Course in General Linguistics: Translated by Wade Baskin. Edited by Perry Meisel and Haun Saussy

Paperback | June 28, 2011

byFerdinand de SaussureTranslated byWade Baskin

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The founder of modern linguistics, Ferdinand de Saussure inaugurated semiology, structuralism, and deconstruction and made possible the work of Jacques Derrida, Roland Barthes, Michel Foucault, and Jacques Lacan, thus enabling the development of French feminism, gender studies, New Historicism, and postcolonialism. Based on Saussure's lectures, Course in General Linguistics (1916) traces the rise and fall of the historical linguistics in which Saussure was trained, the synchronic or structural linguistics with which he replaced it, and the new look of diachronic linguistics that followed this change. Most important, Saussure presents the principles of a new linguistic science that includes the invention of semiology, or the theory of the "signifier," the "signified," and the "sign" that they combine to produce.

This is the first critical edition of Course in General Linguistics to appear in English and restores Wade Baskin's original translation of 1959, in which the terms "signifier" and "signified" are introduced into English in this precise way. Baskin renders Saussure clearly and accessibly, allowing readers to experience his shift of the theory of reference from mimesis to performance and his expansion of poetics to include all media, including the life sciences and environmentalism. An introduction situates Saussure within the history of ideas and describes the history of scholarship that made Course in General Linguistics legendary. New endnotes enlarge Saussure's contexts to include literary criticism, cultural studies, and philosophy.

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The founder of modern linguistics, Ferdinand de Saussure inaugurated semiology, structuralism, and deconstruction and made possible the work of Jacques Derrida, Roland Barthes, Michel Foucault, and Jacques Lacan, thus enabling the development of French feminism, gender studies, New Historicism, and postcolonialism. Based on Saussure's...

Ferdinand de Saussure (1857-1913) received his doctorate from the University of Leipzig in 1880 and lectured on ancient and modern languages in Paris until 1891. He then taught Sanskrit and Indo-European languages at the University of Geneva until the end of his life. Among his published works is Memoir on the Primitive System of Vowe...

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Course in General Linguistics
Course in General Linguistics

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:336 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.68 inPublished:June 28, 2011Publisher:Columbia University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0231157274

ISBN - 13:9780231157278

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Table of Contents

Editors' Preface and AcknowledgmentsTextual NoteIntroduction: Saussure and His ContextsCourse in General LinguisticsTranslator's IntroductionPreface to the First EditionIntroduction Chapter I. A Glance at the History of LinguisticsChapter II. Subject Matter and Scope of Linguistics; Its Relations with Other SciencesChapter III. The Object of LinguisticsChapter IV. Linguistics of Language and Linguists of SpeakingChapter V. Internal and External Elements of LanguageChapter VI. Graphic Representation of LanguageChapter VII. PhonologyAppendix: Principles of Phonology Chapter I. Phonological SpeciesChapter II. Phonemes in the Spoken ChainPart One: General Principles Chapter I. Nature of the Linguistic SignChapter II. Immutability and Mutability of the SignChapter III. Static and Evolutionary LinguisticsPart Two: Synchronic Linguistics Chapter I. GeneralitiesChapter II. The Concrete Entities of LanguageChapter III. Identities, Realities, ValuesChapter IV. Linguistic ValueChapter V. Syntagmatic and Associative RelationsChapter VI. Mechanism of LanguageChapter VII. Grammar and Its SubdivisionsChapter VIII. Role of Abstract Entities in GrammarPart Three: Diachronic Linguistics Chapter I. GeneralitiesChapter II. Phonetic ChangesChapter III. Grammatical Consequences of Phonetic EvolutionChapter IV. AnalogyChapter V. Analogy and EvolutionChapter VI. Folk EtymologyChapter VII. AgglutinationChapter VIII. Diachronic Unites, Identities, and RealitiesAppendices to Parts Three and FourPart Four: Geographical Linguistics Chapter I. Concerning the Diversity of LanguagesChapter II. Complication of Geographical DiversityChapter III. Causes of Geographical DiversityChapter IV. Spread of Linguistic WavesPart Five: Concerning Retrospective Linguistics Chapter I. The Two Perspectives of Diachronic LinguisticsChapter II. The Oldest Language at the PrototypeChapter III. ReconstructionsChapter IV. The Contribution of Language to Anthropology and PrehistoryChapter V. Language Families and Linguistic TypesErrataNotesWorks CitedIndex

Editorial Reviews

I am delighted that Wade Baskin's classic translation is back in print, especially since Saussy and Meisel's judicious updating and summary of recent scholarly discoveries make this an invaluable resource for English readers.