Le jeu comme structure

Gioco e atti linguistici nella riflessione di Émile Benveniste

  • Silvia Frigeni
Keywords: play, Hain-teny, Benveniste, speech act, enunciation


In his article The Formal Apparatus of Enunciation (1970), the linguist Émile Benveniste outlines his theory of enunciation through the rejection of some false examples of dialogue. One of them is the hain-teny, a verbal play exchanged by the Merinas of Madagascar. But Benveniste had dedicated another brief essay to the notion of «play» («jeu»): Le jeu comme structure (1947). In this one he formalizes the transformation of a sacred act into a play: the latter is none but a faint image of the former, and thus has no power over reality. In connecting these two articles, this present work aims to show the presence of Benveniste’s reflection on play into his final take on the enunciation, thus adding a link between enunciation, speech acts and performativity.