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The activity type as interface between langue and parole, and between individual and society

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This paper first re-examines Levinson’s notion of activity type, followed by a review of ethnographic, sociopsychological and ecological studies of the same phenomenon under varied names. The activity type is generally treated as a context in pragmatics. This paper departs from this thinking by proposing that it be treated as the primary object and unit of investigation per se. The role the activity type plays should be that of an interface bridging the langue-parole dichotomy, and the individual-society dichotomy. It is further proposed that the activity type be studied as embodied activities at the token level. It is thus re-conceptualized in term of land-borne situated discourse (LBSD).
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Keywords: activity type; context; embodied message; interface; land-borne situated discourse

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: August 13, 2010

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