Motivated by a seeming disregard of the problem of speech proper in some rhetorical theorizing, I attempt to show the heuristic value of a semiological approach to what can(not) be said to rhetorical inquiry. I argue that attending to the specifics of speech, of its conditions of (im)possibility, is one way to arrive at rhetoric’s multiple compositions. To illustrate these points, I consider the case of what cannot be said from the perspective of speakers of Shona through an integrational philosophy of communication.

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