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Encyclopedia > Utterance

An utterance is a complete unit of talk, bounded by silence.

This is part of the linguistic terminology. Usual in speech processing textbooks.

  Results from FactBites:
What is an utterance? (117 words)
An utterance is a natural unit of speech bounded by breaths or pauses.
An utterance is a complete unit of talk, bounded by the speaker's silence.
Phonetically an utterance is a unit of speech bounded by silence.
Chapter 2 - Bakhtin and His World (Continued) (1668 words)
Any utterance -- from a short (single-word) rejoinder in everyday dialogue to the large novel or scientific treatise -- has, so to speak, an absolute beginning and an absolute end: its beginning is preceded by the utterances of others, and its end is followed by the responsive utterances of others.
Utterances are characterized by a change of speakers in a "specific finalization" determined by three aspects of a whole utterance: semantic exhaustion of the theme; the speaker's plan or speech will; and generic, compositional forms of finalization (76-77).
Bakhtin's theory of utterance counters the prevailing linguistics of his time by denying that utterances (parole) are "completely free combination[s] of forms of language" and therefore "purely individual acts," while the system of language (langue) is a social phenomenon (81).
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