Utterances

From Mikhail Bakhtin (1895-1975):

Any speaker is himself a respondent to a greater or lesser degree. He is not, after all, the first speaker, the one who disturbs the eternal silence of the universe . . . And [the speaker] presupposes not only the existence of the language system he is using, but also the existence of preceding utterances––his own and others’––with which his given utterance enters into one kind of relation to another (builds on them, politicizes with them, or simply presumes they are already known to the listener). Any utterance is a link in a very complexly organized chain of other utterances.

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