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Curso de Lingüística General by Ferdinand…
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Curso de Lingüística General

by Ferdinand de Saussure

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1,46889,372 (3.85)3
The founder of modern linguistics, Ferdinand de Saussure inaugurated semiology, structuralism, and deconstruction and made possible the work of Jacques Derrida, Roland Barthes, Michel Foucault, and Jacques Lacan, thus enabling the development of French feminism, gender studies, New Historicism, and postcolonialism. Based on Saussure's lectures, Course in General Linguistics (1916) traces the rise and fall of the historical linguistics in which Saussure was trained, the synchronic or structural linguistics with which he replaced it, and the new look of diachronic linguistics that followed this change. Most important, Saussure presents the principles of a new linguistic science that includes the invention of semiology, or the theory of the "signifier," the "signified," and the "sign" that they combine to produce. This is the first critical edition of Course in General Linguistics to appear in English and restores Wade Baskin's original translation of 1959, in which the terms "signifier" and "signified" are introduced into English in this precise way. Baskin renders Saussure clearly and accessibly, allowing readers to experience his shift of the theory of reference from mimesis to performance and his expansion of poetics to include all media, including the life sciences and environmentalism. An introduction situates Saussure within the history of ideas and describes the history of scholarship that made Course in General Linguistics legendary. New endnotes enlarge Saussure's contexts to include literary criticism, cultural studies, and philosophy.… (more)
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Curso de lingüística general by Ferdinand de Saussure

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For literary critic, author, and professor Terry Eagleton, Structuralism is "rather like killing a person in order to examine more conveniently the circulation of the blood" ([b:Literary Theory: An Introduction|16939|Literary Theory An Introduction|Terry Eagleton|https://d2arxad8u2l0g7.cloudfront.net/books/1429361191s/16939.jpg|2454022], 95), and indeed Roland Barthes had something like this analogy in mind when he wrote the monumental little essay "The Death of the Author." As Mary Klages defines it, "In any field, a structuralist is interested in discovering the elements - the units - that make up any system, and in discovering the rules that govern how those units can be combined. And that's all" ([b:Literary Theory: A Guide for the Perplexed|771189|Literary Theory A Guide for the Perplexed|Mary Klages|https://d2arxad8u2l0g7.cloudfront.net/books/1347401535s/771189.jpg|757247], 31). For those of us far removed from the Russian formalists and the compiled lectures of Saussure, captivated as we are with the magic of literature, these aforementioned definitions must be borne in mind to keep a hold on Saussure's project.

Saussure is interested in bringing the field of linguistics up to a scientific standard. Taking cues from the historical progression of linguistics (from the Greeks' logical system of grammar to comparative literature to the Neogrammarians), he seeks to outline a rigorous discipline for the science of a language. Language, in his view, is composed of, at base, linguistic signs. These signs are themselves composed of a concept (signified) and a sound pattern (signifier). Here we see the foundation of the Structuralist mode: reductivism; hence, we're dealing with phonemes and morphemes which send or receive a concept/image. A crucial rule with these linguistic signs is that they have negative meaning--meaning, they have a specific correct meaning because they have not the meaning of other signs.

In terms of using the Structuralist mode to perform literary criticism, one would distill the text down to its most basic parts: again, down to the phonemes. What about the content, the story? Unnecessary. What about the author? Irrelevant. I cannot think of a single useful application of the Structuralist methodology in literary criticism that does not lead to the content or the author in some way except perhaps to yield the underlying symbols of the text. And still: now what? But, to be fair to Saussure's considerable work, we must bear in mind that his goal was linguistics, not literary criticism. In his own (or his students') words, at the close of this critical book: "...the only true object of study in linguistics is the language, considered in itself and for its own sake" (230). ( )
  chrisvia | Apr 29, 2021 |
Basado en notas de su cátedra, correspondientes a los tres cursos sobre lingüística general dictados en 1906-1907, 1908-1909 y 1910-1911, cursos desarrollados en la Universidad de Ginebra, tras suceder a Jospeh Wertheimer en 1906. El texto es una reconstrucción hecha por sus alumnos, basándose particularmente en el último de los tres cursos y las notas recuperadas del maestro.
  katherinevillar | Mar 23, 2020 |
Edition: // Descr: xvi, 240 p. 21.5 cm. // Series: Call No. { } Shelved in Kade German Center, 116 Lawrence : Sprachunterricht // //
1 vote | ColgateGerman | Oct 26, 2012 |
This is a linguistics classic and a must-read for anyone wanting to delve into the history of linguistics. Just to be sure, however, this is a collection of notes from his course painstakingly collected into this volume by his students. The notes are based on a series of lectures, so it doesn't really read so much like a textbook.

If you're looking for a more specific understanding of general linguistics as the field stands today, I recommend picking up a contemporary introductory text and reading this after you've got a basic grounding in linguistics terms and concepts. ( )
1 vote inkstained | Jul 14, 2008 |
Linguistics
  Budzul | May 31, 2008 |
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» Add other authors (19 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Ferdinand de Saussureprimary authorall editionscalculated
Albert RiedlingerContributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Alonso, AmadoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Alonso, AmadoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bally, CharlesEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
De Mauro, TullioTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sechehaye, AlbertEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Saussure's Cours de linguistique générale occupies a place of unique importance in the history of Western thinking about man in society. It is a key text not only within the development of linguistics but also in the formation of that broader intellectual movement of the twentieth century known as ‘structuralism’. With the sole exception of Wittgenstein, no thinker has had a profound an influence on the modern view of homo loquens as Saussure.
[From Roy Harris' "Translator's Introduction" (1986/1997: [ix])]
Ferdinand de Saussure's criticism of the inadequate tenets and methods characteristic of the linguistics which prevailed during the period of his own intellectual development we heard from his own lips on many occasions. All his life he pursued a determined search for guiding principles to direct the course of his thinking through that chaos. But it was not until 1906, when he had succeeded Joseph Wertheimer at the University of Geneva, that he was able to expound his own views. They were the mature product of many years' reflexion. He gave three courses of lectures on general linguistics, in 1906–1907, 1908–1909, and 1910–1911. The requirements of the curriculum, however, obliged him to devote half of each course to a historical and descriptive survey of the Indo-European languages, and the essential core of his subject was thus considerably reduced.
[From Charles Bally and Albert Sechehaye's "Preface to the First Edition" (1916/1997: [xvii])]
The science which has grown up around linguistic facts passed through three successive phases before coming to terms with its one and only true object of study.
[From "A Brief Survey of the History of Linguistics", chapter 1 of Ferdinand de Saussure's Course in General Linguistics (1916/1997: [1])]
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The founder of modern linguistics, Ferdinand de Saussure inaugurated semiology, structuralism, and deconstruction and made possible the work of Jacques Derrida, Roland Barthes, Michel Foucault, and Jacques Lacan, thus enabling the development of French feminism, gender studies, New Historicism, and postcolonialism. Based on Saussure's lectures, Course in General Linguistics (1916) traces the rise and fall of the historical linguistics in which Saussure was trained, the synchronic or structural linguistics with which he replaced it, and the new look of diachronic linguistics that followed this change. Most important, Saussure presents the principles of a new linguistic science that includes the invention of semiology, or the theory of the "signifier," the "signified," and the "sign" that they combine to produce. This is the first critical edition of Course in General Linguistics to appear in English and restores Wade Baskin's original translation of 1959, in which the terms "signifier" and "signified" are introduced into English in this precise way. Baskin renders Saussure clearly and accessibly, allowing readers to experience his shift of the theory of reference from mimesis to performance and his expansion of poetics to include all media, including the life sciences and environmentalism. An introduction situates Saussure within the history of ideas and describes the history of scholarship that made Course in General Linguistics legendary. New endnotes enlarge Saussure's contexts to include literary criticism, cultural studies, and philosophy.

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