Lecture 11: History Writing in the 1960s and 1970s and the ‘linguistic turn’

(slide Saussure and definition of lingustics

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(slide Saussure and definition of lingustics

Linguistics: studies the structure and meaning of language more specifically.

Why is Saussure so important?

Until Saussure in the earl y twentieth century, languages were studied in terms of the evolution of words. Linguists took a word to be a denoter of a thing, of the full reality of a thing. I n English, the word 'mouse' denoted a small rodent: the relationship between word and object (or referent) was simple, exclusive and unequivocal.

Saussure began to think this idea as a limited. Firstly , he was unhappy with the definition of 'a word'. A word is not t h e only way in which humans may convey to each other the notion of an action.

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