Indexicalité de la parole

La double orientation du mot (bivocalité), vers ce qui a déjà été dit par autrui et vers ce que l'on va bientôt dire à autrui, correspond chez Bakhtine à ce qu'on nomme aujourd'hui l'indexicalité, c'est-à-dire la trace dans l'énoncé du contexte intersubjectif de l'énonciation.

Richard Bauman, Commentary: Indirect Indexicality, Identity, Performance: Dialogic Observations, Journal of Linguistic Anthropology, Vol. 15, Issue 1, 2005, pp.145–150; p.145.

Let us recall first, that "intertextuality" is not a term that glosses closely any of the terms of art offered by the Bakhtin circle (including also Vološinov and Medvedev). "Intertextuality" (intertextualité) was coined and elaborated by Julia Kristeva in a series of writings [en particulier Séméiôtiké, Paris: Seuil, 1969] in the late 1960s, and it amounts to Kristeva's textualizing of Bakhtin's dialogism, his vision of language as socially and historically constituted and of society as communicatively constituted through intersubjective discursive practices and the circulation of discourse. Kristeva, that is, shifts the focus from utterance–the key term of the Bakhtin circle–to text, and from dialogue to intertextuality. This is not, I submit, the most productive of moves, certainly for the purposes of linguistic anthropology, because it obscures some of the chief insights of the Bakhtin circle.

Bakhtin's abiding concern was with dimensions and dynamics of speech indexicality— ways that the now-said reaches back to and somehow incorporates or resonates with the already-said and reaches ahead to, anticipates, and somehow incorporates the to-be-said. For Bakhtin, this dialogic process is both a matter of communicative practice (the intersubjective work of producing dialogic relationships) and a matter of the concomitant links that are thus established between and among utterances as they circulate through society and through time.

«Bakhtine se préoccupe constamment des dimensions et de la dynamique de l'indexicalité de la parole, c'est-à-dire de la façon dont ce qu'on dit maintenant revient en amont, enveloppant en quelque sorte et se trouvant en résonance avec le ce-qui-a-déjà-été-dit, — et se projette en aval, anticipant et enveloppant en quelque sorte le ce-qui-va-être-dit. Pour Bakhtine, ce processus dialogique est à la fois affaire de pratique communicationnelle (le travail intersubjectif de production des relations dialogiques entre les personnes) et affaire de liens de concomitance établis entre les énoncés qui circulent dans l'espace social à travers le temps.»

His work, together with his colleagues', is devoted to elucitating the dialogic principle and its correlates in a whole range of formations and devices, including most prominently utterance, the various forms of double-voiced discourse (stylization, parody, skaz, reported speech, ironic intonation, hybridization), polyphony, heteroglossia, and genre. One question we might ask, then, in relation to Kristeva's shift from dialogue to intertextuality is, which of these dialogically resonant Bakhtinian foci attends to texts or textuality per se? Or, which of them centers on the orientation of texts to other texts in the sense Genette [dans Palimpsestes, 1982] describes as "transtextuality, or the textual transcendence of the text," and defines as "all that sets the text in a relationship, whether obvious or concealed, with other texts"? At some level, all of them; for many (most? all?) of us contributing to this issue — and a case could be made for Bakhtin as well, in light of his theory of genre — all discourse is entextualized.