Abstract

This introduction begins with Hortense J. Spillers’s return to the ordinary in her essay “Interstices: A Small Drama of Words,” first delivered as an address at the 1982 Barnard Center Conference on Sexuality. For Spillers, recovering the vernacular language and everyday experiences of Black women unsettles the exclusions of mainstream feminist theory, yet attending to ordinary grammar means not relinquishing theoretical critique but recognizing the ordinary as itself a domain of injustice and obfuscation. By starting with Spillers, rather than Ludwig Wittgenstein, this introduction questions who counts as a theorist of “ordinary language.” It then shows how Wittgenstein’s own return to the ordinary displays an ambivalence similar to that of Spillers. For Wittgenstein, many seemingly philosophical problems are undone by noticing language as it is ordinarily used, yet the ordinary poses new problems as much as it dissolves old ones. Summarizing the disciplinarily diverse contributions to this special issue and surveying a surge of recent scholarship on the ordinary, this introduction proposes the orthogonal term ordinariness to capture the plural and diffuse way that language, people, or social, economic, and political conditions might be ordinary.

At the infamous 1982 Barnard Center Conference that would inaugurate the “sex wars,” splintering the second-wave feminist movement into “sex positive” and “sex critical” factions, Hortense J. Spillers delivered a talk in which she argued that feminist discourse about sex wasn’t really about sex at all. In “Interstices: A Small Drama of Words,” later anthologized in essay form, Spillers takes issue with Western feminists’ appropriation of a Freudian-Lacanian grammar of sexuality divorced from the material realities of sex and abstracted to a level of pure discursive circularity.1 If some feminists employ psychoanalytic theory to claim that women are constitutively silenced within a phallocentric symbolic order, they obscure how their own writings doubly silence Black women by enacting a “metonymic playfulness” whereby “a part of the universe of women speaks for the whole of it.”2 In revisionary readings of theoretical texts by men, certain feminists don’t so much undo their logic as transpose their rhetorical strategies to make white women the center of a new theoretical system, against which Black women are posited as what humanity and sexual subjectivity are not. To show how this works, Spillers introduces a distinction between “first-order naming” (immediate description of a community’s experience) and “second-order naming” (discussion of that description). Feminism, she argues, had by the 1980s already progressed to a focus on second-order naming—on words about words about sex. The problem is that Black women’s self-described experiences as sexual subjects had never even been admitted to first-order naming, at least in nonfiction texts. Thus feminism’s “logological disposition” functions as “the subtle component of power that bars black women, indeed, women of color, as a proper subject of inquiry from the various topics of contemporary feminist discourse” (I, 167–68). This confirms Black women’s sexual subjectivity as what Spillers calls an “interstice”—a lexical and epistemological gap—within feminist discourse.3

Spillers’s proposed solution is a return to the ordinary. In particular, she turns to John Gwaltney’s 1980 anthropological text Drylongso: A Self Portrait of Black America. Gwaltney’s title comes from a word for “ordinary” used in African American communities in the South, in a gesture that affirms the connection between vernacular speech and everyday life in the oral interviews whose transcriptions compose the book. For Spillers, the interviews in the “Sex and Work” chapter constitute a repository of working-class Black women’s first-order naming of their own sexual experiences in words that “seem to come off the human tongue and need not be referred back to a dictionary in order to be understood” (I, 169). Yet Spillers’s return to the ordinary should not be seen as a naive validation of regular people and simple speech as somehow grounding a transparent contact between naming and reality; she has elsewhere influentially elucidated how anti-Blackness is encoded as “an American grammar book.”4 Spillers is careful to note that, despite Gwaltney’s tendency to fade into the background as an interviewer, his book still constitutes a translation of women’s words “through the medium of the male voice” (I, 169). Furthermore, these words are already removed to the level of second-order naming by the time we encounter them in Spillers’s own analysis, which resituates them in a theoretical register. Calling attention to her uneasy task, Spillers admits, “I do not quite know where to fit these women’s words about their bodies, or the status of their report” (I, 170). Her project, then, is best described as recuperating an alternative ordinary “to be interpreted,” not as announcing ordinariness as a domain that stands alone, beyond critique (I, 173).

The concept of “the ordinary” has surged as an area of critical attention in the last few decades and especially in the last few years—nonexhaustively, in philosophy, with Sandra Laugier’s Why We Need Ordinary Language Philosophy (2013); in anthropology, with Kathleen Stewart’s Ordinary Affects (2007) and Veena Das’s Life and Words: Violence and the Descent into the Ordinary (2006) and Textures of the Ordinary: Doing Anthropology after Wittgenstein (2020); in literary studies, with Toril Moi’s Revolution of the Ordinary: Literary Studies after Wittgenstein, Austin, and Cavell (2017) and Nancy Yousef’s The Aesthetic Commonplace: Wordsworth, Eliot, Wittgenstein, and the Language of Every Day (2022); in Black studies, with Christina Sharpe’s Ordinary Notes (2023) and Ianna Hawkins Owen’s forthcoming Ordinary Failure: Diaspora’s Limits and Longings; and in affect theory, with Lauren Berlant’s Cruel Optimism (2011) and On the Inconvenience of Other People (2023). One way of reading this critical interest in the ordinary is as an endeavor to recuperate a sense of normalcy in the face of overwhelming and overlapping crises—genocide, war, pandemic, disruptions of supply chains, climate collapse, systemic erasure of reproductive autonomy. An emphasis on the ordinary might also be seen as a counterbalance to a proliferation of recent volumes and conferences on crisis, apocalypse, disaster, and catastrophe.

This special issue resists seeing the ordinary as a mere respite from the extraordinary; as the work of Spillers shows, the ordinary also emerges out of deep histories of subjugation and injustice. While “the ordinary” is a specific critical category in many of the fields surveyed above, this issue uses the term ordinariness to unsettle calcified theoretical assumptions about what it means for language, people, or social, economic, and political conditions to be ordinary.

This special issue demonstrates that ambivalence is central to what “ordinariness” is. In canonical Marxist scholarship on everyday life, the ordinary is alternatively the domain of the ideological (for Henri Lefebvre) and a set of shared materials that can be reappropriated to resist ideology (for Michel de Certeau).5 For Lauren Berlant, everyday life in late capitalism is defined by a “crisis ordinariness” wherein we are able to stay afloat only by remaining attached to things that impair our ability to thrive.6 Outside these paradigms, ordinary is defined as “normal; customary; usual.” Applied to language, “ordinary” means “that most commonly found or attested; everyday, nontechnical” as opposed to “specialized terminology” or “logical symbolism.” Applied to people, “ordinary” means “of low social position . . . vulgar; unrefined, low, course.”7 Raymond Williams traces the curious etymological evolution of the term ordinary from a word connoting formally invested authority (related to ordination and ordinance) to a word that suggests resistance to authority, becoming nearly synonymous with rank and file and grassroots.8 The “ordinary” also carries the dual valence that Williams attributes to the “common”—both terms are at once markers of inclusion and exclusion, used alternatively to denote vernaculars and experiences shared by everyone and to derogate a segment of the population as particularly unsophisticated.9 This special issue seeks to find where ordinariness maintains the prevailing social order and where it disorders existing assumptions and positions.

In the service of recalibrating assumptions about who counts as a theorist of “ordinary language,” I have begun this introduction with Spillers, although Ludwig Wittgenstein comes more readily to mind as one of the inaugurators of so-called ordinary language philosophy, alongside J. L. Austin and Stanley Cavell. Can we reconcile someone like Spillers, who calls us to close the linguistic gaps that remand Black women to silence, with someone like Wittgenstein, who famously declares, in the final line of his Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, “Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent?”10 In other words, is Wittgenstein’s sense of the ordinary more quiescent, in contrast with Spillers’s transformative vision? While there is a growing body of scholarship that applies Wittgenstein’s methodologies for feminist purposes, comparing Spillers’s return to the ordinary with Wittgenstein’s remains counterintuitive. Philosophy of language has been described as “malestream” and as an “alien hermeneutic circle” hostile to feminist interests.11 Some feminists have been wary of Wittgenstein’s personal misogyny and lack of concern about gender imbalances encoded in language.12 For feminists who hold that “the personal is political,” the ordinary cannot be simply the place where skepticism and critique dissolves; rather, it is a domain that must be continuously subject to scrutiny for the way it develops and perpetuates gendered power dynamics.13 In a recent essay in Post45 Bonnie Honig writes, “Both Wittgenstein and Spillers study grammar and embrace the kind of teaching that ‘points beyond’ given examples, but it is Spillers who presses us past Wittgenstein’s view of the given as a refuge, Spillers who confronts the monstrousness of the given and the possibility and necessity of its refusal.”14 That is, Wittgenstein and Spillers each return us to everyday grammar, but only Spillers gives us a sense of what it might mean, ethically, to refuse grammatical and social conventions alike. Following Honig in noticing an affinity between these thinkers, I find ordinariness ambivalently emancipatory and normative, clarifying and confounding, for both. Spillers and Wittgenstein swerve away from problems that are introduced by complicated, self-referential discursive systems—whether psychoanalytic feminist theory or the analytic logic of Gottlob Frege and Bertrand Russell—finding a solution to these problems in a retrieval of language as it is ordinarily used. Both precede methodologically through a “critique of language” (TLP, 4.0031). Yet, for both, ordinary grammar ultimately creates as many distortions as it resolves.

One way to understand the divergence Spillers introduces between first-order and second-order naming is as an alternative version of what Frege in 1948 termed “sense and reference.” Seeking to answer the question of how we can say that one thing is identical to another thing with which it does not share a name, Frege articulated a distinction between a name’s “referent” (the externally existing thing to which it points) and its “sense” (its mode of presentation or expression). In Frege’s example, the “morning star” and the “evening star” have different senses but the same referent. Both levels of language are equally important to the meaning of a given phrase.15 This enables us to conclude that the morning star is the evening star, asserting an identity while adding meaningfully to our knowledge. Furthermore, sense and reference are distinguished from “conception,” an individual’s idiosyncratic associations with a word based on personal experiences. Unlike conception, sense is objective, because it is an object that can be shared by multiple people, deriving from “a common store of thoughts which is transmitted from one generation to another.”16 In a similar manner to Frege, Spillers describes her project as “identifying careers of words that do different things with regard to a common point of reference” (I, 168). Her theoretical account, like Frege’s, relies on the idea that language can be split into different levels: second-order naming takes first-order naming as its referent, estranging language even further from a referent out there in the world. Likewise, Frege acknowledges that sometimes, as in reported speech, the referents of our words are the senses of someone else’s words—marking a departure from the “ordinary way” of speaking where an external referent outside language is assured.17 Frege’s mathematical approach to philosophy is entirely abstracted from any explicitly political—let alone feminist—stakes. By contrast, a multilayered picture of language allows Spillers to detail how the senses of words like woman and feminist in mainstream feminist discourse obscure the fact that only some women are really part of the referents. Her critical approach to language problematizes the alleged objectivity of Frege’s notion of sense as opposed to conception, showing how, as racist and misogynist conceptions are held and transmitted in common, they introduce subjective bias insidiously into the very senses of words.

Frege’s concern about the abuses engendered by the ambiguous or missing referents of ordinary words prompted him to dream of the possibility of a logically complete language in which every proper name would have an actual and discrete referent.18 In his 1905 essay “On Denoting,” Russell also suggested that many seemingly philosophical problems were in fact produced by inexactitude in common language and that these problems would be resolved if names were rewritten as logically rigorous descriptions. Wittgenstein extended and then ultimately contested this foundational work in analytic philosophy of language by Frege and Russell in his own return to the ordinary. In the Tractatus, published in 1922, Wittgenstein seems at first to concur with Russell that “most questions and propositions of the philosophers result from the fact that we do not understand the logic of our language” (TLP, 4.003). He approaches philosophy not as an assortment of propositions but as the activity of dissipating philosophical problems by putting propositions conveyed imprecisely in language into a purely logical form to reveal their nonsensical natures. This suggests a suspicious orientation toward the language of the everyday. “Colloquial language is part of the human organism and is no less complicated than it,” Wittgenstein writes. “Language disguises the thought; so that from the external form of the clothes one cannot infer the form of the thought they clothe, because the external form of the clothes is constructed with quite another object than to let the form of the body be recognized” (TLP, 4.004). Uncannily, even as he condemns the obfuscation that colloquial language generates, Wittgenstein reaches for metaphorical language to clarify his point. His chosen idiom poses embodiment both as a marker of authenticity, in contrast with clothing, and as what language tries and fails to reach. Instead of purifying language, he complicates it, moving from mathematical formulas toward a literary device that is equally enabling and confusing. Despite acknowledging in the preface a debt to Frege and to Russell (who wrote an approving introduction), Wittgenstein appears to undermine their logical approach by the end, concluding that “even if all possible scientific questions be answered, the problems of life have still not been touched at all” (TLP, 6.52). A purely logical language, which cannot touch ethical, aesthetic, or metaphysical questions, ends up feeling impoverished.

In his Philosophical Investigations, published posthumously in 1953, Wittgenstein endeavors by contrast to “bring back words from their metaphysical to their everyday use.”19 It is a move that might be read either as a radical rejection or as a continuation of the work of the Tractatus. In his later text Wittgenstein turns the “critique of language” he envisioned in his earlier text against philosophical language itself. In the Investigations it is philosophy’s tendency to take words out of context that generates confusion, because the meanings of words cannot be separated from their use in specific situations. Departing from Russell and Frege’s approach, Wittgenstein no longer describes his project as “striving after an ideal, as if our ordinary vague sentences had not yet got a quite unexceptional sense, and a perfect language awaited construction by us.”20 However, a movement from the logical notation of analytic philosophy back to the language of the everyday does not settle existing problems without posing new ones. Indeed, Wittgenstein turns to the ordinary because it provides the “rough ground” that produces the friction necessary for difficult philosophical inquiry. The ordinary as he describes it is not the thing of which one has “a clear view” but that which is overlooked “because it is always before one’s eyes.”21 Ordinariness, for Wittgenstein, is the opacity of close familiarity. Starting with Spillers and moving to Wittgenstein sets up the varied disciplinary orientations and interpretative moves of the pieces in this special issue. Some contributors offer new interpretations of Wittgenstein, making his version of the ordinary look strange. Others push beyond Wittgenstein as a privileged thinker on the ordinary, looking to feminism, queer theory, film studies, Black studies, affect theory, anthropology, the visual arts, and nonphilosophy to revisit “ordinariness.”

This issue begins with a new English translation, by Hannah Cox, of Sandra Laugier’s “From the Ordinary to the Everyday,” originally published in French as “De l’ordinaire au quotidien” in 2023. Laugier has introduced Anglo-American ordinary language philosophy to France by way of her own work as a translator, and her work has been instrumental in articulating and elaborating the critical and ethical capacities of this area of philosophy, especially for feminism. In this essay Laugier moves us back from Cavell’s centralization of “the ordinary” for “ordinary language philosophy” toward Wittgenstein’s original call to engage with the “everyday.” For Laugier, Das’s feminist anthropology emblematizes an investigation tethered to the concept of the Wittgensteinian everyday, which recovers the foreignness of the familiar. Das’s work shows how the everyday, with its democratic, Emersonian connotations of “common” and “low,” is something that we must endeavor to reach, not an uninterrogated given. Laugier’s essay is already important in France, and we are excited to introduce it to the Anglophone world.

In “Wittgenstein in the Moonlight: On the Nonexistence of Riddles,” Eesha Kumar also reappraises Wittgenstein’s conception of the ordinary by grappling with his underengaged theorization of riddling and enigma. While the famous imperative to “throw away the ladder” of philosophical investigation after climbing up on it in §6.54 of the Tractatus has been an interpretative crux dividing “traditionalist” and “resolute” readers of Wittgenstein, Kumar instead directs attention to the less remarked on §6.5, which asserts that “the riddle does not exist.” What might this assertion mean, she asks, for a thinker whose best-known formulations can be rephrased as riddles? In a reading of Edgar Allan Poe’s story “The Purloined Letter,” Kumar draws out the implications of a riddling Wittgenstein for questions of interpretation. In Poe’s story, Detective Dupin relocates a valuable letter that has gone missing by recognizing that the letter has not been removed to a new location but is instead ensconced in a different envelope. In what Kumar reads as a Wittgensteinian mode, this story negotiates a middle way between reading for depth and reading for surface—if what we are looking for might be hidden in plain sight, interpretation requires seeing the ordinary differently, neither taking surfaces as a given nor probing beneath them. Yet, unlike other literary scholars who have mobilized Wittgenstein to unsettle the “reading wars,” Kumar stresses that if the ordinary is not precisely the realm of depth, it is still defined by concealment as opposed to revelation, riddling as opposed to self-evidence.

Nicholas Baer turns us specifically to gendered language in “The Rumors Are True: Gossip in the Films of F. W. Murnau.” In his theorization of speech action in How to Do Things with Words (1962), Austin pays little attention to how power delimits speech. Some feminist philosophers have since expanded his work to explore how gendered and racialized power differentials systemically prevent certain speakers from performing the speech acts they intend.22 By contrast, Baer’s approach focuses on the enabling, rather than disabling, dimension of modes of language that are conventionally gendered feminine. His article accords an epistemological value to the ordinary speech acts of rumor and gossip in feminist and queer studies, against a mainstream philosophical tradition that condemns these speech acts as “authorless yet forceful, trifling yet consequential, fickle yet enduring, unfounded yet steadfast.” Baer shows that Murnau’s films often treat gossip as accurate even if unsubstantiated, enabling characters to make sense of their situations. Furthermore, rumor opens up a queer reading of Baer’s own biography that more traditional historical scholarship would foreclose. In recuperating Murnau’s homosexuality as a vague insinuation rather than an archivally documented fact, Baer’s project connects to Owen’s in a shared commitment to what Saidiya Hartman has called “critical fabulation.”23

Owen’s contribution, “Dead Tired,” resists binary frameworks that have positioned the suicide of enslaved women as exemplifying either defeat or resistance. Through a reading of Octavia Butler’s Wild Seed that draws on research into Butler’s archive at the Huntington Library in Los Angeles, Owen asks us to make space for the possibility that Black women’s suicidality stems from desirelessness and exhaustion, constituting a failure of relationality rather than a productive negativity that can be enfolded back into collective politics. Owen’s essay relates to his larger project of envisioning how the term diaspora fails to hail certain subjects. Mobilizing the ambivalence generated by attention to ordinary affects, Owen poses the question of “how to offer ourselves and others one small framework in a sea of possibilities that might maintain the agency of those we’ve lost without celebrating them and without condemning them but merely continuing to find ways to be present with their irreversible decisions, and with the pieces of us that follow them to wherever they’ve gone next.” His approach amounts to a refusal of, or at least a reticence about, a Black politics of refusal.

The affective entailments of failure in American life are also the subject of Sean Michael Muller’s “Ordinary Expectation: Failure on the American Scene.” Following methodologically from Stewart’s anthropological excavation of the architecture of the everyday in Ordinary Affects, Muller unfolds the daily experience of dispossession in rural Washington County, New York, a segment of the so-called heroin highway. Muller’s analysis progresses through a detailed attention to the landscape as “a material, psychic, and social geography where contradictions conjoin, strengthen, and obscure one another” before moving into the body as itself a landscape shaped by addiction and impoverished expectations. Although lives that enfold in the economically and ecologically devastated postindustrial spaces of the United States are often configured as extraordinary, Muller demonstrates their inextricability from ordinary structures of American life.

If Muller seeks to reveal the structural character of “the ‘trashy-ness’ of the rural, the industrial and domestic debris that conjoins in the signature forms of deindustrial ruination,” Adrian De Leon provides an alternative emphasis on “trash” in his “Brown Gathering: Archive, Refuse, and Baduy Worldmaking.” De Leon analyzes the sculptures of Diane Williams, who crafts artworks out of discarded objects from everyday life in the Filipinx diaspora: packets of soup mix and seasoning, plastic bags from the supermarket chain Seafood City, cans of SPAM. Williams’s sculpture Curtain of Illegibility is featured on the cover of this special issue. De Leon argues that Williams enacts what he calls “brown gathering,” a practice of stewarding and curating the remainders of colonial violence without allowing them to be assimilated fully into aesthetic pleasure or commodification. Both Muller and De Leon trace distortions of ordinary temporality, whether the interminability of addiction as a chronic illness or the long durée of the plastics in William’s sculptures, which gesture toward geological as opposed to human time scales. Both move between structural critique and visceral engagement with the body—in De Leon’s case, the “gustatory terrain” of colonial consumption indexed by the refuse objects of Filipinx cuisine.

In “The Pathos of Finitude: Ordinariness, Solitude, and Individuality in Nonphilosophy,” Thomas Sutherland takes us to different critical terrain. Sutherland elucidates how François Laruelle’s enigmatic “nonphilosophy” seeks to recover the concept of the “ordinary Man” who, in his radical immanence, resists a post-Kantian philosophical view of the human as a “doublet” split between empirical and transcendental qualities. For Laruelle, the “ordinary Man” is entirely devoid of qualities that would enable him to be assimilated into philosophical investigation. Yet Sutherland argues that the figure of the “ordinary Man” can’t be accounted for on Laruelle’s own terms; Laruelle’s very emphasis on finitude, for example, brings his project back within the domain of traditional academic philosophy. Sutherland’s essay ultimately sketches the limits of Laruelle’s attempt to rigorously distinguish the ordinary from the philosophical.

Redirecting us from the ungendered “ordinary man” of Laruelle, a new interview with Honig brings us back an explicitly feminist interrogation of “ordinariness.” We discuss how attention to ordinary language has shaped Honig’s work in political theory throughout her career. In her early work, Honig sketched the difference between Austin’s emphasis on speech acts as entirely ordinary and Hannah Arendt’s positioning of speech as extraordinary political action. Her current book project revisits Austin and Cavell alongside an alternative tradition of philosophy of language that she locates in the Black feminist thought of Spillers, Hartman, Sharpe, Patricia Williams, and others. For Honig, these thinkers exemplify a “care for language,” a dedication to unraveling the intertwined “succor” and “horror” of the ordinary through thought and action that takes place in words.

This special issue closes with two reviews of recently published books that critically elaborate ordinariness. What is notable about each of these reviews is their attention to how new explications of ordinariness emerge from a resistance to the ordinary form of the academic monograph. Daryl Maude, reviewing Berlant’s On the Inconvenience of Other People, describes how Berlant’s formulations convict the reader through the force of their laconic, aphoristic style, as much as through their explicit content. Amber Sweat, reviewing Sharpe’s Ordinary Notes, explores how Sharpe’s blackout text undermines the valorization of white supremacy and how her expansive white spaces around the printed words provide a reparative space to breathe in the wake of racial violence. Returning us to the questions of language and silence raised in our consideration of Spillers and Wittgenstein, Sweat praises those of Sharpe’s notes that provide “the bare topography of nothing but breath,” what Sharpe herself describes as notes that “end in silence.”24

If a conventional understanding might oppose the ordinary to the extraordinary or to the catastrophic, for Spillers and Wittgenstein the ordinary is specifically opposed to the theoretical. The ordinary, for these thinkers, is what feminist philosophy or analytic philosophy of language, respectively, fails to engage. However, as the essays in this special issue demonstrate, to reach toward the ordinary is not to leave the complications of theory behind but to innovate on existing theoretical modes. Building on a recent expansion of critical attention to the ordinary across humanistic and social sciences disciplines, this special issue introduces the orthogonal term ordinariness. If “the ordinary” connotes something monolithic and self-evident, “ordinariness” suggests something plural and diffuse. For example, for the contributors to this issue, ordinariness is the language of riddling and enigma, rumor and gossip; the affective experience of desirelessness, exhaustion, failure, and inconvenience; the phenomenological terrain of the addicted, gustatory, and breathing body. Ordinariness is what infuses and yet unsettles the ordinary.

Notes

1.

Although Spillers explicitly targets American feminists, she evidently has in mind the legacy of French feminist writers like Hélène Cixous, who wrote “The Laugh of the Medusa.” 

2.

Spillers, “Interstices,” 158 (hereafter cited as I).

3.

Spillers’s use of interstice anticipates the term intersection, which Kimberlé Crenshaw would coin in a legal context several years later in “Demarginalizing the Intersection of Race and Sex.” 

7.

Oxford English Dictionary, s.v. “ordinary, adj.” (https://www.oed.com/dictionary/ordinary_adj).

10.

Wittgenstein, Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, 7 (hereafter cited as TLP). I use the online, side-by-side version of the text collated by Kevin C. Klement, which includes the original German alongside English translations by C. K. Ogden and by D. F. Pears and B. F. McGuinness. I quote from Ogden’s translation.

12.

Scheman, introduction, 1–2.

22.

See, e.g., Langton, “Speech Acts and Unspeakable Acts”; Hornsby, “Disempowered Speech”; and Maitri and McGowan, Speech and Harm; as well as Butler’s critical response to this area of scholarship in Excitable Speech.

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