Structuralism

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Well known linguists such as De Saussere, F. and Bloomfield, L. main representative theoretician of a school of language called Structuralism. De Saussere, F. belongs to the group of European linguistics who developed studies on the language field at the end of the 19th century and beginning of 20th century while Bloomfield, L. belongs to the group of the North American ones.

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Structuralism

  1. 1. Structuralism ( De Saussure, F . / Bloomfield, L. et alii). UNIVERSIDAD PEDAGÓGICA EXPERIMENTAL LIBERTADOR INSTITUTO PEDAGÓGICO CARACAS VICERRECTORADO DE INVESTIGACIÓN Y POSTGRADO COORDINACIÓN NACIONAL DE POSTGRADO Maestría en Enseñanza del Inglés como Lengua Extranjera Prof. Héctor Escalona
  2. 2. Structuralism European 1920’s North American 1930’s – 1960’s
  3. 3. Dead languages Linguists tried to reconstruct dead languages on the basis of the similarities that were found to exist between languages thought to be related historically to those dead languages. In short, during the 19th century scholars in linguistics worked from a historical, diachronic, perspective.
  4. 4. European Structuralism Ferdinand de Saussure 1857 - 1913 De Saussure was not satisfied with the historical comparison of language. He stated that such comparison only answered where a language comes from, but not what language is.
  5. 5. European Structuralism Main tenets <ul><li>Language has a structure </li></ul><ul><li>Language is a system of sings </li></ul><ul><li>Language operates at two levels: langue and parole </li></ul>
  6. 6. European Structuralism <ul><li>Language has a structure </li></ul>Language is a structure in which each elements interact. Main tenets
  7. 7. European Structuralism 2) Language is a system of signs Noise is language only when it expresses or communicates ideas. Main tenets
  8. 8. European Structuralism Signified Signifier Physical dimension of language Sign Car /ka:r/
  9. 9. European Structuralism Langue The abstract system Parole Actual speech Main tenets
  10. 10. North American Structuralism Beginning: a group of anthropologists describing fast-disappearing American-Indian tribes. They found that there was no methodology for them to follow in order to describe these languages.
  11. 11. North American Structuralism A new step in the American Structuralism Leonard Bloomfield 1887-1949 NA Structuralism centers in what people actually say
  12. 12. North American Structuralism <ul><li>Linguistics is a descriptive science. </li></ul><ul><li>The primary form of language is the spoken one. </li></ul><ul><li>Every language is a system on its own right. </li></ul><ul><li>Language is a system in which smaller units arrange systematically to form larger ones. </li></ul><ul><li>Meaning should not be part of linguistic analysis. </li></ul><ul><li>The procedures to determine the units in language should be objective and rigorous. </li></ul><ul><li>Language is observable speech, not knowledge. </li></ul>Main tenets
  13. 13. North American Structuralism 1) Linguistics is a descriptive science. Describe what people say, not what people should say. Main tenets
  14. 14. North American Structuralism 2) The primary form of language is the spoken one. <ul><li>Reasons: </li></ul><ul><li>Not every language has a written form. </li></ul><ul><li>Everybody learns an oral language. </li></ul><ul><li>The spoken form comes first than the written one. </li></ul>Main tenets
  15. 15. North American Structuralism 3) Every language is a system on its own right. Language should not be described in terms of another language, but rather, it should be described on its own terms. Main tenets
  16. 16. North American Structuralism 4) Language is a system in which smaller units arrange systematically to form larger ones. These linguists proposed a procedure in which they began analyzing the smallest units and classifying them, and describing the patterns into which they combined to form larger units. /l/ [lang-gw I ʤ ] Language is a system Main tenets
  17. 17. North American Structuralism 5) Meaning should not be part of linguistic analysis. Bloomfield and many other structuralism followers consider meaning as abstract and unobservable, therefore, unscientific. Prato? Main tenets
  18. 18. North American Structuralism 6) The procedures to determine the units in language should be objective and rigorous. NA Structuralism rejected traditional definitions of, for example, a noun as “the word that refers to persons, animals or things” (definition based on meaning). Main tenets
  19. 19. North American Structuralism 6) The procedures to determine the units in language should be objective and rigorous. In this respect, they provide two observable criteria for defying the items of language: Form and Distribution. Main tenets
  20. 20. North American Structuralism 7) Language is observable speech, not knowledge. Langue and parole were rejected as unscientific abstractions. The main objective would be to make a taxonomy of language based on observable samples of speech (corpus/corpora) Phonemes-morphemes-sentences patterns. Main tenets
  21. 21. Thanks REPÚBLICA BOLIVARIANA DE VENEZUELA UNIVERSIDAD PEDAGÓGICA EXPERIMENTAL LIBERTADOR INSTITUTO PEDAGÓGICO CARACAS VICERRECTORADO DE INVESTIGACIÓN Y POSTGRADO COORDINACIÓN NACIONAL DE POSTGRADO Maestría en Enseñanza del Inglés como Lengua Extranjera Prof. Héctor Escalona
  22. 22. <ul><li>Aitchison, J. (1978). Linguistics . London: Hodder and Stoughton. </li></ul><ul><li>Chomsky, N. (1959). “Review of B.F. Skinner, Verbal behavior”. Language . 35: 26-57. </li></ul><ul><li>--------------- (1965). Aspects of the theory of syntax . Cambridge, Mass.: The MIT Press. </li></ul><ul><li>--------------- (1966-1973) “Linguistic theory.” In Oller J. and J. Richard (eds.) Focus on the Learner. Rowley, Mass.:Newbury House. </li></ul><ul><li>Culler, J. (1976). Ferdinand de Saussure . London : Penguin Books. </li></ul><ul><li>Department of Linguistics. The Ohio State University (1972). Language Files . Reinoldsburg, Ohio: Advocate Publishing Group. </li></ul><ul><li>Halliday, M.A.K. (1973). Explorations in the functions of language . London: Edward Arnold. </li></ul><ul><li>Hymes, D. (1971/1979). “On communicative competence.” In Brumfit, C. and K. Johnson (eds.) The communicative approach to language teaching . Oxford: Oxford University Press. </li></ul><ul><li>Lyons, J. (1968). Introduction to theoretical linguistics . Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. </li></ul><ul><li>Mackey, W. (1966/1973). “Language didactics and applied linguistics.” In J. Oller and J. Richard (eds). Focus on the learner. Rowley, Mass.: Newbury House. </li></ul><ul><li>O’Grady, W., M. Dobrovolsky and M. Aronoff. (1989). Contemporary linguistics: an introduction . New York: St. Martin’s Press. </li></ul><ul><li>De Saussure, F. </li></ul>References
  23. 23. Structuralism Let us discus these questions together: <ul><li>How Structuralism, Functionalism and Generativism have contribute to our present understanding of language? </li></ul><ul><li>Why haven’t the questions what is language and how does language work haven’t been completely answered? </li></ul><ul><li>In which aspects European and North American Structuralism meet and differ? </li></ul>

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