“This eternal wanderer”: A non-dogmatic reading of Saussure
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F. de Saussure, structural linguistics, R. Jakobson, H. Meschonnic, langue and parole, syntagmatic and associative axes, synchrony and diacrony, iconicity


Comment citer

Josef, J. (2018). “This eternal wanderer”: A non-dogmatic reading of Saussure. Cahiers Du Centre De Linguistique Et Des Sciences Du Langage, (57), 197–208. https://doi.org/10.26034/la.cdclsl.2018.125


Ferdinand de Saussure’s Cours de linguistique générale (1916) has been widely
received as a dogmatic text, putting forward a reductivist conception of the language
system. Yet there are grounds for reading it very differently, as Roman Jakobson
(1969) did when writing of Saussure’s “dynamic repugnance toward the
‘vanity’ of any ‘definitive thought’”. Henri Meschonnic blamed “structuralists” (a
label which, of course, gets applied to Jakobson himself) for turning Saussure’s
linguistics of the continuous into a dogmatic “scientism of the discontinuous”.
Meschonnic’s list of structuralist distortions of Saussure is the framework for the
argument presented here in favour of a non-dogmatic reading of the Cours.

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