Authors

W D. Ashcroft

Abstract

The written text is a social situation. That is to say, it has its existence in something more than the marks on the page, namely the participations of social beings whom we call writers and readers, and who constitute the writing as communication of a particular kind, as 'saying' a certain thing. Just as the sociologist attempts to uncover structures and regularities in social situations, so it is assumed that the meaning of writing is an a prion to be uncovered existing either as a function of the language, or the inscription of something in the mind of the writer, or the reconstruction of the reader's experience. Constitutive Graphonomy, the constitutive ethnography of writing systems, is concerned to examine the objective meanings of writing as social accomplishments of these participants. This is because meaning is a social fact which comes to being within the discourse of a culture, and social facts as well as social structures are themselves social accomplishments.

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