradoxically, one must inhabit it for a better reconstruction. A never-ending cycle of language construction emerges: construction, inhabitation, reconstruction, re-inhabitation. This ever-lasting recycling of language has a lot to share with the analogy of the never-ending reconstruction of a house so as to avoid its falling apart, or the re-inhabitation of it by new tenants or landlords after a sale or an inheritance. The house, just like language, can nevertheless follow the opposite movement of creation to undergo dis-inhabitation and deconstruction in the end. After the moving out which leaves the house empty and forsaken, may come the demolishing leaving nothing but ruins. Partial aphasia, the cause of a dis-inhabited language (Alzheimers), may be followed by total aphasia, a proof of an entirely destroyed language (stroke). Between the principles of creation and oblivion of an edifice, of a language, the habitat remains a privileged site of potentialities.

The interaction between inhabitation, construction and language, calls for meeting points and sketches mythologies (Barthes, 1957), semiotic motifs of everyday life. These mythologies illustrate the ensuing relations←12 | 13→ between space and language. On the one hand, we can observe the use of space to express language, the existence of places to express words, or to say it differently, a designed space for a designed speech. This means dwelling in space to dwell in language (Occupy Movement) or constructing space to construct language (World War II memorials) but also constructing space to eventually destroy language (Tower of Babel). On the other hand, we can notice the use of language to express space, the existence of words to express places, or a designed speech for a designed space. This means dwelling in language to dwell in space (Mayflower Compact), building language to build in space (T. Mores Utopia, J.R.R. Tolkiens Lord of the Rings), but also building language to destroy space (declaration of war). Such mythologies give birth to various forms shaped by the concomitance between language and space, speech and place, whether inhabited or constructed.

Inhabited Language or “Languaged” Habitat?

Ontologically problematic, the metaphorical expression “inhabiting language” forces the marriage of the concrete and the abstract into an open conflict (Prandi, 1992). We dwell in a house, a lodging, a place made of bricks and mortar but certainly not in a language, an indefinite immaterial space impossible to measure. By definition, the dwelling requires fixed milestones, in time and in space. Dwelling asks for residence, a sojourn, a pied-à-terre, i.e. varied locations subjected to time passing, whether durative or ephemeral. Dwelling corresponds to a three-dimensional structure whose aim is to protect from danger and preserve intimacy. The four walls draw a closed space, a territory, a personal space, thanks to the line of a limit between an interior and an exterior. Inhabiting requires a demarcated space, identifiable and recognisable. As underlined by Derrida, it is often through the geographical distance that the act of dwelling makes sense for the others and for the self:

Details

Pages
222
ISBN (PDF)
9782807602625
ISBN (ePUB)
9782807602632
ISBN (MOBI)
9782807602649
ISBN (Softcover)
9782807602618
Language
English
Publication date
2017 (October)
Published
Bruxelles, Bern, Berlin, Frankfurt am Main, New York, Oxford, Wien, 2017. 218 p., 4 ill. en couleurs, 6 tabl.

Biographical notes

Rémi Digonnet (Volume editor)

Rémi Digonnet est maître de conférences en linguistique anglaise à l’université de Saint-Étienne. Ses recherches centrées sur l’analyse du discours et les divers procédés lexicogéniques concernent le domaine sensoriel. Il est l’auteur de Métaphore et olfaction : une approche cognitive, paru en 2016. Rémi Digonnet is a lecturer in English linguistics at the University of Saint-Étienne. His research centred on discourse analysis and the emergence of various linguistic processes focuses on the sensory domain (Métaphore et olfaction : une approche cognitive, 2016).

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Title: Inhabiting Language, Constructing Language / Habiter la langue, construire la langue