Why talk?

  • Jean-Louis Dessalles
  • June 2014, Oxford University Press (OUP)
  • DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199665327.003.0020

Why talk

What is it about?

What is language good for? For a long time, the question has remained not only unanswered, but not even asked. The classic ‘reason’ invoked to avoid the issue was that language benefited the species as a whole. This way of reasoning is simply wrong (Williams 1966). If information has any value, it is in the interest of no one to give it for free. And if information has no value, why are there ears ready to listen to it? The reason why we talk, and so much, still requires a biological and social explanation.

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The following have contributed to this page: Jean-Louis Dessalles