• Daniel C. O’Connell
  • Sabine Kowal
Part of the Cognition and Language: A Series in Psycholinguistics book series (CALS)

Chapter Prospectus

Chapter 20, Perspectivity, asserts our conviction that every utterance necessarily carries with it a perspective of the speaker. One speaks from one’s own point of view and/or one deliberately or indeliberately assumes that of interlocutors or others. Speakers have reasons, intentions, goals; listeners similarly have their own purposes in listening. Language use always has some finality; it does not just occur, but occurs for a reason. The goal of discourse is not simply the pursuit of consensus, as some theorists currently hold; such a conviction has its origins in an oversimplified informational analysis of communication. Nor is perspectivity on the part of a speaker detrimental to intersubjectivity, but constitutes instead a firm foundation for the enrichment thereof.

The Basic Concept of Perspectivity

Perspectivity is very much akin to the intersubjectivity, which was our topic in the previous chapter. Both are psychologically so very close to us as speakers and...


Perspective Taking Successful Communication Personal Perspective Successful Adoption Bodily Presence 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Daniel C. O’Connell
    • 1
  • Sabine Kowal
    • 2
  1. 1.Georgetown UniversityUSA
  2. 2.Technische Universität Institut für Sprache und KommunikationGermany

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