Ferdinand De Saussure Summary

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To discuss this issue, one must discuss Ferdinand de Saussure’s linguistic revolution. However, this cannot be achieved without mentioning pre-Saussurean linguistics. Throughout nineteenth and early twentieth century, the science of language was philology, and not linguistics. Philologists’ scope of activity was fairly limited to the analysis of the alterations that happened to a particular phenomenon in language, for example word or sound, throughout long expanses of time. Their main approach to the study of language was diachronic, i.e. their main emphasis as the historical development of language. The practitioners of philology considered language to mirror the structure of the world and deprived it from having any structure ion itself.…show more content…
Prior to Saussure, it was believed that each word was a symbol that equated with a thing. Saussure, however, deemed each word to be a sign, which is respectively made of two parts: the signifier (the material representation of the sign) and a signified (the concept of that particular sign). For example, the sound cow is signifier and the concept it projects into our minds is the signified. Both must cooperate in order for the sign to exist. Saussure further argued that the relationship between the signifier and the signified is arbitrary, that is, it has been accepted as convention among the speakers of a language that a particular signifier will equal a particular…show more content…
Based on what element(s) do deconstruction and structuralism confront? Structuralism promised to provide a scientific ground for some fields like literary criticism and anthropology but it was nipped in the bud by Derrida’s lecture in John Hopkins University. Derrida believed that whatever is based on structure is inevitably bounded to a center and hence cannot be stable because of the instability of its center. To try to find “the” true meaning is nothing more than a marginalization of other interpretations while some deconstructionists claim interpretations to be as important as the text

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