Overview

This new edition of Ferdinand de Saussure's Course in General Linguistics (1916) is the first critical edition of Saussure to appear in English. It also restores Wade Baskin's delightful original English translation (1959), which has long been unavailable. The founder of modern linguistics, Saussure inaugurated semiology, structuralism, and deconstruction and made possible the work of Jacques Lacan, French feminism, cultural studies, New Historicism, and postcolonialism. Based on the lectures that Saussure gave ...
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Course in General Linguistics

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Overview

This new edition of Ferdinand de Saussure's Course in General Linguistics (1916) is the first critical edition of Saussure to appear in English. It also restores Wade Baskin's delightful original English translation (1959), which has long been unavailable. The founder of modern linguistics, Saussure inaugurated semiology, structuralism, and deconstruction and made possible the work of Jacques Lacan, French feminism, cultural studies, New Historicism, and postcolonialism. Based on the lectures that Saussure gave at the end of his life at the University of Geneva, the text of the Course was collated from notes taken by Saussure's students and published by Charles Bally, Albert Sechehaye, and Albert Riedlinger.

Saussure traces the rise and fall of the historical linguistics in which he was trained, the synchronic or structural linguistics with which he replaces it, and the new look of diachronic linguistics subsequent to this change in scholarly perspective. Most important, Saussure presents the general principles of a new linguistic science which includes among its achievements the invention of semiology: the theory of the "signifier," the "signified," and the "sign" which they combine to produce.

Relaunching Baskin's translation restores these terms and makes Saussure's thought once again clear and accessible. Baskin's translation allows readers to experience how Saussure shifts the theory of reference from mimesis to performance and expands the purview of poetics to include all media, including life sciences and environmentalism. The introduction to this new edition situates Saussure's position in the history of ideas and describes the history of scholarship that made the Course in General Linguistics legendary. New endnotes enlarge Saussure's contexts well beyond linguistics to include literary criticism, cultural studies, and philosophy.

Laid the foundation for modern linguistic theory. Its basic ideas were later developed in the study of art, literature, philosophy, and social anthropology.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

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.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780231527958
  • Publisher: Columbia University Press
  • Publication date: 4/19/2011
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 1,209,218
  • File size: 17 MB
  • Note: This product may take a few minutes to download.

Meet the Author

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 Vowels in Indo-European Languages, published in 1878 when Saussure was twenty-one.Wade Baskin (1924-1974) was a professor of languages at Southeastern Oklahoma State University and translated many works from French, including books by Jean-Paul Sartre.Perry Meisel is professor of English at New York University. His books include The Myth of the Modern, The Literary Freud, and The Myth of Popular Culture.Haun Saussy is university professor in the Department of Comparative Literature at the University of Chicago. His books include The Problem of a Chinese Aesthetic and Great Walls of Discourse.

Columbia University Press

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Table of Contents

Editors' Preface and Acknowledgments
Textual Note
Introduction: Saussure and His Contexts
Course in General Linguistics
Translator's Introduction
Preface to the First Edition
Introduction
Chapter I. A Glance at the History of Linguistics
Chapter II. Subject Matter and Scope of Linguistics; Its Relations with Other Sciences
Chapter III. The Object of Linguistics
Chapter IV. Linguistics of Language and Linguists of Speaking
Chapter V. Internal and External Elements of Language
Chapter VI. Graphic Representation of Language
Chapter VII. Phonology
Appendix: Principles of Phonology
Chapter I. Phonological Species
Chapter II. Phonemes in the Spoken Chain
Part One: General Principles
Chapter I. Nature of the Linguistic Sign
Chapter II. Immutability and Mutability of the Sign
Chapter III. Static and Evolutionary Linguistics
Part Two: Synchronic Linguistics
Chapter I. Generalities
Chapter II. The Concrete Entities of Language
Chapter III. Identities, Realities, Values
Chapter IV. Linguistic Value
Chapter V. Syntagmatic and Associative Relations
Chapter VI. Mechanism of Language
Chapter VII. Grammar and Its Subdivisions
Chapter VIII. Role of Abstract Entities in Grammar
Part Three: Diachronic Linguistics
Chapter I. Generalities
Chapter II. Phonetic Changes
Chapter III. Grammatical Consequences of Phonetic Evolution
Chapter IV. Analogy
Chapter V. Analogy and Evolution
Chapter VI. Folk Etymology
Chapter VII. Agglutination
Chapter VIII. Diachronic Unites, Identities, and Realities
Appendices to Parts Three and Four
Part Four: Geographical Linguistics
Chapter I. Concerning the Diversity of Languages
Chapter II. Complication of Geographical Diversity
Chapter III. Causes of Geographical Diversity
Chapter IV. Spread of Linguistic Waves
Part Five: Concerning Retrospective Linguistics
Chapter I. The Two Perspectives of Diachronic Linguistics
Chapter II. The Oldest Language at the Prototype
Chapter III. Reconstructions
Chapter IV. The Contribution of Language to Anthropology and Prehistory
Chapter V. Language Families and Linguistic Types
Errata
Notes
Works Cited
Index

Columbia University Press

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