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Ferdinand de Saussure, from Course in General Linguistics

linguistic structure

from Course in General Linguistics, p. 11

Portions of this book are available online.

Although Saussure’s work is focused on linguistics, his theory of semiotics can be (and has been) widely applied to all signs, arts, performances and communication.

Language is made up of linguistic units or signs, consisting of the signifier, and the signified. “The linguistic sign unites, not a thing and a name, but a concept and a sound image” (p. 4)

The linguistic sign is arbitrary. The word “tree” is linked in an arbitrary or unmotivated way with the tree itself. (p. 5)

“Language is a system of interdependent terms in which the value of each term results solely in the simultaneous presence of others” (p.8)

“Language is not living-it only has potential life.” (p. 77)


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This entry was posted on September 20, 2011 by in readings and tagged , , , .

What’s all this?

I've created this site to document and share research and activities related to my Masters of Arts program. It's partially a blog, partially a journal, partially whatever you want it to be. Feel free to have a good look around at what I'm reading, seeing, writing and thinking about. I'd love to see/hear your comments.

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