The goal of this article is to observe how communicative processes intervene in constructing and maintaining given self-narratives. Proceeding from the idea that the Self is, first of all, narration, we shall scrutinise the topic of identity permanence and change in our linguistic system by exploring the configurations of reality produced by the use of a specific morpheme: the “ex”. After considering some differences about the intricate relationship between language, mind and reality, we tried to enter the etym and the meanings linked to the use of this linguistic particle. Making use of Wittgenstein’s proposed method called “perspicuous representation” we examined the implicit meanings it assumes in different usage contexts such as daily language and self-narratives provided by prisoners asked about their image of the “ex-prisoner”. The analysis revealed a substantial ambiguity between the identity change and its negation since the use of the prefix “ex” seemed to confirm and at the same time deny the meaning of the noun accompanying it. The use of the prefix can also prevent the re-positioning of the persons with respect to their past. These findings may contribute to the understanding of the need for a change in linguistic direction. Our conceptualisations of identity cannot be divorced from the linguistic devices used to express them. Major implications for daily language and for the study of clinical and deviant phenomena have been considered.

“What it is like to be “ex”? Psycho-discursive analysis of a dangling identity”

Mininni G.
;
2018

Abstract

The goal of this article is to observe how communicative processes intervene in constructing and maintaining given self-narratives. Proceeding from the idea that the Self is, first of all, narration, we shall scrutinise the topic of identity permanence and change in our linguistic system by exploring the configurations of reality produced by the use of a specific morpheme: the “ex”. After considering some differences about the intricate relationship between language, mind and reality, we tried to enter the etym and the meanings linked to the use of this linguistic particle. Making use of Wittgenstein’s proposed method called “perspicuous representation” we examined the implicit meanings it assumes in different usage contexts such as daily language and self-narratives provided by prisoners asked about their image of the “ex-prisoner”. The analysis revealed a substantial ambiguity between the identity change and its negation since the use of the prefix “ex” seemed to confirm and at the same time deny the meaning of the noun accompanying it. The use of the prefix can also prevent the re-positioning of the persons with respect to their past. These findings may contribute to the understanding of the need for a change in linguistic direction. Our conceptualisations of identity cannot be divorced from the linguistic devices used to express them. Major implications for daily language and for the study of clinical and deviant phenomena have been considered.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11586/253186
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