Course in General Linguistics

Columbia University Press

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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About the author

Ferdinand de Saussure (1857–1913) received his doctorate from the University of Leipzig in 1880 and lectured on ancient and modern languages in Paris until 1891. He then taught Sanskrit and Indo-European languages at the University of Geneva until the end of his life. Among his published works is Memoir on the Primitive System of Vowels in Indo-European Languages, published in 1878 when Saussure was twenty-one.Wade Baskin (1924–1974) was a professor of languages at Southeastern Oklahoma State University and translated many works from French, including books by Jean-Paul Sartre.Perry Meisel is professor of English at New York University. His books include The Myth of the Modern, The Literary Freud, and The Myth of Popular Culture.Haun Saussy is university professor in the Department of Comparative Literature at the University of Chicago. His books include The Problem of a Chinese Aesthetic and Great Walls of Discourse.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Columbia University Press
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Published on
Jun 28, 2011
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Pages
320
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ISBN
9780231527958
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
Language Arts & Disciplines / Linguistics / General
Literary Criticism / Semiotics & Theory
Philosophy / Movements / Deconstruction
Social Science / Anthropology / Cultural & Social
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Der berühmte Text stellt den Ausgangspunkt für die Beschäftigung mit dem Strukturalismus dar. Die deutsche Übersetzung erschien 1931, die 2. Auflage von 1967 leitete im deutschsprachigen Raum die bis heute andauernde intensive Saussure-Rezeption ein.

1916 veröffentlichten zwei Schüler Saussures drei Vorlesungen unter dem Titel "Cours de linguistique générale". Der Text beruhte auf den Mitschriften von drei Vorlesungen über allgemeine Sprachwissenschaft, die Saussure 1907 bis 1911 hielt.

Der "Cours" wurde nicht nur zum Ausgangspunkt für eine Reihe von neuen linguistischen Disziplinen (wie Phonologie, strukturalistische Morphologie, strukturalistische Syntax, strukturelle Semantik, Glossematik), sondern beeinflußte auch traditionelle Richtungen wie die Sprachgeschichte, Dialektologie und Sprachphilosophie.


Aus dem Nachwort:

Wie jedes große Werk lebt auch der "Cours" dadurch weiter, dass er vielerlei Interpretationen zulässt... Seine Bedeutung kann aber wohl noch immer am treffendsten mit jener knappen Formulierung umschrieben werden, die Leonard Bloomfield schon 1923 in seiner Rezension gab:

Der Wert des "Cours" besteht in seiner klaren und genauen Darstellung der fundamentalen Prinzipien. Das meiste von dem, was der Autor sagt, lag schon seit langem "in der Luft", die Systematisierung aber stammt von ihm. [...]

Der entscheidende Punkt aber ist, dass de Saussure hier zum ersten Mal die Welt ausgemessen hat, in der die historische Grammatik des Indo-Europäischen (die große Errungenschaft des vorigen Jahrhunderts) nur ein einzelnes Teilgebiet darstellt; er hat uns die theoretische Grundlage für eine Wissenschaft von der menschlichen Sprache gegeben.

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