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Saussure: Signs, System & Arbitrariness

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

The Swiss linguist Ferdinand de Saussure (1857-1913) has exerted a profound influence not only on twentieth century linguistics but on a whole range of disciplines within the humanities and social sciences. His central thesis was that the primary object in studying a language is the state of that language at a particular time--a so-called synchronic study. He went on to claim that a language state is a socially constituted system of signs that are quite arbitrary and that can only be defined in terms of their relationship within the system. This new perspective has changed the way people think about linguistics and has led to important attempts to apply structuralist ideas in anthropology, literary criticism, and philosophy. Professor Holdcroft's book expounds and elaborates Saussure's central ideas. It also offers a critical assessment of them, arguing that many of Saussure's claims are either questionable or have been misunderstood. The book will be read with profit by nonspecialists and could be used as a textbook by students of linguistics, philosophy of language, literary criticism and anthropology.

Synopsis:

Professor Holdcroft’s book expounds and elaborates Saussure’s central ideas — that the primary object in studying a language is the state of that language at a particular time — a so-called synchronic study. It also offers a critical assessment of them, arguing that many of Saussure’s claims are either questionable or have been misunderstood.

Synopsis:

This book offers a critical assessment of Saussure's central ideas.

Table of Contents

Preface; Introduction; 1. Saussure's work: its context and significance; 2. The distinction between langue and parole; 3. Language as a system of signs, I: signs, arbitrariness, linearity, and change; 4. Language as a system of signs, II: diachronic and synchronic linguistics; 5. Language as a system of signs, III: identities, system, and relations; 6. Language as a system of signs, IV: values, differences, and reality; 7. Successes and failures; Notes; Bibliography; Index.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780521326186
Author:
Holdcroft, David
Publisher:
Cambridge University Press
Editor:
Pippin, Robert B.
Author:
Pippin, Robert B.
Author:
David, Holdcroft
Location:
Cambridge
Subject:
Linguistics
Subject:
History, Criticism, Surveys
Subject:
Saussure, Ferdinand de
Subject:
History & Surveys - General
Subject:
Saussure, Ferdinand de, --1857-1913
Subject:
Saussure, Ferdinand de, --1857-1913 Saussure,
Subject:
Linguistics - General
Series:
British Computer Society Workshop Series
Publication Date:
20060631
Binding:
Paperback
Grade Level:
Professional and scholarly
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
196
Dimensions:
5.51x8.50x.56 in. .87 lbs.

Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Economics » General
History and Social Science » Linguistics » General
Humanities » Philosophy » General
Humanities » Philosophy » Surveys

Saussure: Signs, System & Arbitrariness New Hardcover
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Product details 196 pages Cambridge University Press - English 9780521326186 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Professor Holdcroft’s book expounds and elaborates Saussure’s central ideas — that the primary object in studying a language is the state of that language at a particular time — a so-called synchronic study. It also offers a critical assessment of them, arguing that many of Saussure’s claims are either questionable or have been misunderstood.
"Synopsis" by , This book offers a critical assessment of Saussure's central ideas.
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