Ventriloquism as communicative music

Ronald C. Arnett


This essay explicates connections between communication theory and François Cooren’s discussion of ventriloquism. Cooren provides a theoretical and practical exposition of a situated and contextually shaped communicative agent. Ventriloquism offers a practical depiction of the limits of individualism, or unrestrained individual autonomy. Ventriloquism suggests that we live within sounds and voices that continually affect a communicator; one cannot confuse the influence of random and, at times, orchestrated sounds and voices with ownership grounded within a single communicative agent. Ventriloquism explicates everyday life as orchestrated by ongoing communicative music of sounds and voices.


communication theory, ventriloquism, pragmatism, signification, metadiscourse

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