Joint Speech.

Joint Speech is a site providing “Resources for the study of joint speech,” notably a new book:

Cummins, Fred (2018) The Ground From Which We Speak: Joint speech and the collective subject is a book exploring the topic of joint speech published online here. The book is available in two formats. Large is suited to reading on tablets and laptops. Small is suited to reading on smartphone screens. The electronic version of this book may be downloaded and shared freely.

The book introduces the topic of joint speech through examples that are also documented below. After becoming familiar with the topic, the question is raised: Why is there almost no empirical science of joint speech? Chapters 4 to 7 detail some preliminary scientific work in the phonetics, neuroscience, linguistics and movement sciences, all of which suggests that joint speech is rich territory for empirical investigation. The primary scientific sources are collected here under documentation. The absence of work on the topic suggests instead a difficulty in the contemporary scientific landscape of treating adequately of collective aspirations, collective intentions, and collective subjects. The final two chapters suggest that the emerging vocabulary of enaction may be of use as such topics are pursued.

Feedback to would be most welcome.

Nine examples described in the book are provided in video form; this is a great idea and I hope it gets traction. (Via MetaFilter.)


  1. Stu Clayton says:

    Why is there almost no empirical science of joint speech?

    Because no one has bothered until now ?

  2. Apparently!

  3. I thought the question might be insinuating that such science had been rigorously suppressed by the vested interests of disjointed speech.

    ‘Coz otherwise it is what we affectionately know as a dämliche Frage.

  4. In one paper by Cummins, The Remarkable Unremarkableness of Joint Speech, he grinds a rather small empirical axe in order to kill the structuralist chicken.

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