LINGUIST List 29.542

Wed Jan 31 2018

Books: The Ground From Which We Speak: Cummins

Editor for this issue: Michael Czerniakowski <>

Date: 29-Jan-2018
From: Fred Cummins <>
Subject: The Ground From Which We Speak: Cummins
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Title: The Ground From Which We Speak
Subtitle: Joint speech and the collective subject
Published: 2018
Publisher: Fred Cummins

Book URL:

Author: Fred Cummins
Electronic: ISBN: 9781999953201 Pages: 198 Price: Europe EURO 0 Comment: PDF for large screens
Electronic: ISBN: 9781999953218 Pages: 377 Price: Europe EURO 0 Comment: PDF for smartphones

Joint speech is found wherever multiple people say or chant the same text at the same time. Central examples may be found in the solemn recitation of the credo in religious services, in the impassioned chants of protestors for the fall of the regime, in the use of public oaths of allegiance within secular institutions, on the football terraces, in classrooms, and in the informal cacophony of Happy Birthday. There is thus no shortage of empirical material to work with. As language, this use of the voice must appear somewhat odd, as we are used to thinking of language as a game played with distinguished roles for speakers and listeners, creatively generated in the moment, and clearly distinguishable from music or song. Joint speech does not fit this pattern.

In this book, examples of the scientific study of joint speech both in the wild and in the laboratory are presented, covering topics in phonetics, linguistics, neuroscience and movement science. The canon of scientific work is very small, however, and it is this absence that the book addresses most directly. Collective aspirations, collective intentions and collective passions are not easily addressed within the contemporary human sciences. After reviewing extant scientific work, the book turns to the emerging vocabulary of enaction as a possible way to develop a scientific account suited to treating of different forms of collective behaviour and identity.

This book will be of potential interest to a broad audience. The topics covered are wide ranging, but familiar, and the discussion is couched at a level accessible to the interested reader without presupposing any specific technical background.

It is being published online, and is available in PDF form formatted for either laptop/tablet or smartphone. It may be downloaded, shared, and distributed freely.

Linguistic Field(s): Cognitive Science
                            Linguistic Theories

Written In: English (eng)

See this book announcement on our website:

---------------------------------- Publishing Partner ----------------------------------
Cambridge University Press

----------------------------- Major Supporting Publishers -----------------------------
Akademie Verlag GmbH
Bloomsbury Linguistics (formerly Continuum Linguistics)
Cambridge Scholars Publishing
Cascadilla Press
Classiques Garnier
De Gruyter Mouton
Edinburgh University Press
Elsevier Ltd
Equinox Publishing Ltd
European Language Resources Association (ELRA)
Georgetown University Press
John Benjamins
Lincom GmbH
MIT Press
Multilingual Matters
Narr Francke Attempto Verlag GmbH + Co. KG
Oxford University Press
Palgrave Macmillan
Peter Lang AG
Routledge (Taylor and Francis)
University of Toronto Press

--------------------------- Other Supporting Publishers ---------------------------
Association of Editors of the Journal of Portuguese Linguistics
International Pragmatics Assoc.
Linguistic Association of Finland
Morgan & Claypool Publishers
Netherlands Graduate School of Linguistics / Landelijke (LOT)
Seoul National University
SIL International Publications
Universitat Jaume I
University of Nebraska Press
Utrecht institute of Linguistics

Page Updated: 31-Jan-2018