FORUM FOR ANTHROPOLOGY AND CULTURE

ANTROPOLOGICHESKIJ FORUM
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Antropologicheskij forum, 2017, no. 33

 

A Review of ALESSANDRO DURANTI, THE ANTHROPOLOGY OF INTENTIONS: LANGUAGE IN A WORLD OF OTHERS. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015, 297 pp.

Evgeny Golovko

European University at St Petersburg
3, Gagarinskaya st., St Petersburg, Russia
Institute for Linguistic Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences
9, Tuchkov alley, St Petersburg, Russia
evggolovko@yandex.ru

Abstract: This work by Alessandro Duranti, one of the leading authorities in the field of linguistic anthropology, examines the concept of intentionality, a most complicated problem of pragmatics. The monograph reviewed is the result of the author’s lifetime reflections on the topic. Reconsidering his old field materials (mostly collected on Samoa more than 30 years ago) and adding new ones from recent projects, the author revises his previous position which presupposed that there are cultures in which intentionality cannot be treated as a meaningful notion at all. In this monograph, Duranti puts forward a new approach, positing that intentionality occupies a place of its own in any culture’s conversational interactions. Merging conclusions based on empirical data and Husserl’s phenomenological approach, the author, in the final chapter, integrates intentionality, intersubjectivity, and agency, introducing a new theoretical concept shaped as “an intentional continuum”.

Keywords: linguistic anthropology, pragmatics, intentionality, speech interaction, cultural relativism, cultural universals.

To cite: Golovko E., ‘A Review of Alessandro Duranti, The Anthropology of Intentions: Language in a World of Others. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015, 297 pp.’, Antropologicheskij forum, 2017, no. 33, pp. 138–145.

URL: http://anthropologie.kunstkamera.ru/files/pdf/033/golovko.pdf