The Linguistic Revolution: Ferdinand De Saussure's Linguistic Revolution

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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…
In other words, because there exists no actual bond between the sign and the reality that it represents, meaning becomes a matter of difference; we know what a cow means because it is differs from other signs. When we compare one sign to another, the meaning becomes relational and hence must be analyzed within a system. Saussure calls this system (that governs language) ‘Langue’ and the individual utterances within each language ‘parole’. He believes that in order to fathom a language operates, one must study the Lange. That is, because the relation between signs are relational and based on difference, proper study of language’s function can only be fulfilled by a close examination of the system that governs them and not the isolated entities of it, as philologists used to …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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