Studies in honor of Eddo Rigotti
Edited By Giovanni Gobber and Andrea Rocci
Georges Lüdi: Do languages “really” exist or are they mere discursive constructions?
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Do languages “really” exist or are they mere discursive constructions?
GEORGES LÜDI, University of Basel
In our daily life, we are constantly surrounded, not to say bombarded, by a myriad of vocal and written signs that represent a central part of our environment and actually help us to live (see also the studies about what is called the “linguistic landscape” [cf. Landris and Bourhis 1997; Gorter ed. 2006; Shohamy and Gorter 2008; Hélot et al. eds. 2012]). If we define language as “the totality of utterances that can be made” (Bloomfield 1926), there seems to be no doubt that it is ‘real’ in its intrinsic materiality. We may also adopt an idealistic conception of language as a species-specific property and genetically inherited capacity. As Hilty (1974: 44f.) put it:
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