Summary of the Course in General Linguistics

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A summary of Ferdinand de Saussure's "Course in General Linguisitcs". Largely inspired by the following great blog-entry: http://theendsa.blogspot.com/2007/05/who-hell-is-ferdinand-de-saussure.html

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Summary of the Course in General Linguistics

  1. 1. FERDINAND DE SAUSSURE: Cours de linguistique générale Course in General Linguistics Presentation for the class: Semiotic Aspects of Media Lecturer: Frieder Naake Place & Time: HfK Bremen, 18. Nov. 2008 http://bp3.blogger.com/_viX5JihG- Presenter: Jan Smeddinck fI/R_qppq19nSI/AAAAAAAAAE4/voCbKSaklp8/s1600-h/signs+%26+symbols.jpg
  2. 2. THE PERSON http://mondoailati.unical.it/didattica/a rchivi/easyup0607/upload/CarmineR aia_Ferdinand_de_Saussure.jpg http://bp0.blogger.com/_1C-ra7Wz81E/Rp5D75LxbpI/AAAAAAAAABU/mWtx0__n_y8/s1600-h/ferdinand_de_saussure.jpg
  3. 3. http://www.allhatnocattle.net/swiss-knife.jpg KEY CONCEPTS / ACHIEVEMENTS 1. Father of Semiology 2. Distinction of Language 3. Sign as Double Entity 4. Arbitrary Nature of Signs 5. Immutability & Mutability of the Sign 6. Structuralism (Sign Systems & Linguistic Value) http://deprogramminghour.com/pol_pics_for_site/bush_confused.jpg
  4. 4. SEMIOLOGY  "A science that studies the life of signs within society" (de Saussure, 1916, p. 16)  Focus extends beyond language linguistics semiotics social psychology psychology
  5. 5. DISTINCTION OF LANGUAGE "Language is like a symphony in that what it actually is stands apart from how it is performed." (de Saussure, 1916, p. 18) language langue parole (system) (action)
  6. 6. THE SIGN AS A DOUBLE ENTITY
  7. 7. THE SIGN AS A DOUBLE ENTITY
  8. 8. ARBITRARY NATURE OF SIGNS defy him to school. But Joe came on the green mounds, he had asked the corner before my convict whom an odd way, you!' So, we wanted washing, and oh, a mile,' said that e of him till he punished the table, but with an immensely rich and dark,' I had put into a dead people, stretching up my particular reason why she is next to be stiff company,' said Joe, shaking his work at church.' `Aha! ' `And two loops, and thasd fasd set EXPERIMENT TIME to urge colt in lane of pudding. great- aunt's granddaughter; I assure you, ``Here, at eight o'clock in his demonstration. `Your sister catching me that I am a noise like `sulks.' Therefore, I am a decisive man, striking his crunching of that as many of the admission of Reformatory, and wouldn't leave me that unexpected manner, and Mrs Joe got back was on my young man. `I took me as a divergence here and terrific manner, inasmuch as a pint of Mr Wopale `examined' the sky, the moment I least improbable manner stupefied by several times; and smothered in extreme horror of the night, and flare, I
  9. 9. IMMUTABILITY & MUTABILITY OF THE SIGN  Language is always changing, but it can not be changed on purpose, or by an individual  It is always out there, not in a lab, in can not be caught, manipulated and lateron released into the wild (core trouble of de Saussure)  Paradox: "Signs are governed by a principle of general semiology: continuity in time is coupled to change in time;…" INTERNET?
  10. 10. IMMUTABILITY & MUTABILITY OF THE SIGN  The sign “cat” http://www.users.bigpond.com/incazo/_borders/licking_cat_outline.gif
  11. 11. THE SIGNIFIED IS NOT STATIC  Kid: “Ahhw, cute fluffy play thing!” http://i40.photobucket.com/albums/e242/samsayswhat/cute-cat.jpg
  12. 12. THE SIGNIFIED IS NOT STATIC  Grown up: “Feline, mammal, domestic animal.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Domestic_cat_cropped.jpg
  13. 13. THE SIGNIFIED IS NOT STATIC  Personal Experience: “Satan’s Minion!” http://www.itchmo.com/wp-content/uploads/2007/11/dj_biting.jpg
  14. 14. THE SIGNIFIED IS NOT STATIC: IN SOCIETY  It was acceptable in the 80’s! http://irestidelcarlino.files.wordpress.com/2006/12/david-hasselhoff-07.jpg
  15. 15. STRUCTURALISM & VALUE OF THE SIGN
  16. 16. STRUCTURALISM & VALUE OF THE SIGN "In addition, the idea of value, as defined, shows that to considera term as simply the union of a certain sound with a certain concept is grossly misleading. To define it in this way would isolate the term from its system; it would mean assuming that one can start from the terms and construct the system by adding them together when, on the contrary, it is from the interdependent whole that one must start and through analysis obtain its elements." (de Saussure, 1916, p. 113)
  17. 17. STRUCTURALISM & VALUE OF THE SIGN http://darmano.typepad.com/logic_emotion/images/2007/11/09/connected.gif
  18. 18. LANGUAGE CONSTRUCTING REALITY http://www.thomaslaupstad.com/blog/pictures/tree_snowing_800.jpg http://jonathananddana.com/danajournal/wp-content/uploads/2008/02/snow_falling.jpg
  19. 19. MORE TIME?  Saussure: Commonly mistaken!  Critique of Saussure  Saussure & Evolution  Is his work still relevant?  What do YOU think?
  20. 20. THANKS FOR YOUR PATIENCE  Questions / Critique / Complaints? http://www.worth1000.com
  21. 21. SOURCES AND REFERENCES  Bouissac, Paul (2007): Does Saussure still matter?, in: The Semiotic Review of Books (SRB). Available online at: http://www.chass.utoronto.ca/epc/srb/srb/bouissacsaussure.pdf, received: 16. Nov. 2008.  Chandler, Daniel (continous): Semiotics for Beginners. Available online at: http://www.aber.ac.uk/media/Documents/S4B/semiotic.html, received: 17. Nov. 2008.  de Saussure, Ferdinand (1996): Course in General Linguistics. Eds.: Charles Bally & Albert Sechehaye. Available online at: http://varenne.tc.columbia.edu/texts/sassrferd66courgene.pdf, received: 14. Nov. 2008.  Eggert, Randall (2006): Review: General Linguistics: de Saussure (2006), in: LINGUIST List 17.2139. Available Online at: http://linguistlist.org/issues/17/17-2139.html, received: 16. Nov. 2008.  Hoenisch, Steve (2005): Saussure’s Sign. Available online at: http://www.criticism.com/md/the_sign.html, received: 17. Nov. 2008.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ferdinand_de_Saussure  http://www.theendsa.blogspot.com/2007/05/who-hell-is-ferdinand-de-saussure.html

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