Jakobson, method, and metaphor: A wittgensteinian critique

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In his well-known essay on aphasia and language, Roman Jakobson claims that metaphoric and metonymic processes are fundamentally constitutive of all verbal activity and indeed of human behavior in general. Characterizing metaphor and metonymy as the defining poles of language, Jakobson argues that all linguistic expression lies between these polar extremes. He substantiates this claim by an analysis of aphasia and its relation to literature. My essay attempts a Wittgensteinian critique of Jakobson's assumption about the nature of language, and argues, among other things, that in analyzing aphasia Jakobson reaches conclusions about the structure of language that are already at work in his analysis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)426-438+445
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Literature and Literary Theory


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