Cummins, Fred (2018) The Ground From Which We Speak: Joint speech and the collective subject is a book exploring the topic of joint speech published online here. The book is available in two formats. Large is suited to reading on tablets and laptops. Small is suited to reading on smartphone screens. The electronic version of this book may be downloaded and shared freely.

The book introduces the topic of joint speech through examples that are also documented below. After becoming familiar with the topic, the question is raised: Why is there almost no empirical science of joint speech? Chapters 4 to 7 detail some preliminary scientific work in the phonetics, neuroscience, linguistics and movement sciences, all of which suggests that joint speech is rich territory for empirical investigation. The primary scientific sources are collected here under documentation. The absence of work on the topic suggests instead a difficulty in the contemporary scientific landscape of treating adequately of collective aspirations, collective intentions, and collective subjects. The final two chapters suggest that the emerging vocabulary of enaction may be of use as such topics are pursued.

A 2 page precis of the book is available. (Publishers: I am still interested in producing a dead tree version of this book. Call me!)

Feedback to would be most welcome.

The Ground From Which We Speak
(Large version, laptops, tablets)
The Ground From Which We Speak
(Small version, smartphones)

Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

The first nine examples described in the book are provided here in video form.

Example 1: Reciting the Rosary

Example 2: Strife an the Al Aqsa Mosque

Example 3: I need you to help me testify

Example 4: The Human Microphone

Example 5: Swearing an oath of allegiance

Example 6: U.S.A.

Example 7: Countdown

Example 8: Commemorative Silence during a talk

Example 9: The Nightingale of the Revolution