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It is neither my intent in this essay to deconstruct the internal-external distinction so central to generative grammar nor to favor one side of the debate over the other, since in fact I want to favor both sides. My objective is to explore Jacques Derrida' s insistence that the concept of the event be placed in the gap of the competence/performance distinction (Linguistics 53). The event, as Derrida calls it in philosophical language, is the moment of utterance in an exchange between interactants, the content of the illocutions, the illocutionary forces that affect and modify these illocutions, the interactions the contents motivate between the interactants. What do we gain by responding to the philosophical language with which Derrida commissions the event?

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