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This chapters begins with an analysis of how Saussure’s linguistic discovery that the basic elements of spoken language are not sounds per se but rather phonemes: abstract, differential units within a structure. Moving from this fundamental tenet of structural linguistics, it shows how language, on the one hand, makes us insensitive to certain sonic differences and variables by imposing selective hearing and focusing our attention on the message rather than the material of language. Yet, at the same time, language leaves a sonic remainder: the voice. The chapter then goes on to consider how we project language onto the sounds...

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