2Ferdinand de Saussure-Bio Born 26 November 1857(French origin, moved to Geneva)From a family of many scholarsStudied Latin, Greek, chemistry, theology and law at University of Geneva ( )At age 21, wrote Mémoire sur le système primitif des voyelle dans les langues indo-européennes in which he proved scholars wrong.
3Ferdinand de Saussure-Bio 1880 awarded doctorate at University Leipzig (Germany).Taught at Paris.1891 returned to Geneva to teach there.Taught ancient Sanskrit for 21 (!) years!Was asked to teach a course in General Linguistics (taught it three times )
4Ferdinand de Saussure-Bio Influenced many different linguists, but also other disciplines:AnthropologyPsychiatryLiterary criticism
5Ferdinand de Saussure-Influence Some names include:Claude Lévi-Strauss(Structural Anthropology)(http://encarta.msn.com/find/Concise.asp?ti=06AA4000)Roland BarthesEarly works in Semiotics, put principles into application(http://we.got.net/~tuttle/)
6Ferdinand de Saussure-Influence Roman JakobsonLinguist in the “Frankfurt School”(http://www.heartfield.demon.co.uk/jakobson.htm)Jacques LacanPsychiatry(http://www.slip.net/~lacan/)
7Ferdinand de Saussure-Influence Jacques DerridaLiterary criticism(http://www.hydra.umn.edu/derrida/)
8Ferdinand de Saussure -Linguistics / Key Terms Analysis of languageSemiology:The “Science of the life of signs within the heart of social life” (Saussure)
9Ferdinand de Saussure -Linguistics / Key Terms Sign:combination of a concept and a sound-imageSignifier:the sound-imageSignified:concept
10What does all this mess mean? An Example of Saussure’s words Signifier I Signified I(Image) (Concept)(Roses) (Passion)Sign I(passionified roses)
11What does all this mess mean? An Example of Saussure’s words Signifier II Signified II(Image) (Concept)(Passionified Roses) (Valentine’s Day)(i.e. Sign becomesnew Signifier)Sign II(Product consumption, expenditure of money as romantic obligation)...
12Ferdinand de Saussure-Linguistics Arbitrary Nature of the SignWe have inherited language from our ancestors.Language is connecting sound-images“Fenster” and the concept of or
13Ferdinand de Saussure-Linguistics Arbitrary Nature of the Sign (2)Boundaries become blurred when we look at different types of “language” (e.g. body language, pantomime, spoken language, written language, deaf-mute language, sign language, Braille, etc.)
14Ferdinand de Saussure-Linguistics The Linear Nature of the SignifierSignifier = sound-imageit is measurable only in terms of time.Sounds are “Schall und Rauch” (“sound and smoke”)Problem: when writing down the “sound-image” the sound component gets lost.
15Ferdinand de Saussure-Linguistics Immutability of the SignThe signifier (sound-image) “is fixed, not free”“community itself cannot control so much as a single word; it is bound to the existing language.”Problem: modern language has added many different words (e.g. computers, “teen” language)
16Ferdinand de Saussure-Linguistics Immutability of the Sign (2)Language is a law, not a rule which we can opt to follow.We inherit these laws from our ancestors.Language is a social “institution” and must be seen in the setting.“Speakers are largely unconscious of the laws of language.”
17Ferdinand de Saussure-Linguistics Immutability of the Sign (3)(1) Arbitrary Nature of the Sign(2) Multiplicity of Signs Needed for Language(3) System is “overly complex”(4) Community does not care to change things.Tradition follows no law arbitrary
18Ferdinand de Saussure-Linguistics MutabilityTime changes the relationship between signi-fier (sound-image), signified (concept) and therefore the sign.E.g. “mouse” == = “mouse”
19Ferdinand de Saussure-Linguistics Mutability (2)Language = product of both social force and time.It holds true even for artificial languages, such as Esperanto.
20Ferdinand de Saussure-Summary Langue = speech minus speakingLanguage is a social construct which re-quires a community of speakers.Linguistic sign is arbitrary and cannot be taken out of social or temporal context. This is exactly, where signifier and signified are able to shift their relationships (compare “mouse” and “mouse”).
21Ferdinand de Saussure-Summary Because of the addition of time to the social context, Saussure feels that there should be two branches of linguistics, which he calls:SynchronicDiachronic
22Ferdinand de Saussure-Summary Synchronicconfined to one point of view in order to show the whole language systemDiachronictraces evolution of language, looking not at the whole system but at individual elements of it at different times.
23Ferdinand de Saussure-Voilà! Saussure died in 1913.His Course in General Linguistics was published by students posthumously in 1916 and has been translated into many different languages.