By J.K. Davies
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Extra resources for Athenian Propertied Families, 600-300 B.C.
149). That is, the beliefs (one might even use the term myths) that a speech community has about language (and this includes literacy) in gen eral and its language in particular (from which it usually derives its atti tudes towards other languages). And these practices of reflexively "measuring" language are no less integrated into a cultural form of life than are the practices of measuring lengths. One distinctive aspect of reflexive discourse is its typically interactional nature. The competent speaker of a language knows not only how language can be characterized reflex ively but also how to engage in interactional disputes/negotiations regard ing such characterizations.
Another question may serve to indicate the way to proceed: Why does Jourdain always get what he wants when he calls for his pantoufles and bon net de nuifi The concept of discontinuity Three characteristics of speech discontinuities are immediately apparent to the inquirer. (i) The first of these might well be considered as a defining characteris tic of the notion of discontinuity: discontinuity does not occur in written language. And yet all of these, along with disconti nuity, are commonly occurring features of the speech acts we regularly perform in communicational interaction.
A major question is thus raised: how can a speaker's performance be said to fail through discontinuities, and yet re main communicationally successful? , in terms of sen tences), the relevance of this "failure" to the success of the speech perfor mance is to be questioned. , as ordinary speakers of En glish, rather than trained linguists—often talk about the meaning of what someone said, or the style in which it was said, or the grammar of its con struction, and so have developed a terminology to be used in these metalinguistic language games, we rarely talk about the continuity or dis continuity of an utterance.