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A Space That Will Never Be Filled Sharp Communication and the Simultaneity of Opposites

Pillen, A; (2017) A Space That Will Never Be Filled Sharp Communication and the Simultaneity of Opposites. Current Anthropology , 58 (6) pp. 718-738. 10.1086/694760. Green open access

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Abstract

A disregard for human traditions, the brutality of predation, sacrifice, and sexual desire are ingrained in languages across cultures. This paper concerns a key linguistic feature reflecting this predicament: utterances that encapsulate their opposite and effectuate a U-turn in meaning. This mode of communication stands out as a representation of the friction between incommensurable worlds—conceived together. An enemy’s perspective or an unpalatable reality finds a host within language. I embark upon a multidisciplinary search for examples of such utterances and present an assemblage of five pertinent images. Each of these makes a distinct conceptual contribution. Vigilance and an awareness of other points of view underpin most of the utterances under study, which I propose to call“sharp communication” at the intersection of opposing perspectives.

Type: Article
Title: A Space That Will Never Be Filled Sharp Communication and the Simultaneity of Opposites
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1086/694760
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/694760
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the version of record. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Anthropology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10030633
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