(Nederlands) Contact Survey page Niels Helsloot

['Uncontrollable laughter. On topic formation in theories of language']

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'Onbedaarlijk lachen. Over taaltheoretische objektvorming'
in: Ronald Commers, ed., Acta filosofiedag 1990
Delft: Eburon 1992: 113-116


Theories of language usually deal with relatively 'pure' instantiations of language; therefore, they are not involved with something like laughter. What cannot be expressed in language univocally, is no part of the research topic. Because of this exclusion of laughter, a serene seriousness reigns within 'language'. Both 'ideal' languages and everyday 'communication' presuppose a quite abstract, univocal society. This theoretical promotion of seriousness can be broken from the point of view of Wittgenstein's scepticism with regard to rules and Saussure's research of anagrams.


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