Any theory of language, communication or discourse will carry with it some underlying assumption about how it is related to the world. In philosophical terms, it will take a certain epistemological stance. It is hard to imagine a theory of human speech that does not have some assumption about how the world, hence knowledge of it, is accessed and how the access is related to language. So I will begin this book with an epistemologically oriented account of linguistic communication. The specific view that I will develop in this chapter is, put simply, that linguistic communication or discourse is not separable from the world or reality, but can be seen as thoroughly constitutive of it. I shall call this perspective the reality-constitutive view.
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