A talking subject experiences the dynamics of speech generation as emotional or “affective”

Thought as word dynamics. I. General principles. (3)

A thoroughly “physical” account of the objective dynamics of speech performance will be provided later. In the meantime I’m indicating here that as far as talking subjects are concerned, their subjective experience of the dynamics of speech performance is – from the initiation of a speech act to its conclusion – one of an emotional or “affective” nature. A view commonly held is that emotions hinder the expression of rational thinking. Beyond a certain threshold, emotions may indeed lead to disarray and impair speech performance. In normal circumstances however, the “expression of one’s feelings” – which is the spontaneous way people describe the motive behind their speech acts – results in rational discourse. This is due to the network underlying speech performance being structured: channelling speech performance along ever-branching but constrained paths in such way that the expression of one’s feelings engenders out of necessity one or more series of meaningful sentences.

People claim they speak to “express their feelings,” “to relieve themselves,” “to get that thing out of my system” and such is indeed the subjective experience of speech performance: talking subjects experience a situation ranging from minor to serious dissatisfaction (the causes of which I’ll fully investigate in Section 18) and “talk their heart out” until, having reached the end of a particular outburst of speech, they feel relieved: feeling once again of a “satisfied mind.” Until, that is, some renewed source of minor or major irritation launches the dynamics all over. I will show in Section 15 that from an objective point of view the dynamics is no doubt better described as the reaching of a potential well within a word-space under a minimization dynamics, but it can also justifiably be described as an “affective dynamics,” as in the eye of the talking subject the process is experienced as one of emotional relief. Also, the parameter determining the dynamics of the gradient descent within the word-space is the “affect” value associated with words (actually word-pairs as we’ll see) within the “word-space” that the network amounts to.