Writing is often considered as a non-social activity (albeit socially transmitted), which aims at improving individual skills and processes, even in anthropological and socio-psychological literature; the social side of written production is highlighted mainly within the context of linguistic/orthographic policies which implement a standard written language in a given country. The aim of this paper is to suggest a different view of the acts of writing/reading: moving from Hymes’s speaking model, the proposal is to describe any scriptorial event as socially bounded, whose components correspond by acronym to the mnemonic word writing. This model is necessary in that it shows some components of writing and reading as communicative practices, defining distinctive situations and settings, different from those of speech events. In fact, they involve bio-mechanical, bodily and physical constraints which contribute to shaping an appropriate pattern of interpretation we are used to think of as a mental or private space – while it is clearly a public “form of life” in the wittgensteinian sense.
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