Saturday, May 1, 2010

Ferdinand de Saussure

Dear All,

I've been reading a number of English-speaking linguists: Bloomfield, Chomsky, etc. and a number of English-speaking writers, some of whom like to self-portray as linguists or historians.
It's quite amazing how these people keep completely misunderstanding Saussure, who is and remains the best linguist so far. This would be worth a whole philological study. It seems they just cannot make a clean distinction between "langage", "langue" and "parole" and keep mixing everything up in the worst way. This is really too bad. I don't know how this problem can be addressed properly.

I'm currently reading Seuren, 1998, Western Linguistics, An historical introduction. Blackwell.
Interesting book although the title is a bit misleading. I'll try to publish a real review of that book later on when I have some time. He really "describes" Saussure in the worst possible way. Fortunately the rest is somewhat better.

Best Wishes.


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