Making sense of language.
This way of being—always already living ahead in the end-for-which
as returning-to and disclosing—is an original, unified, fundamental
comportment whose structure expresses the “as.” The “as” has the function
of uncovering something in terms of something, of uncover something
as—i.e., as this or that. The “as” is the structure of understanding.
The understood is a ἑρμηνεία, that-which-is-understood in an understanding.
We said that understanding is a basic comportment of existence.
Therefore, the structure of the “as” is the fundamental hermeneutical
structure of the being of that being which we call existence
(human life). This fundamental hermeneutical structure can be apprehended
in a relatively (and I emphasize relatively) original form of what
we called “direct dealing-with-something.”
Only insofar as this capacity to understand—to make sense of—already
belongs to existence, can existence express itself in sounds, such
that these vocal sounds are words that now have meaning. Because
existence, in its very being, is sense-making, it lives in meanings and
can express itself in and as meanings. Only because there are such
vocal sounds (i.e., words) that accrue to meanings, can there be individual
words, i.e., the linguistic forms that are stamped by
meaning and can be detached from that meaning. We call such a
whole of sounds in which existence’s capacity to understand has
somehow evolved and become existential, language; and when I speak
here of a whole of existence I do not mean an individual act of existence,
but being-with-each-other qua historical.