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Course in General Linguistics

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Ferdinand de Saussure is commonly regarded as one of the fathers of 20th Century Linguistics. His lectures, posthumously published as the Course in General Linguistics ushered in the structuralist mode which marked a key turning point in modern thought. Philosophers such as Jacques Derrida and Roland Barthes, psychoanalysts such as Jacques Lacan, the anthropologist ClaudeLevi-Strauss and linguists such as Noam Chomsky all found an important influence for their work in the pages of Saussure's text. Published 100 years after Saussure's death, this new edition of Roy Harris's authoritative translation is now available in the Bloomsbury Revelations series with a substantial new introduction exploring Saussure's contemporary influence and importance.

Author: De Saussure Ferdinard
Pages: 328
ISBN: 9781472512055
Cover: Paperback
Edition Number: 1
Release Year: 2013

Introduction to the Bloomsbury Revelations Edition

Preface to the First Edition
Preface to the Second Edition
Preface to the Third Edition
Editor's Introduction, Roy Harris
1. A Brief Survey of the History of Linguistics
2. Data and Aims of Linguistics: Connexions with Related Sciences
3. The Object of Study
4. Linguistics of Language Structure and Linguistics of Speech
5. Internal and External Elements of a Language
6. Representation of a Language by Writing
7. Physiological Phonetics
Appendix: Principles of Physiological Phonetics
1. Sound Types
2. Sounds in Spoken Sequences
Part One: General Principles
1. Nature of the Linguistic Sign
2. Invariability and Variability of the Sign
3. Static Linguistics and Evolutionary Linguistics
Part Two: Synchronic Linguistics
1. General Observations
2. Concrete Entities of a Language
3. Identities, Realities, Values
4. Linguistic Value
5. Syntagmatic Relations and Associative Relations
6. The Language Mechanism
7. Grammar and Its Subdivisions
8. Abstract Entities in Grammar
Part Three: Diachronic Linguistics
1. General Observations
2. Sound Changes
3. Grammatical Consequences of Phonetic Evolution
4. Analogy
5. Analogy and Evolution
6. Popular Etymology
7. Agglutination
8. Diachronic Units,Identities and Realities
Part Four: Geographical Linguistics
1. On the Diversity of Languages
2. Geographical Diversity: Its Complexity
3. Causes of Geographical Diversity
4. Propagation of Linguistic Waves
Part Five: Questions of Retrospective Linguistics Conclusion
1. The Two Perspectives of Diachronic Linguistics
2. Earliest Languages and Prototypes
3. Reconstructions
4. Linguistic Evidence in Anthropology and Prehistory
5. Language Families and Linguistic Types


Ferdinand de Saussure (1857-1913) was one of the most important thinkers of the 20th century, whose work not only laid the foundations for important developments in linguistics but also proved widely influential in philosophy, anthropology, sociology and literary theory. The Course in General Linguistics is his most important work.

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