Thursday, February 21, 2013

A Saussurean Thought...

...on the eve of the centennial of Ferdinand de Saussure's death.
The characteristic role of language in relation to thought is not to create a material phonic means for the expression of ideas, but to serve as an intermediary between thought and sound, in such conditions that their union necessarily leads to reciprocal delimitations of [linguistic] unities. Thought, chaotic in its nature, is forced to clarify itself in breaking itself down.
--Cours de linguistique générale, p. 156

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