209 I. 5
Being and Time

and the privative modes of not-hearing, resisting, defying, and turning away.

Dasein itself. The Greeks had no word for "language"; they understood this phenomenon 'in the first instance' as discourse. But because the λόγος came into their philosophical ken primarily as assertion, this was the kind of logos which they took as their clue for working out the basic structures of the forms of discourse and its components. Grammar sought its foundations in the 'logic' of this logos. But this logic was based upon the ontology of the present-at-hand. The basic stock of 'categories of signification', which passed over into the subsequent science of language, and which in principle is still accepted as the standard today, is oriented towards discourse as assertion. But if on the contrary we take this phenomenon to have in principle the primordiality and breadth of an existentiale, then there emerges the necessity of re-establishing the science of language on foundations which are ontologically more primordial. The task of liberating grammar from logic requires beforehand a positive understanding of the basic a priori structure of discourse in general as an existentiale. It is not a task that can be carried through later on by improving [166] and rounding out what has been handed down. Bearing this in mind, we must inquire into the basic forms in which it is possible to articulate anything understandable, and to do so in accordance with significations; and this articulation must not be confined to entities within-the-world which we cognize by considering them theoretically, and which we express in sentences. A doctrine of signification will not emerge automatically even if we make a comprehensive comparison of as many languages as possible, and those which are most exotic. To accept, let us say, the philosophical horizon within which W. von Humboldt made language a problem, would be no less inadequate. The doctrine of signification is rooted in the ontology of Dasein. Whether it prospers or decays depends on the fate of this ontology.

In the last resort, philosophical research must resolve to ask what kind of Being goes with language in general. Is it a kind of equipment ready-to-hand within-the-world, or has it Dasein's kind of Being, or is it neither of these? What kind of Being does language have, if there can be such a thing as a 'dead' language? What do the "rise" and "decline" of a language mean ontologically? We possess a science of language, and the Being of the entities which it has for its theme is obscure. Even the horizon for any investigative question about it is veiled. Is it an accident that proximally and for the most part significations are 'worldly', sketched out beforehand by the significance of the world, that they are indeed often predominantly 'spatial'? Or does this 'fact' have existential-ontological necessity? and if it is necessary, why should it be so? Philosophical research will have to dispense with the 'philosophy of language' if it is to inquire